All the time, people comment on our marriage. And they wonder how we stay strong, and how we stay happy.
Let me share a secret.
This past year has tried us on almost every level. But I feel like our marriage is truly better and stronger than ever.
And part of the reason, is a book we have been going through called 'Sacred Marriage' by Gary Thomas.
We started this book with a few other couples in our house church who were also interested in taking their marriage to the next level.
I really think it's one of the best decisions we've ever made as a couple.
This book challenges the idea that marriage is meant just to make us happy, but rather that it is more to make us holy.
For almost all of us, we go into marriage thinking that the other person will, in a sense, complete our lives. We buy into the lie that 'happily ever after' really exists. And then, when it isn't all happy and wonderful, we think that we must have made a mistake and give up.
"Marriage shouldn't be so hard."
"I don't have any feelings for him/her anymore."
"I deserve to be happy."
"I fell out of love."
These are all things I've heard before.
The person leaves the marriage and when the next guy/gal comes along who makes them happy, (for a time), they decide they are in love. Maybe they get married, or maybe they don't.
But guess what happens?
Real life creeps in, the flaws start to show, and ultimately, they don't make you happy anymore.
But think about this:
What if God didn't intend for your marriage just to make you happy? What if, instead, He intended it to make you more like Him?
Let me explain it a little...
As humans, we are pretty much all about making ourselves happy.
We surround ourselves with people and things that make us comfortable. And when something or someone comes along that challenges that or makes us uncomfortable, we start to change things so that it works out that we are again happy and comfortable.
what is instead of doing that, you took a different approach?
What if you stopped and thought, "hmmmm, maybe I'm not always supposed to be comfortable. Maybe God wants me to grow. Maybe He wants to get my attention. Maybe I'M the one that needs to change here."?
And then, instead of removing the people or things in your life that are making you 'unhappy' or 'uncomfortable', you decided to see in through, and see what God wanted to teach you?
Imagine what would happen.
Instead of always looking at your spouse's flaws, you remember that you, too, have flaws and are so thankful for the grace God shows you, that you realize that you can show that same kind of grace to your mate.
And after a bit, you decide to go a step further and not only do you start showing your spouse grace, but you start to actually look for ways to serve them. To make them happy, even when it makes you uncomfortable, and even when you don't think they deserve it.
You know who this is beginning to sound like?
And that's the goal.
Marriage is meant to be a reflection of God's relationship with us. And if we truly want to be more like Him, then the best place to start is in our marriages.
And the crazy thing is, when we actually do these things, WE are the ones who end up happy!! Crazy, I know!
This idea has changed the way my husband and I view our marriage. And in return, we are stronger than ever.
Does that mean we don't argue anymore?
Does that mean we have perfected our marriage?
Far from it!
But does it mean that we are committed to our marriage, flaws and all?
So tell me, have you read this book? If so, what are your thoughts?
If not, have you struggled/are you struggling in marriage/relationships?
What do you think about the ideas above?
I will be linking up with WFMW at We Are THAT Family.