Marriage is hard work. The crazy thing is that so many of us have not seen healthy marriages. We’ve seen marriages that have lasted 20,30, and 40 years, but were they healthy? I’ll never forget learning how healthy my grandparent’s marriage was. I was about 12 years old and they had been married for over 45 years. My grandfather was sick and my grandmother took care of him like he had never caused her one pain.
Our generation has a huge challenge of learning how to love deeply. We are so quick to leave a relationship or a marriage because of differences that we will never know how to love people in the midst of pain. I’ve been married for 1 year and 10 months and I have truly no real authority to talk about marriage. But, I’ve learned that differences are what makes marriages work. Every married couple that I know struggles with “differences”. Two completely different people learning how to become one. How does that happen? Does one person just become like the other person? Do you lose your identity for the other person? Do you no longer have an opinion about life?
That’s what many marriages are made up of. One person attempting to form the other person into a perfect person, and when that person does not meet those expectations, the differences pull them apart. If we married people who were exactly like us we would never grow because no one would have to put the other above themselves because love does not seek its own.
My grandparents didn’t have a perfect marriage but they placed a high value on keeping the covenant of marriage and not divorcing. Marriage isn’t about a piece of paper that makes it legal to share taxes and insurance. Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman in which they will learn to love one another until death do them part.
Next time you have a differences in your marriage that scratches the itch for dissension and arguments choose to reflect love and understand your spouse instead of conforming them to your image. I am often reminded of the love chapter in 1st Corinthians 13. When I am focusing on the differences of my spouse, I realize that I am not loving. Singles know that marriage isn’t a cake walk, but it’s a work worth sweating for.