Things aren’t always just black or white.
We live in a culture that says anything that doesn’t bring us instant joy and gratification must go.
This has been especially harmful for marriages.
Divorce is so common these days.
People believe that at the first sign of trouble it’s better to give up than to even attempt to solve their issues.
Marriage takes work.
It takes commitment.
It takes making the choice every day to love each other even in the hard times.
Marriage isn’t always pretty and romantic and happy.
When two imperfect humans come together for this life, there are bound to be some conflicts.
We say our vows on our wedding day, “for better or for worse,” and that means something.
It means even when it’s hard.
Even when you’re hurting and broken.
Even when you’re dead broke and struggling to get by.
Even in sickness or injury.
Even in grief.
Even when you struggle to like each other.
Marriage is sleepless nights with a newborn baby and fussy toddlers.
Marriage is navigating moving, changing jobs, loss, managing finances, household chores, growing children, and a million other ordinary mundane things.
It is so much more of these things than it will ever be of the romanticized visions we picture before actually being married.
A great marriage does not just happen.
Ask any married couple you know who you perceive as happy and a model for what marriage should look like.
They’ll tell you the work it took.
They’ll tell you the hurt they’ve gone through.
They’ll tell you how God is the one who brought them through.
I’m not saying divorce is never an option.
There are certainly times when it is more than warranted.
But what I’m addressing is the lack of effort and commitment these days.
No one wants to try anymore.
No one wants to walk through the pain and the messy parts.
They just want the good to happen on its own and skip over the rest.
But it doesn’t work that way.
And we need to be aware of that. We need to tell our dating teenagers what marriage really is so they have realistic expectations.
We need to mentor our young engaged or newlywed couples and show them that marriage will never be perfect, and it definitely won’t be good if you don’t put in the work to make it good.
People go into marriage expecting so many unrealistic things and when they’re let down they just give up and walk away.
So to anyone who is hurting right now, there is hope.
Marriage counseling saved my marriage when we were on the brink of giving up.
Individual therapy saved my mental health when the weight of the pain threatened to break me.
Prayer changed my hardened heart toward my husband.
The church stepped in and walked us through our dark time and because of these things, we made it out together and stronger than ever.
Don’t give up without a fight. That’s what the devil wants.
And to the couples out there who have been through the fires and made it out on the other side, step up. Speak up.
Let’s start the conversation.
Let’s be the example.
Let’s offer our prayers and whatever support we can give to couples who are hurting instead of encouraging divorce when it isn’t necessary.
This world would have so many fewer lonely and hurting individuals if we could get back to the ideals of loving each other well and putting in the effort to maintain the love that once was there.