I not only get the feeling that others wonder this, but also have people ask me outright …
“Why do you focus on the messy in marriage?”
It’s a valid question, since focusing on the positive in marriage is … well …positive!
But I feel like there are many who feel that the positive side of marriage or life is so hazy and distant that they can’t really relate. I also believe that …
Sometimes God calls you to see the ugly, the broken, the desperate mess from His perspective—the eternal, unseen, redemptive side.
When I was young and newly married, I wanted my marriage and spouse to be perfect, perpetually romantic and always filling my “love tank.” Instead, my experience in life and marriage seemed to be moving from one trial to another conflict to another marriage mess.
It wasn’t until I realized how God was using those “hardships” as refining tools in my life—making my life and marriage more about Him (Christ) and less about me and my satisfaction or image in this life—that I could embrace “messy marriage.”
What does it mean to embrace messy marriage?
- It simply means that we recognize we’re sinners, falling short of God’s holiness every day (Romans 3:23-24).
- It means, we accept that we live in a fallen world, scarred and broken by sin.
- It means, we recognize that we can’t fix the messes that we or our spouses make. Only God can truly fix the messes.
- It means, we aren’t afraid to admit our human frailty, because we know it welcomes the “wandering and weary” (ourselves included) to the truth.
- Most of all, it means that we’re in perpetual pursuit of a surrendered heart to Christ, knowing that He alone can redeem the messes we make in life and marriage.
If you feel that your marriage and life are hard, harder than you ever imagined they would be, then you are in good company here. We will not sugar-coat our struggles. We will not preach perfected platitudes. We will not pretend to have it altogether because we’ve figured out how to perfectly execute steps “a, b and c” of some marriage manual.
We will be real. We will be honest. We will point the way to the One who can redeem the hurts and the brokenness of our lives, choices and marriage messes. We will rely on Him alone to make a difference in our lives and marriages—instead of trying to place that heavy and unrealistic burden on our mates. And we will find hope and healing in life and marriage as we yield to God’s refining and purifying purposes in our lives.
Come with us and embrace the mess that is marriage!
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” —2 Cor. 12:9-10 (NIV)