Updated: Feb 15, 2021
"I will remember always that marriage, like life, is a journey - not a destination - and that its treasures are found not just at the end but all along the way." - anonymous
I was once told that marriage was made to make you holy not happy, and when you begin to reach holiness is when you find true happiness. God created marriage to make us more like Him, but that doesn't mean it is easy.
When I first met Missy I was attracted to her beauty. I loved talking with her because we had great conversations and the communication lines were amazing. But when we got married, we didn't realize the personal baggage that was being brought into the relationship. Due to sexual abuse in Missy's past, she saw intimacy as a way for a male to have control and didn't know how to handle intimacy in a relationship. This caused her to reject affection from me, which made me frustrated and confused. In the end, I began to pull away in every aspect.
Before long, everything crumbled, and we experienced great distress in our marriage. We were fighting all of the time, and I remember reaching a point where I would go see movies by myself just so I didn't have to go home.
A friend of ours finally convinced us to go to counseling. I was dragging my feet, because I didn't want admit we had a problem and didn't want someone else trying to fix it. In my mind the marriage was over. I had decided I would provide for Missy and the kids but just live in a dead marriage.
When we walked into counseling, I started the conversation saying, "Let me make something clear, we have marriage problems." We began to talk and as we did several things were uncovered about how we felt. Tears began to stream, and I realized that many of the issues I were caused because I had turned my back on God and developed a bitterness toward Him. God helped me realize it wasn't about me and Missy but about the distance between me and God, and if I sought holiness with Him I would be able to quit unleashing bitterness and approach her with love.
That was over 10 years ago. We had several years of figuring this out and healing, but when we realized that our focus needed to be on God first, things began to change. When we began to focus on serving the other person and not being served, we saw a lasting change.
That time cannot seem further from where I am now. I realized that now I actually get in a hurry to get home just because I want to see Missy after work. I love Missy more than anything, and I would rather have her at her worst than anyone else at their best. God is using our marriage to make us more like Him, and I thank Him for blessing me with Missy every day.
Perhaps your marriage is going through a rough time. Perhaps you have already decided to call it quits. I encourage you to not give up on your marriage. With God, all things are possible (Luke 1:37). God can heal your marriage and use it to make you more like Him, if you will let Him.
I would love to talk to you if you are struggling with your marriage. I have been there and know how it feels.