Today marks two months of marriage.
And, as any married person knows, anytime I bump into or text someone I haven’t seen in a while, I get asked “The Question.”
How’s married life?
I always answer the same –– “Great!! :)” Because, honestly, I have no idea what the protocol answer is.
Am I supposed to elaborate on why married life is great?
How much detail is too much detail?
Is our married life actually “great”?
The questions surrounding “The Question” have been ricocheting off the walls in my mind since the last person asked, and I’ve been questioning what truly makes married life great.
Is it great when things are easy? When you’re both constantly happy? When it still feels like the honeymoon stage?
Or is it great when you’re bickering over who did the dishes last? Or when you stay up way later than you want to because he got off work late? Or when you go to bed alone because he’s not tired yet?
Can married life be great when things aren’t heart eyes and butterflies?
Because, in real life, married life looks like rolling my eyes while turning all of his dirty clothes right side out because he wants them washed that way but doesn’t tend to do it himself.
Married life looks like watching soccer when you’d rather be watching the Hallmark channel.
Married life looks like going to bed mad because you’re both incredibly stubborn human beings.
But married life also looks like hugs and kisses and knowing he’ll still be there in the morning.
Married life is late nights.
It’s budgeting and talking about the not-so-fun adulting stuff.
It’s crying over misunderstandings.
And it’s laughing until you’re sore (which is what I’m doing in most of our wedding pictures because, hey, he’s a funny guy).
And all of this makes married life great.
I’ve heard people say that marriage is hard –– but I’m here to tell you it’s not.
“Woah, woah, woah, little lady,” you might be thinking. “You’ve been married for two months, you can’t possibly understand how hard marriage can be!”
But hear me out.
Marriage isn’t hard. Being an imperfect human is hard. Being married to an imperfect human is hard.
But marriage is not hard.
I’m realizing this fact more and more with each passing day. Because, let me tell ya, I’m about as selfish as they come. I want things done when I want them done and I want them done my way. And I don’t always consider how my husband might feel about things because I’m blinded by my own feelings.
I received Elizabeth George’s book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart, as a bridal shower gift from the women’s ministry at my church back in August.
And I promptly put it on my bookshelf without touching it because I’m a graduate student who thinks she doesn’t have time to read for fun anymore.
But a few weeks ago, something prompted me to throw it in my purse on the way to work.
And, a few days later, something else prompted me to start reading it, one chapter at a time, during my lunch break.
All I can really say is go buy yourself a copy!
Through this book, God is teaching me that marriage is not difficult when I choose to not be a difficult person. I’m learning that my attitude has the power to create a peaceful home. I’m discovering that I’m not called to submit to and respect my husband when he leads well and respect me, I’m called to submit period. No ifs, ands, or buts.
Elizabeth quotes Ephesians 5:22,
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”
She shares that, when we change our mindsets to reflect this verse, our whole attitude changes. No longer are we merely serving our husbands –– we’re serving God Himself.
Now, I’m still learning. And I definitely haven’t mastered this yet (just ask my husband). But it’s putting things into perspective for me.
Because sometimes I really wish I could change things about my husband. There are things I’ve asked God to change about him!
But God just smiles, shakes His head, and says, “honey, let’s change a few things about you first!”
Because I am not always loving. I’m not always kind. I frequently get jealous, boastful, and prideful. I don’t always honor my husband, and I’m usually self-seeking. I get mad easily, and I can hold a mean grudge.
And God knows this about me. He knows my imperfections and sees even the tiniest flaws.
But still He loves me enough to keep working on me.
And He’s teaching me that He didn’t create marriage to be hard (even if I make it hard a lot of the time).
Because marriage is a partnership.
It’s a friendship and a union.
It’s two people vowing to be there for each other when life hands them a double scoop ice cream cone and when that ice cream cone falls on the floor.
Marriage is a teaching tool.
It’s learning who you are and who you want to be.
Marriage is sanctifying.
It’s figuring out why God placed you with this person.
It’s getting a glimpse of how intricately God loves us.
Marriage is dirty socks on the living room floor.
It’s making chocolate chip cookies three nights a week because your husband just really wants some.
It’s compromises and forgiveness.
Marriage is late night fights, early morning cuddles, laughter, tears, and dreams.
Marriage is great.
And marriage isn’t hard.