What we expect from our marriages can have a huge impact on how we respond to trouble in our marriages. If we believe and expect that marriage should be like the fairy tale examples we’re exposed to in childhood, then the slightest hint of trouble will lead us to question and doubt. We may start to ask, “Did I marry the right person?” Or perhaps we’ll begin to lose faith in marriage altogether, wondering if it’s simply an outdated institution.
When we get married, most of us believe deep down that while lots of marriages are really hard, our marriage will be different. We all start out so eager to encourage, support, and please each other. We are marrying a wonderful person whom we love to the moon and back, and chose to marry. We won’t be alone anymore. We will have great sex as often as we please. Singleness was hard; by comparison, marriage should be easy. Sure there may be hard things here and there, but when we lock arms with our soul mate, the mountains will melt under our feet.
The rest of the article seeks to paint a biblical picture of marriage that can help correct our wrong expectations and guard us against both idealizing marriage and becoming cynical about it. Segal calls us to consider the marriage of Christ to His church, and how beautiful yet challenging true sacrificial love is. I hope you can take the time to read the whole article and that it’s a blessing to you.