The past few years I’ve had people say to me “You’re so lucky to have a happy marriage” Or “You and Daniel are such great examples of love for me”.
But if you asked anyone in our first 5 years of being married who you would put as a couple you admire or see as great role models of marriage, we would have been at the absolute bottom of the list….actually hang on, we wouldn’t have made the list.
To say our marriage was hard or a struggle is not enough, it was a living disaster.
We had people recommend us to divorce, leave each other, start again more times than I can count.
So when people say marriage is hard, I never really could pinpoint what that really meant. Yeah, it was hard…but what was hard and why I couldn’t understand.
There are a limited amount of choices that you make for a lifetime. Like getting a tattoo, becoming a Christian, having kids and getting married. So when we make that CHOICE to marry this person what should we do next with it?
Well, marrying someone is a choice and so everyday all day for the rest of your life you need to continue to choose towards your marriage rather than away and if you are both unwilling to make the choices toward the marriage it’ll be hard.
At first it’s hard to choose right.
And some days it easier than others.
To love when you don’t feel like it.
To forgive when you are hurt so much.
To give when everything in you just wants to be selfish.
To speak about your spouse in a positive way when you know every bad point.
To talk about your partners strengths when you can see all their weaknesses.
To hold your tongue even though you know just the right words to hurt them.
To put them first though you want to be.
To encourage them though you are feeling discouraged.
To say the uncomfortable when it would be much easier to keep it in.
To pray for them when actually you feel like cursing them.
To spend time with them though you feel there is no time.
To put down your walls.
To be open.
Choosing date nights.
To respect them.
To Pray together.
The day and moment we choose “option b” which usually sides towards selfish and fleshly gain rather than our spouses benefit (which is so much easier sometimes) it usually becomes a hard day, but when we choose them rather than self it’s another step forward!
My husband and I sometimes reflect on why and how we became to enjoy our marriage and each other so much, when it was hard to just get through another week in each others company and it comes down to those every single day choices.
One day we sat down and we both made the decision. Were we going to do it 100% for each other and with each other or should we not do it at all. Basically we couldn’t keep living between selfishness and selflessness. The middle was meaning destruction. I’m glad we both chose each other again and daily after that.
I wouldn’t say that marriage becomes easier because you are still you, you have your spouse, you both have to continue to walk next to each other in life and sometimes we get it wrong but for me I would say that the ability and attitude towards your husband and wife can become better and can become easier when you are both choosing to make the right steps daily towards and not away from the marraige.
Making the right steps becomes easier and more natural and in turn makes the marriage so great and fun and rewarding and love can continue to grow!
One scripture I think is awesome is 1 John 4:12 “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
When we choose to love, God really shines through us. How cool is it that when we choose to love our spouses and decide loving actions towards them God is shining through us to them!
We chose to do life and give our lives to this person so why not continue daily to make that choice too?
I pray that God can and will continue to grow our marraige and yours too no matter what stage or place it is at. That he gives us the ability to love more and more selflessly and to be able to enjoy walking hand in hand through life together every step of the way.