“People say marriage is hard. I would have to disagree. Life is hard. Marriage is helpful.”jordansmith.blog
This past Wednesday was me and my husband’s four year wedding anniversary. We celebrated by staying in a fancy hotel. We had dinner, an evening walk, and a baby-free nights sleep. It was great to be able to take the time to reflect on all that we’ve built together in the past four years.
I got to thinking about how I’ve heard my whole life that “marriage is hard.”
“Just wait until you’re out of the honeymoon phase.”
While I understand the point behind those statements, I’d have to say I disagree.
I know that four years is not that long, but I do think it’s long enough to have a decent perspective on marriage as a whole.
Now please don’t assume that because I say it’s not hard that I mean it doesn’t require work. Because trust me, it does. It takes work learning to put someone else ahead of you. It takes work adjusting to making decisions together, often with compromise. It takes work forgiving, then forgiving, and then forgiving again -because that’s what love does.
So yes, marriage does take plenty of effort- but, it’s beautiful, life building, satisfying effort.
In fact, I’d dare say that when marriage does feel hard it’s because it’s requiring more effort than one or both parties are putting into it.
Having a baby is hard. Raising a child is hard. Sickness is hard. Hospital visits are hard. Money management is hard. Careers can be hard. Life is hard. That much, I think we all can agree on.
But from my experience of marriage- my husband has been nothing but helpful. When I was pregnant and miserable, he rubbed my feet and made me dinner. When I was in labor for twenty-two hours, he held my hand and stood by my side the entire time. (We won’t talk about that time he ran over my heel with my IV pole 😉 ).
When Braven had serious health issues that had us in and out of UVA for the first part of her life, I can’t even begin to say how much of a help, rock, and supporter he was. I’m not sure I could have survived that time in my life without him. I tear up even writing this, because I am eternally grateful for everything my husband was for me in that time. He was all the things everyone promises to be on their wedding day, but only few actually live up to when push comes to shove.
When we weren’t sure how we were going to pay all the medical bills, he was faithful to encourage rather than to panic. He was steadfast in reminding me that God is our provider, and we will never be forsaken.
When I felt like working full-time and raising Braven was overwhelming, he was supportive in my decision to go to part-time.
My point is, when life was the hardest- he was most helpful. According to what the Bible says about marriage, it is by design, there to make life easier for you- not harder.
“It’s better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps, But if there’s no one to help, tough!” Ecclesiastes 4:9
I’m not saying we are the perfect couple and never have disagreements. There is always an aspect of sacrifice in every marriage. But the measure in which I sacrifice, is nothing compared to the measure in which I gain from being his wife.
I know that there will be more challenges we have yet faced. I know there will be more stressful days. I know we will have arguments to come. I know that not everything is going to be fairytales and rainbows.
But, I also know that I’ll have help every step of the way.
“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Genesis 2:18
If you are looking for ways to make your marriage more enjoyable and beneficial, I challenge you to first, look for ways to help your spouse. Even if it’s something little, like making their coffee in the morning. And second, make a point to acknowledge the ways your spouse helps you.
When both spouses are intentionally looking for ways to help the other, both sides feel cared for and appreciated.
When we model our marriage according to the Word of God, it becomes freeing instead of frustrating, and helpful rather than hard.
I encourage you today to dive into what the Bible has to say about how to maintain a healthy and life-giving marriage.