Anyone that has been married for any length of time knows that to stay married you must endure suffering. (Doesn’t this sound like a lovely anniversary blog?) For some reason when we talk about marriage we want to emphasize the warm fuzzy feelings. I love the warm fuzzies when they come, but much of marriage is enduring the day to day. This enduring though is not yucky, it is filled with love!
I love and respect this man so much that I am willing to sacrifice for him. Because of my commitment to him, I am willing to clean, cook and communicate, and then do it all over again the next day. My great love for him causes me to be less selfish, to want what he wants.
This shouldn’t be surprising because it is the same life God calls us to. II Timothy 1:8b “join with me in suffering for the gospel”. II Timothy 2: 3 “Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” II Timothy 3: 12 “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,”.
Our love for Christ will be coupled with suffering for Him. Anything as wonderful as salvation with hope of eternity with Christ will have a cost. We must endure this suffering in order to get the prize. Some hardships will be of the everyday type, others will be more painful, yet, as we endure we experience more of Christ and His power. Enduring hardship makes us stronger.
My marriage is the same. Enduring the everyday trials is like our
work out program prepping us for the BIG trials. As we have faced BIG trials and stood together through them, we have truly become stronger. Some hardships we have made it through, I would not choose to go through again, but at the same time, I would not give up the strength and lessons we gained by going through them.
Today is my anniversary and I ponder the years and look forward
to many more. I do not fear the future because we have a strong past that proves faithful.
All the more this is true of Christ, our perfect bridegroom. His record with us is perfect. He is always faithful, even when we are not. So His invitations in II Timothy to join Him in suffering are as beautiful as if He invited us to sing, pray or rejoice with Him.
So whether it is in your marriage or in you walk with Christ, do
not be surprised by or caught off guard by having to endure hardship, this is part of our high calling!