Truth: If you are married, your marriage is the second most important relationship in your life. Seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, your next priority is your spouse. Not your job. Not your kids. Not your parents, though all these other things rank high on the list of priorities. You’ve pledged yourselves to one another. You’ve promised to love one another for better or worse and in sickness and in health. These are big promises. Jesus said let your yes be yes and your no be no and you’ve said “yes” to your husband or your wife. You are now in this together – to honor the Lord by honoring each other and to honor him by serving him and, if given children, training them to do the same.
Marriage is not easy though. It is a wonderful school for discipleship, a place to learn to give, love, serve, forgive, etc., while also learning we ourselves need grace, a lot of grace. And patience and kindness and gentleness and the list could go on.
I’ve mentioned before a friend of mine’s observation that romantic comedies are more dangerous than pornography because people know porn is fake. The last part might be debatable but he’s definitely on to something. (Most) romantic comedies depict a couple overcoming a major obstacle or conflict so that they can live happily ever after. The problem with this is we see only the one challenge. We don’t see the rest of the conflicts. We don’t see morning breath or morning sickness. We don’t see dirty diapers or dirty dishes. We don’t see screaming children or losing children prematurely. We don’t see unforeseen addictions or unwanted illnesses. We don’t see the bad moods or overly busy days. We don’t see vomit on the floor or financial stress. We don’t see changing bodies and changing faces. We don’t see extra work and not-yet-noticed weaknesses and annoying habits. We don’t see burdensome debt and subtle doubts.
We don’t see that happily ever after takes time, discipline, communication, and commitment. We don’t see that happily ever after might mean difficult days, weeks, or seasons.
But it’s wonderful precisely because God blesses us with all those things to make us more like Jesus. And becoming like Jesus allows us to grow in joy. Together.
Of course, it all begins with the voices we listen to on a daily basis. Whose voice has your attention? Only one matters. And when the two listen to that one, happily ever after isn’t so far off.