We all know that marriage is not 100% bliss, or a life without struggles. There are highs and lows over the years, and part of these highs and lows come from the constant curveballs that life seems to throw our way. Looking back over the years, A LOT has happened in our 12 years. We have experienced times where money was great, and some lean times. We have 4 amazing kids, but spent a whirlwind year with two premature babies and the struggles that can come with that. We have moved from Texas to Oklahoma, experienced layoffs and hundreds of constant variables that occur over the years.
Life has not always been fair and there have been times where we have had to work to not let the outside stresses affect our marriage. At times, we succeed greatly at this, and other times not so much. What we have discovered is that it is those times of stress and pressure that really show what kind of marriage we have.
This is where the phrase “Marriage is Work” comes into play. A healthy, thriving marriage is not for the lazy. Each spouse must be willing to pull more than their fair share of the load when struggles, or a difficult season, arrive. To be honest, this is what family is suppose to be all about. We encourage each other, lift each other up and at times even carry each other on our backs for a season.
The beauty of marriage is that we see each other for who we really are. We understand our spouse’s flaws as well all the amazing things they can do. The love that we have for each other is based upon the reality of life and daily choice we must make to choose love over all the negative emotions that become available. We choose love in times of excess and we choose love in times in lack. We choose love in the passionate times, and love when we honestly don’t feel like loving each other.
When we got married, we made a decision to love each other in the good times and the bad times. We promised our devotion for better or for worse. This means we cannot go running for the hills when the worse times happen. No, that is when we discover what true, unconditional love is all about.
Anyone can get married, but as we have seen in Hollywood, some marriages can’t even make it past a few months. What we want is a marriage that is going to last a lifetime. That means we must guard and protect our marriage. No obstacle we face is important enough to jeopardize our marriage.
For us to achieve that goal of growing old together, we must constantly work at our relationship to ensure it thrives through the better and the worst! I encourage you to think long-term for your marriage. Work with your spouse to have the type of marriage you would wish for your children.