So, like I said before, I met C 20 years ago. We got married over 17 years ago. And they both lived happily ever after, right? Wrong!
Marriage is not all hearts and flowers. It’s not all lovey-dovey, sing-songy paradise. Marriage is not easy. Marriage is not for the faint of heart. Marriage is also not what you see on TV. It’s not women thinking their husbands are buffoons or men thinking that their wives are nothing but nags.
Marriage, real marriage, is hard work. It’s dirty socks and underwear. It’s awkward conversations in the weirdest places. It’s a week’s worth of dirty dishes stacked on the counter. It’s getting rid of the expectation that your spouse is perfect all the time. It’s seeing your wife with bedhead and drool. It’s feeling your husband fart on you in his sleep. It’s vomit and boogers and periods and clogged toilets. It’s medications, surgeries and scars, stretchmarks from kids, hurt feelings and fights. Not a pretty picture, right?
So why get married at all? Why bother with all that awkward and gross stuff? The world is full of people who aren’t married and get by just fine. There are people who have kids without being married. There are people who never get married. There are people who get married all the time – getting divorced just as often.
We get married because that’s the way God designed life. He created Adam and Eve. He didn’t create one human and say, “That’s great! I’m done!” No! He looked at Adam and decided that man isn’t meant to be alone, and created woman. (Bear with me, here, because I’m not talking about LGBTQ+ tonight…that’s a whole different ball of yarn.) God created us to be with others. He created us to be social.
That’s not to say that everyone should get married. I’m not saying that everyone should stay single either. About half of all marriages end in divorce. That means that if we aren’t divorced ourselves, that we know someone who is or has been. We probably know lots of people who have gotten divorced. What this means is that we aren’t prepared for what marriage means. We aren’t prepared to be poor or take control of the finances because our spouse is bad at handling money. We aren’t aware that our spouse has been abusive. We aren’t prepared for the ugly.
We need to know more about our spouse before we get married. We need to get counseling beforehand to learn how to fight effectively. We need to be prepared to be in it for the long haul. We need to pretend that we’ve never heard the word divorce when it comes to our own marriages. We need to be prepared to get counseling when things get bad. Notice I said “when” not “if”.
We need to pray. Pray with your spouse. Pray for your spouse. Pray for your marriage. Pray for your finances, because that’s the number one cause of divorce. Pray for peace when things look bad. Pray for strength. Pray for courage. Pray for patience. Pray when you have a need. Pray when you don’t. Pray when your marriage is going well too! Pray to give thanks.