There are a lot of ways in which we suck, and we’re feeling it today/this year:
Time management is hard for us. The marriage of an exhausted schoolteacher introvert with an isolated-at-home web-developer extrovert is bound to have some issues. He feels lonely and dejected; she feels exhausted and overextended. Compromise and perseverance is a daily struggle.
Sex is hard for us. We’ve seen a few lists of the top stressors in a marriage, and “money” and “sex” were in the top 3 factors every time. Our different personalities/wirings, family cultures, and circumstances give us plenty to work through in this area of life.
Conflict is hard for us. Marriages of firstborns are said to be especially divorce-prone, because strong-willed people don’t often share space with each other graciously. We’re working on sharing space graciously, and we fail frequently.
In the face of all this, things we need to remember:
The Creator holds the universe and all things in sovereignty and goodness. No matter what happens in our lives, the universe is won. Christ is Victor. And to top it off, God’s good plans and victory can extend into our lives, even if we know not the form or how pleasant it will be.
Have realistic expectations.
We are not the spouses of each others’ dreams. Our dreams are human, sinful, and selfish, making them impossible to mutually fulfill. We are the spouses of each others’ reality. Spouses who can wake up every day in broken but beautiful world, flesh, and spirit, and say “yes” to each other once again, and then work to live that “yes”. Which leads me to…
Fight like the dickens for your marriage every day.
“Know thine enemy.” We know that divorce is a real and present danger; we have seen marriages young and old crumble around us where we never would have suspected. We have learned to attack our small withdrawals from intimacy early, because they’re what mount up to destroy a marriage.
Sitting in church this morning, Daniel got an image of us “fighting for our marriage” in the flavor of the video games of his youth — with armor and giant swords. Rebekah drew a picture of it. Here it is: