Ornaments, Candles, Tees and More! Order Soon for Christmas Delivery!🎄 ➔

A few months ago, I visited my grandmother at a nursing home. She was there a few weeks while she recovered from surgery, so it was an unfamiliar place to all of us—and my first time spending any measurable time inside one. 

I’ve got to tell you, it was tough for me to swallow. 

Maybe it’s because I’m so deep in the throes of raising a young family that most days, I can hardly see for all the busyness and constant caregiving I do in my role as a mother and wife. Maybe it’s a conditioned judgment of nursing homes and the stigma that tends to be attached. Maybe it’s just that I’m selfish and still in my 30s. Whatever the case, every time I walked through the doors of that nursing home, I felt a little nauseous. 

Part of the daily routine involved breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a large dining room. Aides wheeled the residents up, four to a table, to take their meals. I joined my grandma a few times during my stay—and the scene one table over captured my attention. 

She was in a wheelchair, clearly having suffered a stroke or other debilitating neurological issue. 

He sat resolutely by her side, spooning bites into her mouth with enough tenderness to break your heart. 

I came to learn this man—her husband—joined his wife for every meal, every day, without fail, even though he didn’t live in the nursing home with her. I watched them together a few times that weekend, and wondered about their story. Did they fall in love during the war? Did they build a home, raise children together? What kind of heartbreak did they face; what joy did they know? What path brought them there, to that table, wordlessly sharing cottage cheese and raspberry poke cake? 

But I already knew the answer: marriage. A selfless, devoted, “til death do us part” promise, on display before my eyes in quiet, living color. 

When you’re young and somewhat blinded by being in love, getting married sounds like a perfectly logical step in that fairy tale for two. And it’s true, marrying your spouse should be beautiful and happy and wonderful and exciting. 

But marriage? That’s something else entirely. 

What so many husbands and wives don’t understand when they say “I do” is that those vows they’ve just taken mark the end of their happiness. 

Say what?

Marriage isn’t about your happiness—it’s about your spouse’s well-being, above your own, every second of every minute of every hour of every day. 

Marriage is loving another person more than you love yourself—even when that person seems unlovable. 

Marriage is laying down your selfish wants and desires, sometimes even your hopes and dreams. 

Marriage is humbling yourself as a vessel of God’s forgiveness, grace, and mercy. 

Marriage is reflecting the love a good and perfect Father gives to you. 

Marriage is repeated, intentional, complete sacrifice of self. 

Do you see where your own happiness fits into the marriage equation? 

You shouldn’t . . . because it doesn’t. 

But before you become too indignant to read on, consider the way God designed this thing called marriage: it takes two equal parts. 

That means while you’re dying to self for your husband—he’s doing the same for you. 

While you’re worrying about his happiness over yours—he’s doing the same for you. 

While you’re breathing quick prayers pleading, “God, help me love this man better,”—he’s doing the same for you. 

Society tells us marriage is meant to serve you, but society has it exactly backwards . . . because marriage isn’t at all about you

Marriage is about that other person sitting at the table—broken, weak, and in desperate need of grace. And when husbands and wives each tenderly offer nourishment to one another, when they’re replenished daily by the One who brought them together for His divine purpose?

We can’t know any greater happiness than that.

You might also like:

My Marriage Isn’t Fair

Why Tired Mothers Stay Up So Late

But Mommy, You Were Too Busy

Want more stories of love, family, and faith from the heart of every home, delivered straight to you? Sign up here! 

Society tells us marriage is meant to serve you, but society has it exactly backwards . . . because marriage isn’t at all about you. 

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Carolyn Moore

Carolyn has served as Editor-in-Chief of Her View From Home since 2017. A long time ago, she worked in local TV news and fell in love with telling stories—something she feels grateful to help women do every day at HVFH. She lives in flyover country with her husband and five kids but is really meant to be by the ocean with a good book and a McDonald's fountain Coke. 

What Single Moms Really Need

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Mom holding toddler on hip outside on dirt road

No, you’re not a single mom for a weekend. I’ve heard it said at social gatherings, in passing at church, and on social media. Perhaps the words are being uttered in a state of awe as if comparing themselves to valiant warrior princesses, knights in shining armor, heroes.  Usually though, it’s an under-the-breath complaint about being left by their otherwise attentive and loving spouse for the week or weekend. “I’m a single mom this weekend; my husband is on a golfing trip with his brothers.” “My husband is away for work, so I feel like a single mom this week.” ...

Keep Reading

You’re Never Alone in the Trenches of Motherhood

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding infant, color photo

This one goes out to all the mamas in the trenches. To the mamas in the kitchen stirring dinner with a baby on their hip. To the ones waking up an hour earlier than the rest of the house to pump after waking up countless times throughout the night to attend to both your toddler and baby. The ones who must take care of business from lobbies, bathroom floors, lunch breaks, and the carpool line. To the mamas who pass on their own birthday presents so their kid’s medical bills can be covered. RELATED: This is the Sacrifice of Motherhood...

