“How’s Married Life?”
The question echoed round the (newlywed) world.
Man oh man, if I had a dollar for every single gosh darn time someone asked me that within the first three months of our marriage...we wouldn’t be broke right now.
In my head, ‘how’s married life?’ is really code for:
Have you fought yet?
Do you regret it?
How’s the sex?
And all of the other questions we actually want to ask, hidden in the socially acceptable question,
So, how’s married life treating you?
But hey, I get it. No one knows what to say when the bride and groom return from the honeymoon.
Are you past the honeymoon phase?
They say the first year is the hardest.
Well I can’t speak for every single married couple on the face of the planet, but let me just say this; 15 months into it, I understand why the divorce rate is 1 out of 2.
I guess I should preface this post with this statement; I love my husband.
I do. For better or worse, I truly love my dear husband. And there have been some betters...
...but definitely a ton of worses.
The reality is this; marriage is really hard.
Like really really freakin’ hard.
It’s not always fun, games, or just “one big giant sleepover with your best friend forever and ever.” And I wish people would quit pretending like it is.
First of all, marriage is a covenant between you, your spouse, and God. If you don’t have God at the center of your marriage, then you don’t have a marriage. Plain and simple. God created marriage. God is essential to marriage.
No God, no marriage.
A cord of three strands is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12
And it’s easy to say that’s what you want, but most days it feels practically impossible.
Between working, cleaning, taking care of practical, every day tasks as an independent adult, and maintaining relationships with friends and family, finding time to pray, read the Word, and grow closer to the Lord with your spouse has to be extremely intentional.
Add exhaustion and frustration, one poor choice of words, and a heated argument on top of it and I guarantee the last thing you’ll want to do is get emotionally vulnerable and spiritually intimate with your spouse.
Secondly, marriage doesn’t just come naturally. I don’t care how many people on Instagram or Facebook post the whole, “I fall more in love with you every single day.” Followed by a million heart emojis, paired with a stereotypical kiss-on-the-cheek picture.
After ‘I do,’ you don’t magically fall in love more and more and more, especially after the hundredth time you have to pick up their dirty underwear off the bathroom floor.
Love is a choice.
And if you aren’t choosing to love your spouse every day, things go sour really quickly. You argue constantly. Feelings get hurt. Silence creeps in.
And soon all you’re left with is brokenness and bitterness.
It becomes easier to look at that person, who now feels more like a roommate or a stranger than your spouse, and say,
Why are we married again?
And friends, if you’re at this point in your marriage, where the word divorce doesn’t seem so scary, you don’t even know where to start to get your marriage back, or you just don’t see the point anymore, I’m here to tell you this:
This is the enemy at work.
And the sooner you identify the root of the problem, the easier it will be to get on your hands and knees, and get to work.
Drop down to your knees, and fight.
I know, I know. The goody-goody church planter’s wife is telling you prayer is the answer to all your problems.
I’ve struggled with prayer my whole life. It’s the one part of my faith that was almost nonexistent.
I found it pointless. I mean, if God is omniscient then why do I need to tell Him anything, right? It really always felt like I was talking to myself anyways.
It sounds silly, but I know from personal experience that prayer is powerful. No, not in a “he cured my failing marriage completely in an instant” kind of way, but it’s amazing how, if you put aside all of your insecurities and doubts about prayer, and just talk to Him, it gets easier.
And you feel better.
The better you feel, the easier it is to come home a more loving spouse.
And in turn, you find yourself loving your spouse.
There’s no magical formula. There’s no right way or wrong way to pray, really. And it doesn’t happen overnight.
But I’m telling you, Satan hates it when you get in the Word and start praying again. Because he is no match for it.
Not even close.
Just trust me. On your way home from work today, instead of listening to the radio, try it.
I promise you won’t regret it.
Our wedding, October 1, 2016.