When Aaron and I got married, I had believed that our love would continue to grow naturally. I expected marriage to come easy to us because we loved each other so much. I thought our marriage would be strong because we had a good relationship.
In my almost eleven years of being a wife, I have learned that…
Strong marriages don’t just happen.
Good marriages don’t just happen.
Loving marriages don’t just happen.
Healthy marriages don’t just happen.
Thriving marriages don’t just happen.
No matter how big and deep and wide a couples love is for each other, things happen. People are imperfect. Sin severs intimacy, causing destruction in worst possible way.
A strong marriage is not blindsided by these imperfections and shortcomings. Instead, a strong marriage is built up with all of the small things that happen and how a husband and wife choose to respond to it.
Is there forgiveness?
Is there repentance?
Is there reconciliation?
Is there open communication?
Is there mutual understanding?
Is there grace?
I learned over the years that expectations will be left unmet. Insecurities will flare up. The consequence of sin will cause incredible pain. And things won’t always go as hoped. These things triggered discontentment in my heart and began the seed of bitterness toward my husband and toward God.
I isolated myself because I didn’t want to confront the truth that I was part of the problem. My sin was part of the problem. It was easier to blame others. (I share more about these things in detail in my book The Unveiled Wife.)
I didn’t figure it out right away. However, God did get ahold of my heart and He transformed me. He transformed my perspective on marriage. Instead of being bitter and frustrated at the undesired circumstances we were experiencing, I had to learn how to trust God and love my husband unconditionally.
I was learning that love is much more of a daily choice than it is anything that was going to unfold naturally with time. That is what makes love so powerful! It is not something that happens to you, it is a gift you get to give.
The strongest marriages are the ones that choose to love regardless of circumstance.
The strongest of marriages are the ones that choose to love especially when it is not convenient, easy, or deserved.
If you want a strong, good, loving, healthy, thriving marriage you have to build it, starting with a firm foundation. You’ve got to build it brick by brick with every choice and every moment you are given to respond to each other. And when a part of the marriage isn’t built up the way it should be, the builders need to examine, correct, and resolve to fix it or else the rest of what is built upon it will be compromised and susceptible to corrosion and collapse.
This investment, your marriage, is worth everything you’ve got to build something amazing, beautiful, extraordinary, and long-lasting.