Why Marriage Is So Hard


I always thought I was a loving person until I got married. Everyone told me what a nice a person I was, how great of a girl I was. In eighth grade at the end of one of my basketball practices, Mr. Jones, my coach, went around and told everyone what strength he saw in them. He talked about one girl’s jump shot, another girl’s awesome defense. When he got to me, he talked about my big heart. This served as a testament to my lack of skills on the floor, but also what I perceived to be my LOVING DISPOSITION. 


Oh how mislead I was. If only I was told that I was unloving, unkind and selfish more often, maybe then I would have been more prepared for marriage.


You see, in a shared bed, shared space, shared last name sort of relationship, ALL is exposed. I have nowhere to hide, nowhere to pretend, nowhere to escape to.


When I said "I DO," I got served a reality check. I am not as nice as I was led to believe. I am not as kind as I want to be. I am not as loving as I ought to be.


WHERE IS THE LOVE? Where did it go? I thought marriage was supposed to be full of love, that I would wake up each morning and just radiate love and adoration towards my husband. That I would come home from a long hard day and just be overjoyed, seeing my husband waiting for me with a meal on the table and a rose in his hand. {That last one is a little bit of an exaggeration. I don’t like roses. I would rather have a daisy, but the food thing is real.}


But I’m not talking about B. I’m talking about me. Why is it so hard to love him sometimes? To love anyone for that matter?


What happened to me? How could marrying my best friend, the man of my dreams make me SO unloving?


And then I read it, “And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” Mark 10:18

Oh the truth of this verse rings loud in my ears. I’m not different then I was, marriage merely exposed the truth within. I have nowhere to hide myself and so ALL of myself is exposed.

When you get down to it, my heart is a selfish thing. I want what I want and MOST OF THE TIME I am unloving because of it. I say hurtful things. I look at B a certain way. I loose my patience, I stop caring, I disregard his feelings, his needs, his desires. I don’t trust him. I don’t encourage him and support him. I don’t love him and care for him the way I was instructed, the way I’m loved. 


It says that, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16


Jesus, KING OF THE UNIVERSE, the one who created the stars and the heavens, the one who knit me together in my mother’s womb, the one who the angles sing about, he stepped down off his throne where he was adored, praised and worshiped and came into this world as a baby, born and placed in a feeding trough.


He then spent his life healing people, serving people, LOVING PEOPLE only to be ridiculed, despised and rejected to the point of condemnation. He was NOT guilty of any crime, of any sin, yet his flesh was torn from his back, his blood seeped into the ground, his body was nailed to a tree with thorns piercing into his head. He was naked for all to see, spat upon, yelled at and completely alone. AND HE DIED.


“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16


It is also said this way in 1 John 4:9-10 “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 


Propitiation is a word rarely used. It is atonement essentially, Jesus died in our place for our sins. 


I am not good, that’s the whole reason Jesus came. I could not fulfill his command to love as he loved. I have a wicked heart that chooses to serve myself before others, that chooses to love myself before others. Marriage merely exposed what was always within.


But the story doesn’t end there. HE NOT ONLY DIED, BUT LIVES! He is alive and is seated again in heaven on his throne. His life on Earth shows us what it is like to be perfectly led and obedient to the Holy Spirit. 

In Christ we are being transformed, made new. Thank the Lord, because I need it. In and of myself I cannot love the way I am loved. But I am learning to rest in the Spirit of God, to lean into him and learn how to love as he loves. My heart is being changed.


I’m not perfect, and I will never be. I am but one lowly sinner, but I have a mighty God who loves me unconditionally and is patient to teach me how to love. I will stumble, I will mess up but God’s faithfulness will never leave me and with each passing day I will love more then the day before. Not because of myself but because of a loving faithful God.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8


This is how Jesus loves us and how he instructs us to love. This is what love looks like; it is Christ.


On this Valentine's Day, I choose to remember not the little love that I can muster up, but the true love that was shown for me, given to me freely on the cross, the love that was poured out for me and covers me, guides me and teaches me. May God show you his love and strengthen you with his Spirit.

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