A difficult marriage is a hard thing to endure. The stress of bickering and division never seems to end. Sometimes there may be moments of hope because love and peace seemed to be restored. But that hope quickly fades as another day presents another challenge and with the challenge husband and wife fall right back into their ruts of strife, anger, hurt, and confusion. And sadly too many men and women who have this type of marriage have no idea they don’t have to settle for it.
For 19 years I was willing to settle for a difficult marriage. For the most part I was always blind to how troubled my marriage was. I knew it was normal for couples to argue and have disagreements so I thought what was going on in my marriage was just as normal as anyone else’s. I was committed to being married for life even if I didn’t like the condition of my marriage.
And the truth is the only reason I became aware that my marriage had to change was because my wife was not willing to settle for the marriage we had. Now granted out of her desperation she did not make good choices by wanting to end our marriage. But I will always be grateful to her for opening my eyes and helping me to know that a marriage like the one we had should not be considered normal and should not be settled for.
Maybe this sounds like you. If so, let me ask you a few questions.
Are you willing to live the rest of your life in a difficult marriage without doing anything about it?
Are you in a marriage that could be better, but you just don’t know how to get there?
Are you in a difficult marriage and all you can think about is running away from it?
Or, are you in a marriage that you call difficult when in reality it is an abusive relationship and you need to know the difference?
If you answer yes to any of these questions I’m going to give you some answers that will hopefully help. I want to give adequate answers to each question so I’ll start with the first question on this post. Then I will follow-up on each one of the other questions on the next few post.
First of all, I don’t like to see anyone willing to settle for a lifetime of misery in their marriage without doing everything they can to make the marriage better. If you’re in a difficult marriage I want to challenge you to not settle for what your circumstances dictate to you. And don’t settle for what the world calls marriage or what marriages you have seen in others around you.
God created marriage in the Garden of Eden before there was even sin in the world. He created it because “it was not good for man to be alone.” That word “alone” in Hebrew means separated, isolated, by himself, like a tree limb separated from a tree. So it was not good for man to be isolated and therefore God created man’s wife so that the two of them could be “joined together.”
Marriage was created to be a beautiful thing between a man and woman. It was created by God to be a bond of oneness He calls “One Flesh.” (Genesis 1:26-28, 2:18,21-25)
Then let’s take it a step further. God has chosen marriage to illustrate the relationship between Christ and the Church. (Ephesians 5:22-33) This relationship between Christ and the Church can be so hard to understand, the Bible calls it a mystery, (verse 32). Therefore God chose the marriage relationship between man and woman to be the greatest illustration He could give to help us understand this mystery between Christ and His Church.
Now if marriage has been given the responsibility from God to represent what Christ relationship with us the Church should look like, shouldn’t we hold marriage to the same standard of honor and glory that God has already placed on it. Shouldn’t every one of us want our marriage to be the best it can be so that those around us, saved or lost, could get a glimpse of what a real relationship with Christ is supposed to look like.
So if you have settled for a marriage that is difficult and does not reflect the beauty that God created it to be, don’t you think it is time to make some changes. As a brother in the Lord, I want to challenge you to make every effort you possibly can to make the necessary changes in your marriage so that your marriage has an impact on the people around you. Don’t be like the person I used to be, willing to just coast along allowing your marriage to just barely survive. Do something about it, NOW, before it’s too late.
If you have been willing to live the rest of your life in a difficult marriage without doing anything about it, its time for a change. You need it, your spouse needs it, the people around you need it, and the Kingdom of God needs it. It’s time for your marriage to be everything God created it to be.
If you believe you are stuck at question #2, “Are you in a marriage that could be better, but you just don’t know how to get there?” Then come back. I will deal with that question on our next post.
Do you think there are far too many people who are willing to settle for a difficult marriage without doing anything about it?
Feel free to share your comments about it, we love hearing from you.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This is such a beautiful post. I completely agree with you that simply staying married isn’t enough. Christians should have beautiful marriages that are a reflection of Christ and the Church. Reflecting our ultimate union with Him, just like you said, is one of the reasons for marriage.
I completely agree that many people are willing to settle for difficult marriages. In fact, it seems that there is this divide. One group of people believes that marriage is difficult and that is all you can really expect while another group believes that any difficulties must mean that you married the wrong person and you should move on. Somewhere between those is the reality. Yes, sometimes marriage is tough, but it is also a beautiful way for the believer to learn more about himself or herself and more about God.
Thank you Jessica I appreciate the compliment. And yes I agree with your assessment on this as well. We have also seen those two groups and we have seen and experienced the reality of a tough marriage that is worth fighting for and has taught us a lot about ourselves and who God really is. In fact I cherish everything I have learned through overcoming a difficult marriage. Thanks again. Blessings!
God needs to be at center of all marriages.
Most couples stay in a difficult marriage because a) they don’t know that there are places/people that can help, b) one spouse refuses to accept that the marriage is difficult and the other does not want to end the marriage, c) the marriage has no foundation in God and neither partner wants to ask for help so they just choose to live in that difficult marriage or walk away from the marriage
I’ve been stuck in a bad marriage that has gotten abusive. He knows I cannot leave because I am physical disabled and I cannot work. If he started knocking my teeth out tomorrow, I’d have no choice but to bend over and pick them up. Can’t have the floor dirty or bloody. Every day, I pray for death and that’s not fair to the thousands of lives that do end untimely. Through my suffering, however, I know good will come out of it someday, somehow. But until I die, I’m dead inside.
Miranda – what you are describing is abuse. I am a mandated reporter, and if I knew your location, and the full details, I would be obligated to report your husband for abusing a disabled person. Your husband is not fulfilling his promise before God to “honor” you, or “cherish” you. I have worked with disabled people who have had similar issues with their spouses. They simply place a call a local county social worker, and receive the assistance that is due them. You should have some type of services in place. I have been a guardian ad litem. This situation can not go on. God allows us to suffer, but not at the hands of your own husband who is purposely abusive. He is willingly sinning against his wife, and is breaking the promises he made before God. Do not allow this to continue. By keeping the status quo in this situation – which he believes you are doing (because you think you are “stuck”) you are also allowing him to continue in his sin. Do not – I repeat – do NOT be responsible for that. He will be held accountable to God for his sin. Please, don’t assist him any more than is necessary with his sinning by feeling as though you are a martyr for suffering. Get help!