Some days being married is such a blessing; and others—it almost seems like a curse. What is it about your spouse that can make you feel like you’re on top of the world one minute, and wish you were buried six feet beneath it the next? Marriage will either teach you to love as Christ, or it will harden your heart. Maybe it’s not a marital problem we have, but a spiritual one instead.
No one really tells you beforehand how hard marriage is. Sure it’s tough, and you think you get that until, one day, out of nowhere, it hits you: some days, this doesn’t seem worth it. I had plenty of people tell me marriage was hard; it takes a lot of hard work, yada, yada, yada… but no one gave me prime examples. For instance, I felt like a complete failure as a wife and person and Christian as the first overwhelming feeling of detestation washed through me instead of love for my husband. I didn’t know it was normal. (It is normal, right?) I’m not going to lie, there were days that not only did I wish I hadn’t married him, but that I’d never met him. Harsh, right? I know. And I know there have been times he’s wanted to just drop me on the side of the road and leave me. (Or wish I just disappeared, and not come home.)
We’re never going to be perfect, or have that perfect marriage. It’s not a coincidence that we’re called to love our spouse unconditionally, as Christ loves the church. (Ephesians 5:26) Marriage merges the two individuals into one (Ephesians 5:31-32, Mark 10:6-9, Genesis 2:24-25) so that each of you cares for the other as you care for yourself, (Ephesians 5:29-30) taking care of their needs, wants and desires. Jesus gave up everything for His church. We are to be Christ-like; therefore we are to give up ourselves for our spouse. (Ephesians 5:21) Submission is not weakness. Jesus submitted His will to God in sacrifice for us. (Mark 14:36) We are joined in unity with our spouse. Christians are joined in Spirit with God. (1 Corinthians 6:17) God made a New Covenant with His people through Jesus, and promised never to break it (Psalm 89:34); nor does He want you to break your marital covenant. (Deuteronomy 22:19) God accepts our sinful selves (meaning He knows who we are and the sin in us and loves us anyway). We need to accept our spouse for who they are and love them anyway. Loving our spouse is the greatest love we will have, next to loving God; yet the love from our spouse will never compare to the love from God.
We need to understand that as humans, we aren’t perfect. We will never be (on this earth anyway). But as Christians, we are to strive for His perfection. (Matthew 5:48; Galatians 6:8) Our marriages will never be perfect, in comparison to Christ and His church, but we must strive for that type of relationship. Jesus said the greatest commandments were to love God and then love others. (Matthew 22:37-39; Luke 10:27) But how are we loving God when we aren’t unconditionally loving the one person we vowed to love forever? And if we can’t love our spouse, who loves us, cares for us, knows us deeply, how in the world are we to love others?