Stop Saying Marriage Is Hard!!!

Everywhere we turn these days, we hear the very well repeated mantra that "marriage is hard!" To reinforce this idea, it is usually followed by the oft quoted statistic that 50% of marriages end in divorce. A stat which isn't true, by the way.

And in fact, a lot of people are involved in marriages they find hard. But I don't think this is due to marriage itself being hard, so much as life itself can be difficult, and we often do selfish things in marriage that further compound our problems.

A lot of ministries repeat the idea that marriage is hard, and specialize in helping couples work through their difficulties. But interestingly enough, you would never get the idea that the Bible thinks of marriage as being hard, and that in order to make it, you really have to "work at it."

On the contrary, the Bible paints a pretty joyous picture of marriage, and for all that it has to say on marriage, there is little indication that the Scriptures view marriage as a troubling or inherently difficult thing. In spite of the cottage industry that has built up around the idea of repairing troubled marriages within the church, there is surprisingly very little the Bible has to say about marriage.

Everything that the Bible has to say about marriage is good.

From the very opening pages of the Bible, God tells us that marriage is a blessed thing. In fact, marriage is the only relationship given to mankind that God has inherently blessed in and of itself, and is the only relationship between two people that God is said to have His hand in joining together. Every marriage has its origins in heaven.

So, wherever we get the notion that marriage is hard, we never get such an impression from the Bible. Dare I say that the idea that marriage is hard is a lie that the Devil has told us?

That's not to say that the Bible doesn't record plenty of people who had problematic marriages. Obviously, Eve gave Adam forbidden fruit to eat. The book of Proverbs warns about choosing a nagging wife, or a spouse who has other major character flaws. And of course, the apostle Paul spent a few chapters in Corinthians dealing with sexual issues in the church that put a strain on marital relationships. And other examples could be easily multiplied.

But in spite of such problems, that still doesn't change the fact that the Bible never depicts marriage as hard. The "hard" relationships the Bible deals with involve doing things like loving and forgiving people who are your enemies. Forgiving your enemies, that's supposed to be hard. Forgiving your spouse, that should be a bit easier.

One of my wife's friends once told her that marriage should be "stupidly easy." And I concur. Marriage is a relationship unlike any other. It comes with a unique bond wherein two people are made "one flesh." Since God has blessed marriage from the dawn of creation, and continues to do so even today, it is my contention that marriage should be thought of as "stupidly easy." Stupidly easy is built into the very DNA of the marriage union itself.

In marriage, two people become one person. And the last time I checked, I find it pretty easy to get along with myself. As most people find it easy to get along with themselves. I like myself quite a bit. I make me pretty happy. Sometimes I even tell jokes that make me laugh, even if nobody else in the room finds them funny. If I can't crack up anybody else, I can crack me up! I'm sure you tend to be the same way.

Therefore, if we really believe that two people become one in the marriage union, then we should look at marriage as fundamentally no different than getting along with ourselves.

Of course, in saying all of this, I don't pretend that there aren't a lot of people out there who aren't having difficult times in their marriages. Indeed, I come from a very large extended family marked with troubled marriages. Many people on both sides of the family tree have been married and divorced, some multiple times.

But marriage in and of itself isn't hard. As I just mentioned, it should be stupidly easy. And why not? Marriage is a relationship unlike any other. It comes with the unique bond that inherently makes two people "one flesh." And with "stupidly easy" being built by God into the genetic makeup of every marriage, the fact that we are born sinners into this fallen world does not change the dynamic of God's original design. Even as sinners in need of a Savior, the marriage relationship is still a fantastic and blessed thing that God has given the this world.

Marriage did not cease to be a blessed relationship just because Adam and Eve messed things up. Where sin has abounded, grace has always much more abounded. Adam and Even didn’t get divorced simply because they messed things up. The world literally fell apart around them and “went to hell in a hand basket” because of the sins they committed in their marriage. Yet, they stuck it out with one another for hundreds of years, and had an untold number of children. Divorce never once entered their mind, as God never placed it there.

It has been my experience and observation that marriage only becomes "hard" when we engage in attitudes and actions that threaten and strain the oneness of the marriage union. Whenever one partner insists on having their own way, and not mutually submitting themselves to each other, only then do marriages experience difficulties. Whenever we operate independently of the other person that we are one with, our individualistic self-interests can pull the fabric of a marriage apart.

However, marriages never go bad in and of themselves. God has designed 10 out of 10 marriages to be blessed, joyous, and successful.

It's only when we start functioning outside of how God designed marriage to function that the relationship becomes threatened. And the relationship only becomes threatened when people stop operating out of a sense of oneness, and begin to act separately from one another.

So, instead of going around and repeating the lie of the Devil that "marriage is hard," and creating a self-fulfilling prophecy, I think we need to take the Biblical position, and start saying that marriage is blessed, beautifuly, and "stupidly easy" thing.

Biblically speaking, it's divorce that is the hard part.

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