The question I hear most nowadays is “So, how’s married life?”. My first answer is always “Awesome!”, and it’s not a lie. But some people are always so dubious. Although they respond with, “that’s good”, you can see that they don’t think the happiness will last long. I always hear them say that it’ll change in a few years, that i’ll probably hate all the cute things he does one day, that it’s going to be “soooo hard”.
Sometimes i wonder if that’s the reason why people scoff at marriage today. Because so many from the older generation seem bent on scaring us out of it. You rarely hear stories of joy and shared happiness, but you have tons and tons of horror stories. People LOVE to tell you how hard it is, but never how great a person you can become because of it.
Chuck Quinley, the founding pastor of the church i grew up in (Lighthouse Christian Community), always said that marriage isn’t designed to make you happy, it’s designed to make you more like Christ. And i know that i’m only a month and half into it, but i think i truly understand what he meant by that.
Marriage changes the way you think. Your number one priority is no longer yourself, but your spouse. You find yourself (trying to be) more patient, more graceful, more loving and gentle and kind. You push back the natural desire to think about just yourself, and you outdo each other with how you serve. For the first time in my entire life, I find myself turning away nights out with friends simply because we need the money for more important things, and i don’t feel bad about it. In fact, i feel more at peace with myself because of it. Now, something is bigger than my personal pleasures — and i wake up next to him every single day.
There is this great verse in the Bible that best describes where i am right now, spiritually and emotionally:
“Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days,
keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”
That’s from Psalm 34.11-14. Not only is it the true secret to a good, long life, it’s also great advice to all married people.
The things that we display on the outside, like the words we say and the things we pursue, they are a sign of what’s going on inside of you. When the words are bitter, or we cause fights with our spouse more often than we make love, when we find ourselves speaking words of destruction and judgement, then it’s time for us to take a deeper look inside. Something is askew, and it’s going to make us ugly, it’s going to dry us up and suck out all the joy, and we may live long, but it’s not going to be a quality life.
So yes, i agree that it’s most definitely going to get harder, and yes Niki and i may hurt each other deeply somewhere along the way. Maybe we’ll say things we’ll regret, maybe we’ll want to have time apart. We’ll probably find little annoying things that will be magnified by other situations. I don’t deny that. But i’m also not going to focus on it.
Instead, i’m going to hold on to God’s promise that this marriage is in His hands. That He’s our witness, our guide, our only judge. When Niki and I fight and i want so badly to scream my head off, i’m going to remember Psalm 34 and will try my darndest to “keep [my] tongue from evil”. I will instead “seek peace and pursue it”. I will look at him and remember why i married that silly boy, and believe the best in him all the days of my life. It will be a struggle, but that’s okay, because i’ve found the secret to a long life, and i’m going to spend the rest of it perfecting the art of loving him.