IN THIS TOGETHER ◽ MARRIAGE
“The prince married the princess, and they lived happily ever after…”
As an author of Christian romance, I know how tempting it can be to buy into the idea of happily ever after. We don’t like loose ends or unresolved conflict, and we like to think that life’s a breeze once we say, “I do.” But life isn’t a fairytale, and marriage is hard. It’s not a fix-all for life’s problems, but rather a partnership in getting through them. So many people today give up on marriage as soon as it gets tough or when the honeymoon feeling fades away, but love isn’t supposed to be a feeling. True love is a choice you make every single day.
It’s choosing to stand by your spouse no matter what. There’s a reason wedding vows include, “for better or for worse.” Hard times will happen; it’s a fact of life. But true love means sticking together through it all. Sometimes it means compromise, and sometimes it means sacrifice. And yes, those are two very uncomfortable things. I’m betting that Jesus wasn’t comfortable when He died for us, but that was the ultimate sacrifice of love. John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.” That’s what Jesus did for us, and it’s what He expects us to do for our spouses.
I think what people get so wrong about marriage is thinking it’s all about themselves. It’s not. It’s about a covenant with God, and it’s about putting someone else before yourself. It’s not about being happy or going on romantic getaways all the time. Those are great things, but they don’t define marriage. Marriage is going through all of life’s ups and downs and still choosing each other at the end of each day. Maybe you don’t really like each other sometimes. But you can still choose to love. Maybe you don’t agree with the other about something. But you can still choose to support their decisions. Maybe you feel unappreciated or misunderstood. But you can still pray for your spouse.
In a culture that elevates self-importance and getting what you want, we have to turn to the source of truth – God’s Word. That’s the only place with solid marriage advice. Not TV or music or Facebook. God designed marriage to enhance and enrich our lives, but we have to treat it the right way. Thankfully, He gave us an instruction manual to show us the way!
Sometimes we have to stand beside our spouse and go to battle together. Is it hard and scary? Yes. But victory doesn’t come through division, and you’ll never get there if you give up. Put on your armor and choose to fight for your partner. And while you do, God will surely fight for you.
“Walk in the way of love,
just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us
as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”