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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Marriage Is Hard, Part 1

Let me paint a familiar picture for you of a typical married couple:

Husband (trying to initiate a physical encounter by "groping" his wife): No words needed.

Wife (busy with something -dishes, computer, etc.): "Quit it! I'm right in the middle of something. Honey, I love you, but come on, can you just give me some space? All you do is want something physical from me! Can you just wait?!"

Husband: Goes and does something else.

Some feelings of disrespect, a little rejection, a missed opportunity for godliness.


Let's face it, marriage is hard. While it is also a refuge, the fact is that God intentionally made man and woman different - complementary, but also at odds. We have to make the effort to love the other in ways that may not, and probably are not, like our own (especially when you throw kiddos in the mix). God could have made our desires the same, why didn't He?

I truly believe that marriage is the ultimate character building design (with having raising children in a close second). We grow in godliness if we allow marriage to do its job, so to speak. We can either just be married and live with one another, settling for mediocrity, or we can get out of our comfort zones, let down walls, be stretched until it hurts, and serve...even if we are not served in return. The reward might (and probably will) be a stronger and more intimate marriage, but it will definitely have a reward of godliness.

Perseverance, humility, selflessness, and a pure conscience before God are some of those rewards. We should never settle for the status quo in marriage. God didn't settle when it came to His bride, those He dearly loved but who had turned away from Him. He pursued us, He gave His life for us, and He purifies us. This is how we should view marriage - something to pursue, give our lives up for, and purify...till death do us part.

"Love endures long and is patient and kind;

love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy,

is not boastful or vainglorious,

does not display itself haughtily.

It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride);

it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.

Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way,

for it is not self-seeking;

it is not touchy or fretful or resentful;

it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness,

but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes,

is ever ready to believe the best of every person,

its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances,

and it endures everything [without weakening].

Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]."

Marriage Is Hard, Part 2 - Advice From Wise Women

Marriage Is Hard, Part 3 - A Challenge

Marriage Is Hard, Part 4 - A Refuge


Sarah said...

I needed this today--thank you!

Friend Chick said...

It's like you were the fly on the wall in my kitchen last night with your description of the husband/wife encounter...

Marriage is definitely a lot of work. Thank you for this series. It will be a week of self-reflection for sure!

Allie Z said...

Thanks for hitting the nail on the head. Part 1 is good to see because there is more to come! :)

I love this topic because it's real; marriage is hard. This description matches life a bit. I find myself in the kitchen- cooking, cleaning, tending to the family. Often my hubby groans "Oh, you're in the kitchen again?" I'm working to turn that around.

I think to be real, this topic plays out regularly in marriage. The meat of this topic is simple- give your all to your hubby, no matter the return. Even if the day stinks, life is rough, and it feels as if there is nothing going right, turn to your husband and give yourself to him. When I put him first over myself, he gives me what I need in his own way, on his own time line.

I'm loving the 5:16 gals! Happy Tuesday :)


Mrs. Trixi said...

What an amazing post. I truly feel this same way and do not see it very much in this world today. My honey is a Godly leader in our home and I hope I am training myself and my kids to love him as we would the Lord. He serves us diligently and I hope we in turn serve him diligently. It's not easy. It's a true dieing to self thing but when I am doing just that it is wonderful. When I am not, our marriage is not so wonderful. It's all about choices.

Renee said...

I have been encouraged by a book I have been reading recently called "For Women Only" by Shaunti Feldham. It's a candid, hope-filled look into the inner lives of men so that we can love them better. Hope it encourages someone else too!

Anonymous said...

So so good! I loved reading this because it brings up such an important truth that i want to practice in my own future marriage. "This is how we should view marriage - something to pursue, give our lives up for, and purify...till death do us part."...awesome! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Excellent points...one thing I love is that the word "love" is an action-word, not an emotion.

Anonymous said...

Sarah! Thank you for your encouraging words and prayer...i love it! That will definitely be my prayer in the coming months. You're right, things do usually go wrong in some way or another. Regardless, i must keep trusting in Him and allow Him to be my perfect peace.
I love your blog :)
Have a beautiful day

HeathahLee said...

There are so many people I know that would be so happy and SO much more at peace if they just lived in their marriage the way God intended us to. I just want to take them by the shoulders and look into their faces and say "Marriage is NOT about YOU!" : ) Like I've got it all together. HA! Not hardly. But hopefully I've learned a couple of things in the almost 14 years we've been married. Thanks for this post and the ones to come.

Renee said...

Shanti Feldhahn is the correct name of the author. Sorry about that!

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Wonderful post and sad to say you have described my household on more than one occasion. This is such a good reminder!

It is work to keep a good marriage going. I have been blessed with 16 years of happy marriage to a wonderful godly man, and still have so much that I need to work on.

Thank you Sarah Mae!

Anonymous said...

Such a great post...how interesting last week I was reading I Corinthians 13 and you know how it has been said to put your name in the place of the word love in this chapter...well, it stopped me dead in my tracks...it was a wake up call to how loving or unloving I can be each and every day.

Thank you for this encouragement!


Kyla said...

I'm loving this series of posts about marriage!

This definately hits the nail on the head in my own household. It can be VERY trying at times.

But on a more positive note: at least the husband is still attracted to his wife. Right? Or he wouldn't be going out of his way to grope her . . . ;) Just a twist on the hubby/wife encounter.

Hannah said...

Thanks for your insightful post! I stopped by after reading your forum post on the 31DBBB and will definitely visit again.
H :)

@CuriousDina said...

Marriage definitely is work, but who said work can't also be fun?!

Couldn't the wife have playfully said something humorous that met both their goals like, "if you give me ten minutes now, I'll give you my very special attention very soon"

That's more of a win/win

One of the best parts of the 31DBBB is meeting new bloggers.