Sometimes as I listen to people talk about marriage I feel that they view a “good marriage” almost as an accident. Like two people just happened to trip and fall into a ditch together. I can tell you after – ummm, hang on and let me do the math… 17 years of marriage that a “good” marriage is anything but an accident.
The marriage my husband and I have goes far beyond good. It is the best part of our lives. But, this is only because we have endured some things that had the potential to destroy our marriage. Not only did we endure, we allowed God to use those very things to strengthen our marriage. We didn’t just find a great marriage, we made one. Creating a good marriage is not something that comes easily or fast. Building anything that lasts takes time.
In the beginning, our marriage was a struggle! Two people trying to come together with different views, mindsets, opinions, ways of doing things and thoughts about marriage. There were times I know he wanted to give up and there were times I could have walked away. But neither of us did. We chose to keep making our marriage work. When it was broken, we fixed it. When most people would have given up on the marriage we had, we didn’t. Now, we are reaping the rewards from that.
We were only 20 years old when we got married. I couldn’t expect a 20-year-old man to act like a 40-year-old man, so I chose to respect him even on days he acted un-respectable. I was a 20-year-old girl, he couldn’t expect me to have the wisdom of a 40-year-old woman so he chose to love me on days I acted unloveable.
Don’t get me wrong, it is good to glean from people who have been married a while and are doing it right. But, don’t fall into the trap of wishing you had a “husband like that” or a “wife like that”. You don’t know what it took to make them the spouses they are. They didn’t just end up in a ditch together. They weathered many storms. Our culture just gives up too easily. I am so glad that I didn’t give up on that young man I married and I am glad he didn’t give up on me. We have grown together over time into the couple that God has called us to be.
If you are not married, realize that you are not going to fall into a good marriage. You are going to have to create one when you get married. If you are not ready to fight for someone, sacrifice for them, respect them when they don’t deserve it, love them when you don’t feel like it and choose them again everyday; don’t get married yet. Pray for God to cultivate your heart and prepare you for marriage.
If you are married, I challenge you to change your perspective about your marriage. Put in the work, give grace and mercy. Realize that your spouse is not perfect and neither are you. There is no perfect marriage or accidentally good marriage. Stick it out. Don’t walk away when it is hard. Pray for God to give you a vision for your marriage and pray that as you choose to work daily on your marriage, God will bless it.