How in The World Have I Stayed Married to You?
“How in the world have I stayed married to you?”
This is an age-old question. I bet Adam asked it of Eve often after they got kicked out of paradise and had to sweat for a living. I bet Eve asked it of Adam after she had to suffer through childbirth and practice submission against her will.
I wonder if Sarah asked it of Abraham when he bartered her off for his own safety? Did he ask it of Sarah after she mocked God?
It’s an age-old question even though it feels so fresh and personal in every marriage. We are all convinced we are the only one who has ever asked it. But think about this: if you are asking that about your spouse then is your spouse asking it of you? It’s a two-sided question, right? If you feel like you have nothing but trouble, they probably feel the same.
After counseling for years, I’ve heard lots of explanations for marriage. I married too young. I married to spite my mom. I married because I was afraid of being single. I married because I wanted kids. And those things often end with “but I married the wrong person.”
According to Psalm 139 that’s not true. Now, it’s true that you may have married for the wrong reasons but it’s not true that you married the wrong person. Psalm 139 says all your days were ordained for you before time began; every single one of them. If you are a Bible believer (not just one of the blog readers who want to argue) then you gotta believe God meant - every single thing. So, who you married was by design and not by accident. Isn’t that amazing?
We live our marriages in a dream state, I think. We get up. We start our days. We end them and do it again the next day. It’s like we forget that God intricately designed these days before we were born. I struggle just doing a monthly budget (would rather pull my teeth), but God designed every day for every person before time began. Shouldn’t we live like that matters? I think yes.
What would look different in my marriage if I thought about God designing it for his glory? Would I argue over the trash? Would I fuss over date night? What conversations would I have and how would I give voice to them? I wonder if I would ever think about divorce again or wake up hating being married to HIM? Or would I yearn to honor the hard work in God’s design and stay in it no matter my circumstances? What could drive me away if I truly understood God’s hand was in it? Would I quit if my husband was not given to being affectionate? Would I quit if my feelings got hurt? Would I quit if I did 80 percent and he did as little as possible? Would I quit if my husband was diagnosed with a severe disability that required lifetime care?
Or would I trust God’s design for my life? So, I ask myself how have I stayed married to this imperfect man (he never wonders this about me – ha ha!). And I answer: I have stayed married the same way I married – by God’s design. He faithfully assigned my days. And they are good even when life is not good. The answer to how is “Jesus.” Trusting His intentional design for my life supersedes my circumstances in my marriage and gives me strength. It gives my husband strength too, who has asked this question at least once; probably only once. Or twice. Or, well, you get the point. Start living your marriage like it was done on purpose. It was, so live it with purpose. And enjoy God’s gracious design for you.