Are you going through a difficult time in your marriage right now? Are you feeling like there’s no way out? Are you talking about divorce, separation, moving out, giving up, ‘hating’ each other?
Amber and I have to speak out.
We’re seeing too many marriages fall apart around us.
Do you think we’re perfect? Do you know that we’ve almost divorced multiple times? Do you realize there are times when we ‘hate’ each other?
Statistics say about 50% of marriages fail. That statistic grows for married couples who run businesses together, to 90%.
Even though FMU is a mission and ministry in our eyes, there’s no doubt at times it can be extremely straining on our relationship. We fight hard to preserve this marriage and if we didn’t have God as our center point, we would lose the fight too.
Let me first say this, no one knows your situation but you. We are not judging you or your decisions. We are also not talking about extreme cases of abuse, addiction, or adultery. But, I personally know couples that have made it through these extreme situations. So with God on your side, I wouldn’t count yourselves out just yet.
Anyways, we simply want to share some things we have learned the hard way. My viewpoint on marriage has changed drastically even just recently, as I’ve personally had to work through many things in my own mind to try to get this right.
You’ll be seeing Amber and me talk out loud about marriages more. Our hope is that something we say may hit someone right when they need it most. For now, here is one of our major takeaways that is giving us a whole new perspective on marriage. And it’s helping us see each other and treat each other the way God wants us to.
Marriage Is Training
Think about this phrase, Marriage Is Training. This phrase in itself changes your entire outlook on marriage. No longer is a good marriage something that just happens, but now something you work towards, always. The process never stops. And just like training to be healthy physically, your marriage will always require hard work, dedication, discipline, and initiative to make it better.
Marriages are difficult. But have you ever thought that a difficult marriage can prepare you for greatness? Or that it can be a training grounds to build perseverance and resiliency? When you want to get in the best shape of your life, you don’t choose an easy workout. An easy workout doesn’t challenge you to get stronger and more conditioned. Without some strain, without exertion, there is no growth.
I’m starting to see that the purpose of marriage is to do much more than to make us happy. It’s to make us Holy. We have to unlearn the teachings of Hollywood drama and fairy tale endings and see marriage through the eyes of our Beholder. God uses the difficulty and challenges of marriage to push us to become selfless, rely on Him more, become more like Him, and be an example for Him.
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Cor 4:17)
This isn’t easy and takes full focus, pro-activity, and grueling practice daily. Like a workout, the strain, exertion, and workout alone aren’t what enhance your performance. The active process of how you respond with patience, humility, and tenacity are what produce growth.
When you go through challenges in your marriage, just enduring or ‘getting through the workout’ doesn’t take you to the next level. You have to actively respond with patience, compassion, compromise, understanding, and grace. It’s the major relationship in your life that requires you to become more like Jesus. And if your wife was asked, would she say she was married to Him?
“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” (1 Tim 4:8)
Maybe you’re in a difficult marriage right now.
Maybe you think your spouse is a terrible person and there’s no way you’ll ever love them the same again.
Maybe you have every reason to leave them.
I just want to encourage you that it’s never too late and you’re never too far gone.
I know how pride, selfishness, and jealousy work. I also know the powerful force against you. Just staying married, let alone having a strong marriage, can be evangelical. And the enemy hates that. He’s latching onto your back trying to bring you down at all costs. You’re not fighting against your spouse. You’re fighting against a thief that is trying to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10)
But I know an even more powerful force that can take him down. Bringing, keeping, and prioritizing God into your life is the one thing that will change everything.
Amber and I are going through the Love Dare challenge with our life group right now. I encourage you to pick up the book and take the challenge with us. We’ll be back weekly with action steps that we’re taking to invest into our marriage.
Dare 1 is to “demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all. If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything. It’s better to hold your tongue than to say something you’ll regret.” (The Love Dare, Page 4)
“Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.” (James 1:19)
Think it’s easy? Or think it won’t work? Don’t take my word for it. Try it. I dare you.
And it might just be an absolute game-changer for you and everyone in your life.
Resources: Fireproof Movie, Love Dare Book, Sacred Marriage Book, Love Works Ministry, Sacred Vows Movie