When you write and speak about marriage for a living it might seem like your marriage is good all the time. But it’s not (I’m sure this isn’t a surprise to you). However, after a quick scan of my Facebook timeline it does look like my marriage is good, no, great all the time!
There are pictures of our kids smiling and having fun, selfies of my wife and I on our date nights, and pics of us enjoying ourselves on vacation and with family and friends. Smiling faces abound — life, marriage, and family seem amazing!
But I’m coming clean here.
Things Aren’t Always As They Seem
I’ve been giving the wrong impression. My marriage isn’t as good as it seems (on Facebook). We aren’t always smiling, hugging, posing for pictures (willingly), photobombing one another, or enjoying great dates and conversation.
Nope, our marriage and our family is full of conflict, misunderstandings, failures, and a host of other “not good” things.
I’m not complaining though. Without the conflict our connection is incomplete. Without the misunderstandings we never truly understand one another. Without the failures we never grow and get better as a couple. Without the not so good things we never develop an appreciation of one another, our marriage, or life in general.
Why Conflict is Helpful
I haven’t always understood this. But after years of it, I have a better understanding. I have better perspective, and more experiences to measure. I’d argue that your marriage will never be as good as it seems (on Facebook) without going through a thing or two…or three.
If you’re a Bible reader you may be familiar with the first chapter of the book of James. James encourages us to “count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” You and I both know that is easier said than done, but the reward for counting it all joy is unspeakable. Take my marriage for instance.
Not once, but twice we went through severe financial troubles, which resulted in us not being able to afford our home. During this time we slept in spare bedrooms of family and friends, hotel rooms supplied by the hotel points of a friend, the basement floor of friends, and eventually an apartment in which our kids all slept in the same bed (we have three).
During this time we ate all of our meals together at whatever dining room table we had available to us. When we had somewhere to be the entire family went, in our small vehicle. We spent so much time together that people would be shocked if they ever saw us apart. They’d say to my wife and I, “you two are always together.” Or they’d let us know that they first came to know us by our kids, because our kids were always with us.
Little did they know we had no choice, many times we had one working car, or with many stops we had to different sides of town it made more sense to save on gas and pile up in one car. Tough times, but we grew closer, and created some habits that we still practice today.
We eat meals together, at home. Our dinner table has been a place of peace, comfort, nourishment, homeschool, work, etc. We’ve prayed, launched business, written blog posts (I’m actually writing this blog post from our dinner table as my daughter writes her book sitting next to me). Had we not been forced into many of these things this might not be so.
So, whether or not your marriage seems as good as those “perfect” marriages on Facebook, or just doesn’t measure up to the “perfect” image your Facebook timeline portrays doesn’t matter. It’s still all good—count it all joy when you go through the various challenges we all face in marriage.
Here are 3 reasons it’s okay that you have challenges in your marriage:
1. Your love is tested and developed.
Until we are tested, we don’t know what we are capable of. Many wives have valuable diamonds on their wedding rings. Those diamonds come to their state of value through pressure and heat. In the same way our love for one another gets better when tested.
2. Your love becomes mature.
Although I said “I love you” to my wife early on it was probably just “I like you”. I say so because I was very immature. I wasn’t mature enough to truly, selflessly love her. As we’ve gone through things I have matured and my life has as well. I am less selfish than I was. Instead of it being about “me, me, me” like an immature kid, it is more about you then me and us.
3. Your love will not lack.
My wife knows I love her and I know she loves me. We are not lacking for love. Our love has gone from strictly an emotion to something we choose to do. I choose to love her even when I disagree, or I’m upset about something. She chooses to love me in the same situations. Choosing to love will ensure your marriage, your love will lack nothing.
Question: So, do you agree? Even if our marriages aren’t as good as they seem (on Facebook)…it’s still okay. It’s still amazing! You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Also, don’t forget to check out Jackie’s blog at JackieBledsoe.com. He’s currently offering some freebies just for Madly In Love readers! Thanks, Jackie!