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Life has lots of ups and downs. No surprise there, right? Some seasons have more valleys than mountains, but one thing God has taught me is that the journey is more important than the destination. I believe this can be applied to marriage, too.
Life is a journey, not a destination. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
We all desire perfect marriages, but that’s an unreasonable expectation. We are human. We make human mistakes. Sometimes, we take things too personally. Other times we react irrationally to something because of other things going on in our lives (or our selfish, prideful human nature gets in the way).
Put together a man and a woman—two sinful, selfish, and prideful people who are prone to making mistakes—and what do you have? A recipe for disaster, unless Jesus is at the helm.
If we start our marriages thinking we’ve already arrived, what happens when the reality of life kicks in? Many of us put so much effort into our wedding that we forget about life after the honeymoon. We go back to work to pay the bills. The car breaks down and needs some major work. We experience job cutbacks, or maybe lose our jobs. How do we pay the bills?
Here’s the thing: The journey is how we get to our destination, which is to love and serve God and each other.
If we truly look to Jesus first in our marriage, He will walk with us through this ongoing, daily journey.
In the same way that you deepen and grow in your relationship with your spouse, you need to mature in your relationship with God. It is more than a journey of feeling. It is also a journey of faith. You are in this for the long-term. Let’s finish this race well! 1
It is good to have an end to journey toward;
but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
God uses marriage to mold us into His image by teaching us how to serve Him by serving our spouse.
I’ve written before about how much my life has changed since chronic pain and illness came to live with me. Summers are the worst for my symptoms because of the monsoon season and the accompanying barometric pressure fluctuations in Arizona. For me, this means 24/7 migraines for months at a time.
My sweet husband, Rick, does his best to take care of me during those times. Often there is nausea that goes along with these migraines and I just can’t eat much. I certainly do not feel up to cooking a meal. Although Rick doesn’t cook, he is content with freezer meals and entrees that microwave in minutes, or he’ll go get some fast food.
Rick has also gotten used to going places without me, something neither of us love. If we do make plans to visit friends, eat out, go for a day trip on our trike, or even go to church, there are too many times that I’ve had to tell him I just cannot go. He never makes me feel guilty or sad about it either. He serves me well by supporting me this way. We are a huggy couple, and one of his best ways of serving me is to give me a gentle bear hug when I need it most. It soothes and comforts me.
I try to serve Rick the best I can while dealing with these chronic pain issues. I remember to make the bed (almost everyday) and do my best to keep up with the laundry. On a semi-good day, I go to our local grocery store because it’s only about five miles away, and pick up foods that are easy to warm up or microwave. I often cannot do much, but I manage to keep the refrigerator, freezer and pantry stocked.
Part of the marriage journey is to learn more about about Jesus as you learn more about each other every day. You both went into your marriage with high hopes and much love. How does that translate into an everyday relationship?
Husbands and wives, what does your marriage journey look like? Are you truly enjoying learning more about each other each day?
Daily life these days is a rush to get everything done before it’s time to go to bed. It’s important to make time for each other without any distractions, including computers and mobile devices. Turn those off and turn to each other. Learn to savor each moment together. That is an important part of your marriage journey.
In the process of learning more about each other, you’ll find yourselves seeking the wisdom of Jesus as you daily put your trust in Him as the head of your marriage. And that can only improve your marriage relationship.
As believers in Jesus Christ, we who are the bride of Christ wait with great anticipation for the day when we will be united with our Bridegroom. Until then, we remain faithful to Him and say with all the redeemed of the Lord,
“Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20). 2
1 Greg Laurie, Harvest Daily Devotion, For the Long-Term.
2 GotQuestions.org, What does it mean that the church is the bride of Christ?