No one wants a crummy marriage. In fact, I have never heard one engaged couple proudly proclaim that they were going to have a sub-par marriage. We go into marriage with dreams and high expectations. I know Heather and I certainly did and still do. We expect God’s best for our marriage.
The problem that many couples, including us, deal with is that fulfilling those dreams and coming close to meeting those expectations requires a lot of work. Simply put, marriage is work. Let’s face it, the easy thing to do in life is to just accept things for the way they are and not take steps to fix them. It is easier to hold resentment towards your spouse than making yourself vulnerable and confront an issue.
We all know those people in our lives that are classic complainers. They complain about their jobs, family, spouse and everything thing can think about it. They complain and complain, yet never take steps to fix any issues. They have become content in their misery and that is no way to live.
We have to work to avoid this in our marriage. Every marriage will have it’s peaks and valleys. We have moments where the passion is incredible, and moments where you want the other person to sleep in another room, or even the car. They key is to work through those low seasons and not turn the season into a lifetime.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Ephesians 5:15-17
I love the phrase “making the most of every opportunity.” We have to be wise in how we deal with our spouses and not waste moments and opportunities on strife, resentment, bitterness or any of the multitude of issues that can complicate a marriage. Listen, we get one shot at this life and I want to live it with no regrets. I want to take the time to make every moment with Heather count.
I want to be wise in how I treat my wife and show her the love and respect she deserves. I want to honor her, shower her with gifts and bring her flowers because I love her and not because I am bailing myself out of hot water. I want to hold her hand now when I am 35, so I can hold her hand when I am 75.
Jesus said in John 10:10 that we are to have life abundantly, and I apply that to my marriage. I will not be content with a marriage that involves me growing away from Heather, and not growing old with her. So, that may require working through some tough times. Who cares? Whatever effort that takes is more than worth it when I sit down on the couch next to her, hold her hands and watch our four kids playing around us.
Dream big dreams for your marriage. Expect God’s very best! If you look around and see no hope, realize that God can change your circumstances and make the decision to do whatever it takes to get your marriage to where it needs to be. God desires the very best for us, and this most certainly applies to our marriages!