Marriages fail. Everyday. It’s become something very common and has touched all of us in one way or another. Two genuinely nice people, who love each other deeply, can become husband and wife and not get their happily ever after. I’ve sat with friends, friends struggling to keep their relationships alive, and have had them ask the heartbreaking question… “Why is my marriage failing?” And the answer is always the same.
We are sinful people influenced by a selfish world. When we take our eyes off Christ, even for a short time, things begin to fall apart. Sometimes this is a “slow fade” and other times it happens before we fully understand the consequences. Regardless, it’s life changing and painful for everyone involved.
Please believe me when I say that I am in no way casting stones. There are Biblical reasons for divorce and we have watched as friends live through it.
The truth is: Marriage is hard. There is no lifetime warranty. When you take two people from two different backgrounds with two contrasting opinions… conflict will happen. Expect it. Prepare for it. But…
Marriage is also beautiful.
It is something to delight in and be proud of. It is the foundation we use to build our families. It gives us a glimpse into eternity and is the illustration Scripture uses to describe God’s love for His people.
Dave and I started dating 18 years ago and will celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary this November. While our relationship is far from perfect, and while I don’t have all the answers, there are a few things we actively do that have helped us enjoy these many years of (mostly) marital success.
- Be your spouses #1 fan and most supportive friend.
- Share with them your frustrations and joys – and listen to theirs in return. Communicate clearly. Encourage and pray for each other.
- Be a servant in your marriage. Put their needs above your own and (gasp!) above your children. Show love. Offer grace.
- Continue to date and remain intimate.
- And, most importantly, keep Jesus at the center.
If you want to learn more about our “almost” happily ever after then be sure to check out THIS post I wrote as a guest blogger over at To Choose Joy.
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” – Matthew 19:4-6