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 Or perhaps we’ll begin to lose faith in marriage altogether, wondering if it’s simply an outdated institution.

Recently on Desiring God, Adrien Segal wrote an article entitled, “Did You Expect Your Marriage to Be Easy?” Here’s a snippet from the beginning of the article…

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.

While God is faithful to change hearts and minds in the lives of His children, we also understand that change is a process, and often times far from simplistic or quick. Habits of life and thinking tend to change over time as the Holy Spirit works in hearts. This process of change is called “progressive sanctification.” It can be helpful and sometimes necessary to seek help from other Christians who can faithfully lead and walk with us, providing biblical encouragement and instruction along the way for the implementation of God-honoring, Christ-centered change. If you are struggling with life’s challenges, we would encourage you to seek help from your pastor, a godly friend, or a biblical counselor who is committed to seeking answers from God’s Word. To find a biblical counselor you can contact us or visit biblicalcounseling.com to find a counselor in your area.

Born and raised in the Dallas area, Ryan loves calling Texas his home. He met his wife Jessica at Grace Bible Fellowship Church, where he serves on staff and is a counselor for Grace Biblical Counseling Ministries. Since 2013 he has been a member of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, and in May 2015 he graduated from Moody Bible Institute with a B.S. in Ministry Leadership.

The Best Marriages Don’t Come Easy