Marriage: The Work

11 July 2013

Marriage is often painted by the media as a constant state of bliss, and when someone’s marriage is contrary to this they are ready to divorce. What the media doesn't tell you is that each moment of bliss in a real marriage takes work.  More often than not it requires hard work to keep up with having a wonderful and fun filled marriage. Not every day will be fun and you won’t always see your spouse as Prince Charming. However in order for the beauty in marriage to shine through a husband and wife must work hard at it – together. So let’s get a few things out in the open:

  • Marriage takes work.
  • You and your husband play for the same team.
  • It's not always fun, but it will be rewarding.
  • God wants couples to stay in love.
  • God has a plan to help us do that.
If you get married and you go into it with a fairy tale mindset you will be heavily disappointed and you or your spouse will grow weary by trying to keep up the charade. I know that sounds a little brutally honest but it’s true. I am not saying that whimsical and romantic marriages do not exist, they do. But In order to have a happy long lasting marriage, we need to align our marriages with God’s word instead of Disney characters, romance novels, and romantic Films. I am definitely not knocking romantic movies, I’m a huge fan – but I am also realist and quickly realized they don't always come true. The hero in the best love story is Christ, no other Prince died for their bride. So with realizing that, it was evident that having a happy marriage required a plan – it requires God's plan .

God declared a man and a woman would become one flesh in marriage (Ephesians 5:31), so we need to view that as the first part of the plan.

We have to be committed to being one with our spouse forever. Being one with our spouses means aligning our hearts, our minds, and our bodies in order to preserve the joy in marriage.

But how do we stay in love, how do we stay aligned?

To stay in love we need to be aligned with one another in service and under mutual submission (Ephesians 5:21). When we submit to one another we commit to loving sacrificially. In a sacrificial love comes service because both spouses seek to do what they can for each other rather than doing for themselves. In loving sacrificially you learn to speak your spouse’s love language. I know this seems like a contradiction in a culture that is self serving but if you look at couples with long standing marriages you’ll see it works. Serving your spouse means always being aware of his needs – and in the same token he should seek to be aware of yours. As women we serve our husbands both physically and mentally by being their helpers through life.

As well as being aligned to serve our spouses in marriage we must be aligned to love.  Yes I know you think "Well obviously I love him, I married him didn't I". Well yes, you did love him enough to get married, but do you love him enough to stay married. There are many facets to love and to love your spouse properly in a marriage you must love according to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

I know this sounds cliché, but to make a marriage work we must love like God does and his love encompasses all the things stated above.

To align in love both spouse agree that:
  • Love always protects the relationship.
  • Love always believes the best.
  • Love always hopes.
  • Love never gives up on the relationship.

Aligning to love and serve one another keeps a husband and wife at each other’s sides instead of on each other’s backs. Love is not passive, it’s aggressive so a couple should fight together daily for their marriage. Satan is always using whatever tactics he can to try and destroy Godly marriages. So it is important for couples to remember that they are on the same team – and to recognize the things that could possibly be used to hurt your marriage. Don’t allow gaps to form in your marriage by having unreasonable expectations for your spouse. You should always assume the best from your spouse and believe that he has good intentions even when he makes mistakes. Aligning to love is hard, but with practice it can be done.

Where there is great work, there is great reward. Commit to never giving up on your spouse, and never giving up on your marriage. To stay in love, we must do the work.

This post was originally featured on : Blog By Christian Women

Be sure to check out the previous installment to this series:

I hope you will join me for the next installment in this series posting next week  Marriage: The Party

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