Tag Archives: hurt

Why is Christian Marriage So Hard? Hope and Possibilities Within

The look on my face must have been one of utter confusion.

A woman who had been married almost forty years just told our group that, as a young fiancee, she had a bright and sunny outlook on marriage. To her generation, marriage was full of hope and possibilities for a blissful life.

Say what?

Contrary to us millennials who constantly hear and experience, “Marriage is hard.”

Why is Christian Marriage so hard

We’ve heard the stats: divorce rates in the church are the same as outside the church. In fact, anecdotally, many of us know marriages of unbelievers that are thriving and happy and united. 

Why aren’t ours?

Why is Christian marriage so hard?

There are two answers in Ephesians 5.

1. Marriage is a picture of God’s relationship with His people. Thus, much is at stake.

Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy…

This is a profound mystery, but I am talking about Christ and the church. (Eph. 5:24-26,32 NIV)

You may already know this, but why does this necessitate hardship?

God has given marriage as a primary tool to teach the gospel (the other big one being the love that God’s people have for each other). Thus, a lot is at stake. Redemption is at stake. Souls are at stake.

So a battle for our marriage is waged. Notice that the famous marriage passages are bookmarked on either side by guardianship against sin and spiritual warfare.

Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Eph. 5:15-16 NIV

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Eph. 6:11 NIV

It should perhaps be no surprise at all that marriage is difficult. It’s a General in a massive battle for the kingdom.

Why is Christian marriage so hard?

Photo by CreationSwap

2. Marriage is a union of two sinners.

You could have guessed this, right? Paul is teaching the “faithful” in Ephesus how relationships work in God’s design, and he has to frequently call out our selfishness.

Get rid of all bitterness…

Find out what pleases the Lord…

Submit to one another…

Love your wives, just as Christ loved the church…

Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies… All from Eph. 4-5

So now we don’t just have a relationship that is under attack by the enemy, but our very selves attack from within, letting selfishness breed like cancer.

I don’t now how well a cancerous soldier can fight. Do you?

Two ways to fight for a better marriage

So what’s the solution? There must be something that can make marriage better!

1. Trust in the victor.

Why is Christian marraige so hard

We already know how this battle ends. Christ’s heel is struck, but the enemy is crushed.

For God has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1Cor. 15:57 NIV

We must rest in this truth. Meditate on it and know that God wins!

2. Seek help and accountability.

You must  must  have help to have a great marriage. This includes

  • Personal accountability for your relationship with the Lord
  • Community with others who can encourage your marriage
  • Counseling for traumatic pasts and martial hurts

Why is Christian marraige so hard

After being married for forty years, do you know why that lady was in our group? Because it turns out marriage is hard, and she was leading other married couples to have better marriages, marriages that illustrate God’s work on the cross, marriages full of hope and possibilities. 

 

 

When Being a Pastor’s Wife is Hard: Trials

There are times when being a pastor’s wife seems unbearable. Something has happened, whether you’re aware of it or not, and all  of a sudden, you feel like your family, ministry, career, etc. are all crumbling down. And you want to crumble with it.

I’m not going to point fingers in this post because I know that congregations and pastors/pastors’ families alike can bring pain into ministry. We are all sinners, and we will all seek pleasure over God at some point.


{Read this entire post over at Clutch Talk here!}

It Overflows

It had been a week since Brad had asked for forgiveness. And I still wasn’t budging. Although I had forgiven him in the sense that I love him, can see past this sin, and still want to be friends for life, our relationship had not been reconciled. Reconciliation is about restoring the relationship – coming back to the place we were, overflowing with joy that God brought us together, shouting our family motto, laughing together. There was no laughter. No joy. No shouting – well, the good kind of shouting, anyway.

You see, when God forgives us, we are immediately reconciled to Him.

but now he has reconciled you by his physical body through death to present you holy, without blemish, and blameless before him (NETBible, Colossians 1:22)

And I did not yet see my husband this way. Instead, when I looked at him, I saw the man who hurt me – who would hurt me again. My hurt personified itself in the cold shoulder, fake smiles, and other curt gestures. I wanted to be restored, and I felt my heart yearning for that true forgiveness, but it just wasn’t happening this time.

While I was away at the store, I thought to myself, When I get home, I WILL be joyful. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works, and I knew that. You can’t muster this stuff up. It comes from the overflow of grace and mercy that God Himself has given to us:

And all these things are from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and who has given us the ministry of reconciliation. In other words, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s trespasses against them, and he has given us the message of reconciliation. (NETBible, 2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

The “ministry” and “message” of reconciliation – that ministry did finally come to my husband, but not because of something I did. I asked God for help. He is the reconciler and the mediator. It’s truly wonderful to see how He restores us to Himself and even to each other!

Thank you, God, for the ministry of reconciliation – the restoration that You offer freely through the blood of Christ. I am so unworthy and humbled to receive it. I am even more lowly to give it. I cannot be as magnanimous as You, but I ask that You increase that part of my heart. Let this be a picture to the world of how worthy You are.