You know what nobody tells you about marriage?
How painful it is.
I think one of the big reasons there are so many broken marriages – especially among Christians – is that they go into it under an illusion of what “hard” will look like.
I was 31 when I got married. I wasn’t a young bride, naive to what adult life and marriage would hold.
I spent many years watching friends get married and some get divorced. I knew it would be hard – the hardest thing I’ve ever done – but I had NO IDEA what my “hard” would actually be like.
What it would actually feel like. How incredibly painful it would be.
I realize this is not at all romantic, but I think pastors should start talking about the hard during the wedding ceremony.
“This person you’re standing with here today is going to hurt you worse than anyone else in your life. Are you ready for that? Marriage will bring out everything. All the shit you thought you buried? (And stuff you’re not even aware that you buried?) It will come out. And it will be ugly. You will cry more than you ever have before. Is that something you want to say ‘yes’ to?”
The problem, I think, is that people don’t realize what their “hard” will actually feel like and so when they’re in the midst of it, they’re unprepared. They feel gypped. They feel like they got something they didn’t sign up for.
And so all too often, when the hardest hard comes, they give up.
What if someone had told her what her “hard” would look like?
Or Gayle Haggard.
You think she knew what kind of “hard” she was signing up for?
What about Jason Tippetts?
Would his “hard” be something he chose to say yes to?
Single people, let me tell you something. When you get married, the hard will be harder than you ever imagined.
And married people? If you’re not in the hard yet, you can be sure it’s coming.
But here’s the thing.
I believe that if your marriage can make it through the hardest hard, you will find a beauty that you’d never, ever have without it. You will experience a growth that is impossible without the pain.
And THIS is what marriage is about. This is the whole point. It is SO worth fighting for.
In his book, Sacred Marriage: Celebrating Marriage as a Spiritual Discipline, Gary Thomas says “What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?”
YES. I believe this with everything in me. THIS is what I’m saying yes to. I desperately want holy.
And I suspect I’ll stumble upon happiness along with way.
Yes. On so many levels, yes. And isn’t that like life anyway, the challenges make us stronger. But the best part is that no matter what the challenge, we are never alone. I’m really glad I discovered your blog. Keep writing your truth.
Wow what a kind comment, Annelies. Thank you! One of the best things I’ve gotten out of sharing hard stuff on my blog is how others can relate to what I go through. And the truth that I’m not alone in this.