Hard Work?

Here we go. Time to deal with another marital misconception.

Life is challenging.  Bills, illnesses, school, moves, uncertainty, work and people.  All those people!  Seriously.  There are times when it might seem like it would be a WHOLE lot simpler if it weren’t for all those crazy people in your life.  :-)

This isn’t easy.  Interacting with others with whom you have little or nothing in common.  Working with those who rub you the wrong way.  Dealing with parents and (sometimes) children can be difficult.  Relationships can be hard work.

You know what should not be hard work?  Marriage.

Marriage should be a sanctuary. A place of rest where we get and give comfort and support. A place where the challenges of everyday life are met with a spirit of unity and confidence. Confidence that no matter the circumstances we will come out the other side stronger and closer to each other and to God. Strife is to be avoided at all costs. Marriage is grace and kindness, mercy and forgiveness, safety and security.

For a period of time in our early marriage this was not our reality. We didn’t have much time together, we were flat broke and we allowed the pressures of life to invade our relationship. Is that you right now?  Is your home a place you dread to go because it is anything but a sanctuary?  Or perhaps it is a place of quiet desperation, just struggling to make through another day without walking away?  The good news?  There is hope!

Let me encourage you to go back and read 22 Years of Failure and The Book That Started It All.  Start by applying what you read in each of those posts.

When I married Sally I committed to spending our lives together.  Marriage is not two people living together and sharing expenses.  It is giving and caring and loving.  It is seeing the other person’s path as the same as your own.

I hear often that marriage is hard work. But I’ve also read that if you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life. I LOVE being married to Sally. It’s not hard work, it’s a joy!

Let me make a statement that will either draw cheers or anger.  I doubt there will be people in the middle.

If your marriage is hard work then something is wrong.  Bad marriages are incredibly difficult. Good marriages are hard work. Great, God-centered marriages?  Not so much. 

What do I mean?  I do NOT mean you’ll face life without challenges.  You will still see times of joy and sorrow, feast and famine, certainty and doubt.  That is life and “…He gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” (Matthew 5:45)

However never forget, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23

The Holy Spirit is the key to your best marriage.

Marriage is only “hard work” when one or both spouses put their wants/needs above the other.  When our goal is to serve then marriage becomes a greater joy than you might have ever imagined!  Marriage should always be the both of you, the most inseparable of teams, seeking a singular purpose. We are no longer two people with separate plans and hearts, but rather one flesh, a united spirit, seeking to do God’s will and walk His path together.

It’s not “hard work” to be married. It’s “hard work” to be married but still be trying to walk separate paths. 

Here is my challenge to you.  Find something you can do TODAY to decrease the marital “hard work” for your wife.

Tell me in the comments how you will make this happen.

Now go make her life easier!

-Troy

 

 

  • David Mike

    I think I can start by not saying marriage is hard work anymore. I guess all these years of saying that I meant, being intentional. It’s easy to let life make you complacent and take each other for granted. Being intentional takes effort.

    • http://happierhusband.com Troy Stoneking

      You are exactly right David. Intentionality makes all the difference.