"Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other." Romans 12:10

To say that marriage is hard is an understatement sometimes. 

Honestly, I almost titled this post "Marriage Sucks" but then I thought that might be a little harsh and that some people might get offended before they even read what I wrote. Not that that should matter, but still...


Marriage is hard. REALLY HARD. Possibly the hardest thing I've ever experienced in my life. That is no exaggeration.

Marriage involves daily acknowledging and admitting of your own failures, weakness and sins. It involves your spouse learning daily how to forgive and forget those weaknesses, failures and sins. It involves learning to transform your speech to positive speech and gratitude. Being grateful and positive all the time. ALL THE TIME. Even if you're not "feeling it".

Marriage involves humbling yourself daily to the extent that some days you simply turn the other cheek. It involves actively living out patience and God's truth. It involves real OBEDIENCE to God's Word.

 "So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."
John 13:34-35

Being honest here, it can really suck sometimes. Communication and confrontation can be very painful. Often there is blame on both parties which makes it difficult to put one issue aside so that you can effectively deal with the issue at hand. It's difficult learning to compartmentalize during a heated conversation or argument.

It takes a TEAM EFFORT to learn how to tackle one issue at a time WITHOUT bringing up something else in the process. In order to move forward and move past something, we have to be able to discuss that ONE issue, leaving the rest behind for a little bit.

A TEAM EFFORT is not ONE person being eager to grow, but BOTH. You BOTH have to be eager and willing to change, grow and really work at communicating. Note I said "work at" communicating. It's a really long process.

We as people are complicated. We aren't going to have each other figured out after just a few disagreements! People change. Our desires change. Our needs change. Our moods change. This means our conversations will change. Our arguments will change. Sadly, we are not a steady people. We change constantly. Everything about us, our hearts and our minds, it changes constantly. This means you must recognize that communication will be a never ending learning experience.

In marriage, you have to recognize, acknowledge and admit on a daily basis that your marriage is NOT about YOU, YOUR HAPPINESS or YOUR SPOUSE'S HAPPINESS, but it is about becoming more like Christ! This is TRUTH. Soak it in.

Have you come to the conclusion yet that your spouse is not perfect? That he or she is not always going to be the man or woman you WANT? Maybe your spouse is not really satisfying you right now. Maybe you feel lonely or ignored.

Let me remind you of some basics in life.

Your spouse is...well, YOUR SPOUSE!
YOU cannot change your spouse. They are who they are. Only God can change them and only God can motivate them to change.

My husband, Chris, is Chris...and I am Stephanie. We are two very different people. We have different convictions, different desires, different motivations, different weaknesses and different strengths. We clean the house differently, we read the Word differently, we sleep differently, we wake up differently...we are very, VERY different people. So are YOU and YOUR SPOUSE.

You've just got to get over it. You've got to accept the truth that your spouse is NOT YOU and YOU are NOT YOUR SPOUSE. You are two very different people.

But here's the GOOD NEWS: You are two very different people who were put together so that God could make you MORE LIKE HIMSELF!

Our marriages are meant to make us HOLY and MORE LIKE CHRIST! Truth. Marriage is a tool to worship God and to further and better share the Good News! When we SEE THIS and RECOGNIZE THIS AS TRUTH, we see our relationship in a whole new light!

It's not about YOU. It's about growing to become more like Christ! I recently heard in a Joyce Meyer sermon that "God WILL put you with someone who irritates you! But trust me, you will irritate them, too! That person God uses to rub against you and chip away the sin and the dirt in your life, and you in their life!" This is so true!

More than likely your spouse is going to hurt you at some point. ...and then again, and again and again. We're human and we are prone to fall. THANKFULLY the Lord is gracious and forgiving. Are YOU gracious and forgiving? No matter how deep the pain, in marriage, you've got to just take it to God and move on. Sometimes there will be the opportunity for discussion and other times your spouse is not going to be open to what you have to say. So, just take it to God and move on.

Marriage involves sacrifice and humility and honesty. EVERY SINGLE DAY.

We are to be a TEAM and encourage each other to pursue God, to obey God, to listen to God. But don't be smart! Don't think for a moment that you know exactly what your spouse needs! Listen. Be patient. Pray for them. 

Here are some questions you can ask yourself in your
 journey to becoming a more encouraging spouse:

What would help my spouse to grow closer to God? 
Have I been praying for my spouse on a regular basis?
Have I been praying over our home on a regular basis?
How can I remind my spouse of God's love this week?
How can I remind my spouse of God's promises this week?
What need has my spouse expressed to me this week? 
Has my spouse spoken of a desire to pray or read together?
What would encourage my spouse to pursue God more? 
Would it positively affect my spouse if I, myself, read MORE in the Word? 
Have I been reading the Bible on a regular basis?
Would it encourage my spouse to pursue God if I read the Bible with them anytime they asked or suggested it?
Have I been positive in my speech 
and in my actions this week?
Have I been honest with my spouse?
Have I been grateful in my speech 
towards my spouse this week?

Marriage is hard because it requires daily sacrifice and selflessness. You have to CHOOSE to love your spouse no matter what the day holds, no matter your confusion or frustration, no matter what your spouse did yesterday or even five minutes ago! 

Take it from me. Pause and look at the log in your own eye. Be merciful. You'd want your spouse to be merciful to you, right?

"Do for others as you would like them to do for you."
Luke 6:31

"Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love."
Ephesians 4:2

Forgive and forget. This is essential for life.

Be intentional. Be purposeful. Choose to act and speak in love, for this is the will of God for those who love him. 

"Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God---for God is love."
1 John 4:7-8

"But I say love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven..." Matthew 5:44-45a

"Love does no wrong to anyone, so love satisfies all of God's requirements." Romans 13:10

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7


I know that this was completely scatter-brained today but I felt the need to let this pour out from within my heart. I do believe that someone needs to hear this and I believe that it will sink right into their hearts, all thanks to the hands of God our Father.

May these words be a blessing and a light into someone's heart today, Father. That they may see what it is you have been longing for them to see and that they may be humbled and put in awe of your wondrous love for us! In the name of Jesus Christ, I ask this. Amen.


  1. I agree! Marriage does SUCK and it is the HARDEST thing that I have ever done! But like you said, my spouse is here like sandpaper, refining me to be more like Christ and vice versa. I think the hardest thing is whenever I'm growing and my spouse is DEFINITELY refining me in my walk with Christ, but it seems that he doesn't have any refining. I am learning that I'm not responsible for that, God is. I have to get me out of the way so He can do that. Man, I was learning that this morning. But thanks for the read and for pointing out truth, as well as hope. I am reminded on a constant basis on what a God we do serve because no matter what is going on in my life, He is there. Always. I could go on and maybe should have a blog post about it lol But thanks for letting me, among others, know that we're not alone when we think marriage sucks :p

    1. It's definitely hard! Or it CAN BE! It's also really hard sometimes to remember or realize that it's a process of refinement that God is taking us through. That our difficulties serve a purpose in the greatest sense!
      You are definitely not alone!


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