Keep Reading

When You Stop Running into My Arms, I Pray You Run to Jesus

In: Faith, Motherhood
Child and mother walking on beach in sunlight

I love seeing the light in my little girl’s eyes when I pick her up from school at the end of the day. Her eyes open wide, and she runs to me loudly saying, “Mommy!” for all to hear. I pick her up and give her a big hug and kiss on her cheek. She smiles ear to ear and knows she is loved and adored. She feels safe in my arms, and I pray that never changes. I want to always be her biggest cheerleader and greatest fan–holding the streamers on the sidelines in shades of brilliant gold encouraging...

Keep Reading

Praying For Your Kids is Holy Work of Motherhood

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mom hugging daughter by bed with open Bible

While excavating Mount Masada in Israel, archeologists discovered something extraordinary . . . a date palm seed. It might not seem like much (especially if you’re like me and totally expected it to be a new dinosaur or something), but this particular seed sat dormant in the dry desert soil for almost 2,000 years. Scientists ended up finding several more seeds like it throughout the Judean desert, and with a little TLC, they were able to sprout not just one but six of them. Six date palm trees, now bearing fruit that hasn’t been seen in two millennia. Incredible, right?...

Keep Reading

Choose to Be a Mother, Not a Martyr

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding baby, black-and-white photo

There is a trend in motherhood right now . . . maybe it’s happened for a long time, but now since I am a mom, I am experiencing it: this idea that everything we do as moms makes us a martyr. And honestly, I am guilty here more times than I’m not. RELATED: You’re a Mother, Not a Martyr We have these inner, silent dialogues between us and our husbands, parents, in-laws, and friends. Things we say and think, but they never hear. They compound on each other in the hallways of our hearts before bitterness creeps in without us...

Keep Reading

Motherhood Reminds Me How Much I Need Jesus

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding baby in nursery, color photo

Parenting is not only about the work it takes to raise up a child, but it’s also about continuing the work of being raised in Christ. Stripping back our innermost layers of selfishness and laying our pride exposed. Seeing ourselves as the center of our own personal schedule is no longer an option. Feeling like we have power over anything quickly vanishes into thin air. Parenthood pushes us to surrender and accept God’s sovereign control. Parenting sanctifies us.  Parenting shows us our sinful attitudes. When plans are ruined, when another blowout spoils the perfect outfit you chose, when your toddler...

Keep Reading

When Did I Become Such an Angry Mom?

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman with head in her hands

My oldest children and I had just navigated a tabletop board game. My son lost. My daughter won. I also lost. She’s four. For the record, I was trying my best. We were all putting the game away together when my son grabbed my daughter by the face and yelled, “IT DOESN’T MATTER ANYWAY BECAUSE YOUR BREATH STINKS!” And then, Mount St. Meredith erupted. I (not so gently) removed him from the situation and (not so calmly) insisted that he . . . brush his own teeth. Yep. For the record, I was trying my best. RELATED: Mom Anger: Taming...

Keep Reading

Angel Babies are Heaven’s Gatekeepers

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Mother and baby silhouette

I never seemed to have the right words. I didn’t have the right words at four years old when my parents lost my 11-month-old brother, and I never seemed to have the right words as I watched family members and close friends lose both the new life growing within their wombs and the beautiful, precious life resting in their weary arms. So, I did what I thought would offer the most comfort. I simply tried to show up and be there the best I could. I shopped for their favorite treats. I dropped meals off on front porches and toys...

Keep Reading

Secondary Infertility Took Me By Surprise

In: Baby, Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother holding toddler by open door

Selfish. Unfair. Guilt stricken. Shameful. Those were just a few of the words that regularly stabbed my lamenting heart as I longed for a second child. Yes, I was grateful for my healthy, beautiful boy who made my dream of motherhood come true, but why did I not feel complete—was he not enough? Was I doing this motherhood thing all wrong and didn’t deserve a second child? Why did I long to give him a sibling so badly knowing millions were aching for their first—how could I be so insensitive? So many questions, so many buts and so many whys....

Keep Reading

So God Made a Farm Mom

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Family walking on farm road at sunset

One day, God looked down at all the fields, barns, pastures, and farmers and knew He needed someone to take care of all the families on the land. He knew it had to be someone confident in herself to see that the farm doesn’t come first, even when it sometimes feels like it does. He knew the farm needed someone who understands her role is important, too—especially during the seasons of motherhood when she’s not out driving a tractor. Someone proud to stand by her farmer’s side.  So God made a farm mom. God knew farm kids would need someone...

Keep Reading