Chapter Five – The Hard Work of Marriage



Could you relate to the note Amanda sent Jill, you read right at the beginning of the chapter?  It can often seem like all the ‘other’ couples are madly in love and all gaga over each other, when you in fact are in the midst of a season where trouble, conflict and frustration seem to arise at every corner.

Our expectations of the perfect love story set us up for failure when the real challenges of marriage surface.

I had to laugh a lot as I read through this chapter – for those who may not know, I am on my second marriage.  I was married the first time for 8 years and was not a believer, I gave up on my marriage and moved on.  I am not laughing at my failed marriage and lack of conviction to hold it together, but more on Jill’s reflection of how marriage brings two families of origin together.  Well, when you divorce and have children and then get ‘re-married’ take that blending word and multiply it by like 4000!!!

With images of the Brady Bunch as the perfect blended family model, I thought it was going to be easy.  OH, boy – was I ever wrong and misled!  There is a reason God wants us to marry once and be committed to our spouse.  I have also learned a strong marriage just doesn’t happen – it is work.

A new marriage is tough enough, finding ways to compromise and understanding expectations, but when you add in children that perhaps were not interested in getting a step-mom or step-dad, it really adds stress and frustration!

Expectations are hard, for everyone, but certainly something you need to be aware of in marriage.

I thought this quote was so perfect and really resonated for me:

If we’re honest, real marriage brings our ‘yuck’ to the surface.  Selfishness and pride raise their ugly heads in the everyday life of a normal marriage.

Marriage is the one thing which will grow you up like nothing else.  You have to mature and grow in self-development or you and your marriage will suffer.  God intended marriage to provide opportunity for Him to mold you – along with raising children!

I know that my selfish nature rears it’s ugly head both when it comes to my marriage and parenting.  There are a lot of times I do only want to worry about myself or get my way.  {oops}  I need to work on this every single day.  I need to be more like Jesus in every aspect of my life, most especially my marriage.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  Philippians 2:3-5

I have to remind myself daily to respect my husband and the role he has been given as the Head of our home.  I have grown a lot in this area and will only end up biting me tongue every so often.  Respect for our men is HUGE.  

Have you been aware and conscious of how you speak to your husband and how others may perceive your words?

Emasculating our men is like chipping them in half…..we just kick them in the gut.  It clearly damages your relationship.  Is this an area you need to keep a close eye on?  Do you treat him like a husband or just another child?

If you need extra support in an area that your marriage is struggling in, can you reach out now to work on that?  Please let me know if you need suggestions, we all have our issues, just remember that.  Everyone’s insides do not reflect what you always see on the outside.  A strong marriage is a true possibility!

Did you download the discussion questions yet for this week?  You can do that here.

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