Much of my life was spent on my own. Prior to being married, I was just me. Yes, I have an amazing and loving family. But, I was an adult, now not living under my parents roof, going on about life – on my own. However, in January of 2001, this all changed. In a land far away (we were both stationed overseas on active duty military) I met and fell in love with this man I now call my husband. Yesterday, we celebrated our 12 year wedding anniversary. I will not tell you that our marriage is the strongest it has ever been. It’s true – neither of us are the same people we were 12 years ago when we got married. We have laughed, loved, and for better or worse, grown together. All marriages have their ups and their downs, mine included. It is what you (and I) choose to do with those situations that will either make or break a marriage.
Believe me when I tell you that I know a marriage is not always a bed of roses. It’s not a marriage without ups or downs. There will be times that you may question if your life or your marriage is worth fighting for. There may even be things beyond your control that would justify ending a marriage over. However, I’d like to pose this question – Is it worth it?
Marriage is about two people. It is about open lines of ongoing communication. It is about honesty, and it is about caring. It is about there being two sides, two opinions, two hopes and two dreams to every story. Two very different, or sometimes similar people coming together to form a bond, a lasting union.
One thing that troubles me is how very easy it is to walk away from something that sometimes was a work in progress for many years. People enter into marriage with the idea that if it doesn’t work, there’s always divorce. Let me be one to say that divorce shouldn’t even enter into your brain as a viable option. I will take that thought a step further and say that if you are thinking “if it doesn’t work” then you are not ready to be married. You need to know it’s going to work – for better or worse, to death do you part.
As you can see, I’ve been thinking a great deal on marriage, and what it takes to make it work. It won’t always be easy, but in most cases, it will always be worth it. I do leave the caviat of “most cases” because there are sometimes those things that may happen in a marriage (cheating, abuse, etc) that may provide a reason that divorce is acceptable. Still, even with those things, it is up to the individual involved – so long as both parties are on the same page – to stay in the marriage and fight for marriage restoration. It may take time, effort and energy you might not feel prepared to use or even have, but God can and will provide healing, courage and strength in the midst of what could be very volatile or just plain unsure situations. It will have to be a conscious effort on both parties. A marriage cannot exist and be one sided.
Marriage is something to be taken seriously. It won’t always be easy, but always remember the vows: for better or worse – till death do us part. Friends, please also know I speak what I say here out of personal experience, and also with love. For those of you who are divorced – for whatever reason – please know there is also no condemnation. It is not my place to judge. I assure you, I will not look at you with eyes filled with anything other than love.
If you are struggling with any part of your marriage – or dealing with things you are just not sure how to deal with, I urge you to not give up. Your marriage, and the happiness of you, your spouse and family (if you have children) are worth fighting for. If you would like to talk about it, ask for prayer or just ask questions, you can reply below in comments, or contact me via my “contact me” page.
For the sake of the size of this blog post, I will continue this tomorrow with part 2.