For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother [to establish a home with his wife], and the two shall become one flesh; so that they are no longer two, but [are united as] one flesh. (Mark 10 7-8, AMP)
I find it very interesting that there are couples out there who still want to get married. I know that makes me sound like a cynic. With all the statistics out there that tell us how half of all marriages end in divorce, it surprises me that some still want to try to beat the odds. They somehow believe that they will the “lucky” ones. Trust me, luck has absolutely nothing to do with it!
We do a lot of premarital coaching, and the couples who come to us give all the right answers to questions we ask. They are very excited and bright eyed as we delve into each session. One pastor once told us that when he does premarital counseling, he feels it’s his job to talk the couples out of getting married. That sounds shocking on its face, but I totally understand. When we wrote our book, Marriage is Not for the Faint of Heart, we wanted to impress upon the readers that marriage is one of the hardest ventures they will experience; and it’s not because God intended it for it be. God didn’t place Eve in the garden with Adam to see if they could pass some, seemingly, unconquerable test to see if they were worthy of being in His Kingdom. I know it seems like that sometimes, but trust me when I tell you that God intended marriage to be a blessing.
Why, then, is marriage so hard? Then answer is simple, really. It’s because we humans are a basically very selfish and prideful species. We want what we want when we want it, and aren’t particularly willing to let that go.
A successful marriage requires us to live a life of sacrifice. Oh no, not that! Funny thing is that, even though we tell those young (sometimes, old) couples that, they don’t really hear us because they’re ears are too stuffed with all the “I love yous” they just heard their fiancé say.
Sparkly, fairy-dust-filled love won’t cut it for making a happy marriage. When Adrian and I got married, we were absolutely crazy about each other. So, why did I cry nearly everyday the first year of our marriage? Because, after the fairy dust settled, – and it doesn’t take long for that to happen – our eyes could now actually see the flaws in each other. Now, he felt he had to make me like him, and I was trying to make him like me. That’s a recipe for disaster every time. When we were able to get over ourselves and allow our relationship with God to be our premier focus, we could begin to see each other through His eyes, and try our very best to give ourselves what God had given us: His love, His acceptance, and His forgiveness.
I applaud those who decide to get married despite the statistics; but I also warn you, don’t go into it blindly thinking that being in mushy, gushy love is enough. We need the kind of love that is based on choice and not feelings.
So why is marriage so hard? Because until we truly submit our wills to God, we will always be in competition with each other instead of working together as a team to accomplish why God put us together in the first place. As I stated before, God intended marriage to be a blessing. If there is to be any competition in our relationship, let’s let it be to try to out-love each other and then allow ourselves to truly become the one flesh God intended: one in purpose and one in pursuit of God.