On Marriage and Love and How Hard It Is Some Days

Marriage is, like everything else in our lives, about bringing glory to God.

Marriage is, like everything else in our lives, about bringing glory to God. || TeriLynneUnderwood.com

Some days I happen across something and I sit down to share a link or a quote on Facebook and then I realize I have a lot to say about that … today is one of those days.

I just read this post from the beautiful Kristen Welch at We Are THAT Family — There Is Nothing Quite as Sexy as a Man who Loves His Wife.  I copied this small part of her post to share on my Facebook page thinking it might encourage others.

It’s so easy in this life to name all the things our husbands don’t do. And most days we could pick them apart if we wanted to. We can always find something when we look closely.

But when I begin to count all the things he does, day-in-and-day out, the list grows long. It’s the best thing to do when you don’t want to.

There is nothing quite as sexy as a man who loves his wife.

Good stuff, huh?  Yeah.

But as I was adding why I think everyone needs to read this post, I wrote this:

These men we’ve got aren’t perfect husbands … but they didn’t get perfect wives. Maybe the goal, isn’t perfection, though ...

And then I realized I have some thoughts to share on this and here we are.

I can’t even remember when I first read Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. But I know it radically changed everything I thought I knew about marriage. Because when a book’s subtitle makes you stop and think and then keeps coming back to you even years later, you know it’s a book that matters. What is the subtitle, you ask?

What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?

Let that one sink in for a few minutes.

I have an amazing husband. He is thoughtful and caring and pours himself out to make our life together beautiful. And there are times when he walks into a room, he takes my breath away.

But sometimes, he drives me batty. And some days we don’t even like each other. Because, I know this might be shocking, we can each be very selfish and demanding and want our own way.  And Kristen is RIGHT ON about counting all the things these husbands of ours do, especially when we don’t want to. ESPECIALLY WHEN WE DON’T WANT TO.

Because marriage is hard.

Loving someone more than we love ourselves is hard. Loving someone more than we love our kids is hard. And the truth is marriage is often the tool God uses to chip away the “stuff” in our lives.  Emily Freeman wrote about love recently. She shared her meditations on 1 Corinthians 13 and I’ve rolled her words around in my head since I read them. She said God only gives two descriptions of what love is: patient and kind. But then He shares all the things it isn’t — and she boils it down into this: Love isn’t a jerk.

Some days, I don’t love my husband very well. Because some days I am a real jerk. I want it my way, on my time table. I want Scott to be who I want him to be and do what I think he should do and {this one is tough to admit} I want him to think like me about everything. Basically, I want him to agree that I’m right. Always.

C’mon, y’all — that is not happening! Because I’m not right always. In fact, I’m not right a lot more often than I am right. And the last thing I need is a husband who just agrees with me because it’s easier or because he doesn’t care or because {the worst!} he’s given up trying.

Marriage isn’t about two people who are perfect for each other.

{I know, I’m shattering all the Hollywood myths.} Marriage is, just like everything else in our lives, about bringing glory to God. When we stay and work on the hard stuff, even when it would be so much easier to leave or give up or start over — we bring glory to God. Because He stays with us and works on the hard stuff. When we love not because we feel like it but because it is a choice — we bring glory to God. Because {as Emily said so beautifully}, “But love isn’t just something that happens to me, Love is someone who moves within me and invites me to move toward others.”

Just yes. Love invites us to move toward others — even when it’s hard. Even when we don’t want to. Even when it hurts.

Because love moves toward others just as Christ always moves within and towards me.

Today, whatever is going on in your marriage, may I challenge you to move toward your husband? To allow God to work in you for His glory? To remember our marriages are less about our happiness and more about our holiness? Maybe that starts with a list of all the good things or maybe it starts with some hard prayers of confession about your own attitude or maybe you need to do both.

Because there is nothing more beautiful than a wife who loves her husband.

xo,

TL

2 Replies to “On Marriage and Love and How Hard It Is Some Days”

  1. So……it’s a Monday and while mowing the grass which was WAY too high and having a high schooler who is struggling to find his place in yet another school after his third move to a new school in the last three years due to military moves…..I was in tears and frustrated with my sweetheart who is the one who is serving in the military……….I know he is doing all he can and I take for granted all that he does to take care of us and how much it takes to put up with me on days like this!:-) I SO needed to read this today!!! I want to whine and cry and stomp my feet in frustration but then I read this and I know that it is not about me being happy, but loving someone more than I love myself today!! Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Oh girl! Thank you … for sharing your heart. Marriage is so much harder than we ever imagined, isn’t it? Praying for all of you as you adjust {again!}.

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