Marriage is unbelievably hard.
It doesn’t help that we view other people’s lives unrealistically. We think they have wonderful families, great spouses, and fortunate circumstances.
But it’s an illusion the Devil wants us to buy into. Because, in all honesty, marriage is really hard and every one of them comes with its own adversities.
You may not see the struggles, but they are there behind closed doors. You only have to get to know other couples to find out.
So it’s important to destroy the illusion. It’s important to invest in our relationships; to realize that the grass may be greener on the other side, but only for a short season.
Because everything does have a season. And every relationship has seasons of sowing and seasons of reaping throughout its lifespan.
When we combine two people together in matrimony, there begins a journey of conformity. So marriage is the ultimate challenge of merging two very different hearts into one cohesive entity.
I don’t believe many couples understand the magnitude of this challenge until they are in the thick of it. We didn’t, but by the grace of God we have overcome the overwhelming issues experienced within our first ten years of marriage.
So it becomes absolutely necessary to have His Divine presence in marriage; to have Him teaching, guiding, and encouraging throughout the seasons. And the proof is in my testimony, where God has revealed to me the 3 special ingredients of a great marriage.
Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory. (Proverbs 11:14)
Counsel is continuously needed for victory. We often think that our spouse needs to change, but fail to see that both parties need to adapt and grow to make a successful marriage.
By seeking counsel, we improve communication, understanding, and respect for one another. And we are able to navigate the struggles of life with wisdom.
Sadly, I prayed for many years that my husband would change, but God showed me that it was me that needed changing first. And He did so through marital and financial counseling.
Now, I am quick to recognize and admit my own faults. And from this, I have learned the power of giving grace and love over condemnation and anger.
What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. (1 Corinthians 14:26)
It not only takes a village to raise a child, but also a marriage. And the village we commune in should reflect our values of respect, love, and everything God dictates within Scripture.
By doing so, we are surrounded by a support system that gives godly advice, encouragement, and compassion. We are able to have people pray for us, let us vent in safety, and to have God speak through them when we are on the brink.
I have experienced the amazing effects of community in my own marriage. Through peers and mentors, my hope in Christ has been strengthened and so has my relationship with my spouse.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
God is always in control. He allows our weaknesses and temptations to refine and strengthen our marriage.
And He uses people and circumstances to deliver guidance and understanding. The problem is when we ignore God, trying to go it alone.
We may be successful in manipulating through silence, condemning through spiteful words, or physically forcing our beliefs onto our spouse. But a marriage like this is not fruitful and will not last throughout the seasons.
Though with God, we are able to learn the selfishness of manipulation, condemnation, and force. We are able to learn how to love like He does and how to have a great, cohesive marriage.
Getting To Great
Though my marriage will never be perfect, it is great. Life will continue to throw difficulties our way, no matter how long we have been together.
But God has strengthened our marriage through counsel, community, and Himself. He has made us stronger so that we can easily overcome hardships.
And I pray that you, with God’s help, continue to invest in your marriage. Because it can be quite rewarding to come out on the other side with a truly great marriage!
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