Is Your Marriage Worth Fighting For?
If you are married, you know what it means to live with and love an imperfect person to whom you have committed your life. The bliss of fresh, new love replaced by the daunting task of a marriage that requires a lot of effort to keep alive, can be overwhelming.
On the other hand, we aren’t perfect, either. We cannot hide our human frailty and imperfections from our spouse. They see everything and are called to love us for who we are – the whole package, the good that we possess and the sins that we struggle with. This is why marriage is hard work
So, is your marriage worth fighting for? ABSOLUTELY!
Don’t give up! Don’t give in! It is tempting to give up when disagreements and difficulty gets in the way of deep relationship. We may wish to withdraw from being engaged in the fight for our marriage. When the going gets tough, when we are in the heat of the battle, we must choose to stay engaged and pursue real love – because the love that God designed and created for marriage is worth every amount of effort!
As I was writing this blog, my husband came in the room and prayed with me. As he prayed, I was reminded of how the battle has already been won. If we put God first in our marriage, He will fight for us! He will let us know what we need to do to keep our love alive; He will inspire our actions and thoughts; He will guide our will and our way.
There will be times when one of you will be the stronger–and that is ok. Build your marriage one act of love and sacrifice at a time. Simple deeds are holy and will shape the foundation of love and trust that your marriage can thrive on.
I once heard a priest say: “when two become one–you must decide which one!” In all seriousness, blending two lives into one can be a painful process, but the fruits of joy and peace that come from the struggle are priceless. God has an amazing design for marriage. If we are willing to get up when we fall, to daily choose to love deeper, to forgive and let go of the hurt, to practice patience and understanding, to actively work on our faults and then to ultimately entrust all our efforts to God– then, we will begin to experience the incredible satisfying joy of a marriage in union with Our Lord and His plan!
We are created with a desire to be loved for who we are and to share that intimately with another. I recently watched a short YouTube clip by Mark Hart on marriage, entitled “When two become one.” What struck me in this short clip was the root meaning of the word intimacy–“making the innermost known.” Understanding a word’s derivation often opens our eyes to its true meaning and intention. We all long for our “innermost” to be known. This is what makes us feel loved. In marriage, we can become blind to the innermost part of our spouse. We might not want to go there for fear of what is there. Go there anyway.
We may also not want to open ourselves to our spouse. Do it anyway. Real growth comes in our marriage when we step outside of our comfort zone. When we are vulnerable with our spouse, we are utilizing the most important artillery for the battle to keep our marriage alive and healthy–the willingness to be intimate with our spouse–to let them into every dimension of our lives and to enter into theirs. Intimacy is true love.
For Troy and me to be intimate, we need to be intentional. No marriage is perfect, but we have found that when we take the time to truly know one another, to listen, to be engaged not only in day to day doings, but in our heart-to-heart longings– our marriage thrives. We have discovered that emotional intimacy leads to incredible physical intimacy–just like God intends. The marital act becomes not just a longing of the body, but a longing of the soul.
The pressures and temptations of the culture we live in will never cease to try and lure us away from what is holy and true. Therefore, we need to be on guard to protect our marriages. As a vocation, it is a path to heaven and if heaven is worth fighting for, then marriage is, too. Let us experience the gift of God’s love through our spouse along the journey!