The Truth About Marriage

I recently read a thought-provoking blog post about singleness and marriage over at the Sojourn Women’s blog. In this particular post, the author {who happens to be the grader for one of my counseling classes} talks about various struggles that both single and married women face as believers. She talks about the importance of open dialogue between both single and married women as we walk together on this journey of faith and seek to love each other well:

{Below is an excerpt from said blog post, but you should definitely go back and read the full article! Seriously. Go read it. And read the comments for various perspectives and clarification of truth.}

———————————————————————————————————

Whether God is calling you to be single or to be married, He is calling you first to love, worship and serve Him. If you can do that best by being married, He will take care of that detail. If, however, you can do that best as a single woman, then allow God to be God…

because there is absolutely nothing better than God being God. He’s perfect. He’s gracious. He’s kind. He loves fully. And his plan for your life is better than your own.

Single friends, what is your hope for getting married? What do you really want by longing for marriage? What do you think will change in your life by being married? What desires do you want to fulfill by being married? Are there places in your heart that are not trusting God to love you in the best way possible? If so, why do you not trust Him? In what ways do you need to learn more about God’s character and seek Him in relationship so those desires are met in Christ alone (and so this can be more than a pretty, little phrase that we say)?

Married friends, are you honest with how marriage truly is? Do you put up a front to make your marriage look prettier than it actually is? When things are hard in your marriage, are you sharing it with others as a picture of how the Gospel applies during hardships? Are you being humble to admit that you are sinful in your marriage? This is not a thought process to decapitate your spouse, but to admit the reality of your own sin and needed change before God and others.

Sisters, ask each other these questions! I pray we will have a community with open dialogue and encouragement towards one another as we discover the comfort offered through the Gospel whether single or married.

—————————————————————————————-

I think it is very easy for all Christian women to fall into a pattern of not being real. Think about it. We love to present the “pretty” parts of our lives to others. We post pictures and blog about the good and fun and exciting parts of our lives. I read a quote somewhere {Pinterest I think} that talked about how, as women, we grow discontent because we compare our “behind the scenes” to everyone else’s “highlight reel.”

But the truth is that everyone has issues. Everyone has struggles and hardships. Everyone sinsAnd by being real about these things, we can edify the body. When we share our struggles, we are telling others that we need the power of the Gospel on a daily basis. We need Jesus. Not just on the day he saved us first, but every day. Furthermore, when we are honest about our struggles we open ourselves up for admonition and encouragement {prayerfully leading to growth and change} from other sisters in the Lord.

So, the truth about marriage—or at least something I’ve learned so far in my short {almost} 4 years. Marriage is a gift, yes. Marriage can bring so much joy and fun, yes. BUT! Marriage is painful. {And not just because you disagree about whether or not to wash the food off the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, which we do}. Marriage is painful because it exposes ugliness in your heart. When you live in such close relationship  {and proximity} with another person, you see your own propensity to sin lived out in the flesh. Marriage allows you to see just how short you fall of living up to the calling to which you have been called. And it’s not pretty. It’s not something you want to post on Facebook or your blog.

Adam and I disagree. We fight, yes. Sometimes even to the point that I’m not sure how we’re going to come to an agreement and work it out. We are selfish. Too often, we seek our own good above the good of the other. We sin against each other. We even fall into sin in the way we fight and in the way we repsond to differences.

We are constantly having to come to one another and say: “I was wrong. I sinned against you. Please forgive me.” And this is painful. Because it highlights our weakness. It demonstrates in living color how we fail in the God-given purpose for marriage. Isn’t marriage supposed to be a picture of Christ and the Church? Aren’t we supposed to point others to the Gospel through our marriage? Am I not to respect Adam with the upmost respect? Is he not to love me sacrificially as Christ loved His bride?

Yes.

But as Adam reminded me just the other day, God is faithful in HIS purpose for marriage even when we fall short. And we can picture Christ and the church even when we mess up IF we return to one another and seek forgiveness for sin. Because isn’t this what we’re constantly having to do as Christ’s bride {while we’re here on this earth}? How many times do we mess up? How many times do we sin against Him? Daily, we are constantly having to turn from sin and turn to Christ, asking His forgiveness. This is what trusting Jesus and walking in faith is all about. And glory to God, through HIM we find undeserved grace and restoration.

So, friends, the truth is that marriage isn’t always “a romantic holiday.” Sometimes it’s downright hard and painful. BUT! In Christ there is hope for restoration between two wretched sinners. And In Christ, there is restoration between all sinners—married, single, or anywhere in between–and the Father.

And this brings hope. Blessed, blessed hope.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s