The hardest substance on earth has been known to be a diamond, and it’s only a diamond that can scratch or cut another diamond. But in human relationships, marriage has been known to be difficult and full of complexities in that the word “marriage” scares many to the bones.
Did God deliberately create a problematic union for mankind? Heck, no!
Marriage has been purported to be complex in that it took psychologists, counselors, therapists, and preachers a lot of research and findings to solve its problem; yet there remains an alarming rate of divorce and marriage related issues in life.
As a God-ordained institution, marriage is known to be hard because of the ignorance of the basic ingredients which many of us couldn’t apply, yet, He gave man simple principles to solve it, but many couldn’t adhere to it.
The most difficult parts of marriage are not those issues we place much emphasis on, but just one thing that is misunderstood by all – love. When love is out of place, sex, finance or third-party influence becomes a bottleneck in marriage. This is why it is very easy to say, “I love you” but to demonstrate it is the hardest; and this makes marriage hard.
Marriage in itself isn’t hard, what makes it difficult is the inability of the partners involved to lovingly iron out their differences when it comes to issues like sex, finances, staying faithful, handling differences and in-law issues, unmet expectations amongst others.
It is easy to point an accusing finger at your spouse, but many of us don’t pay attention to the speck of dust in our eyes – to remove them.
Scanning through several pieces of literature written by renowned authors on marriage and love relationships, I found one common denominator to soften the perceived hardness of marriage. It’s no other thing than love.
Yes, we all know about love; we can tell our spouses how unloving they are, or post something about it on social media, but when it comes to the real expression of love, many of us would score zero on our scorecards.
The inability of a man to love his wife makes marriage hard. Lack of understanding of what love means to a man – submission – makes it difficult for a woman to enjoy her marriage. Love is the foundation for which everything else you do in marriage thrives.
Love is hard because it is a command we must obey whether we like it or not; whether you’re right or wrong and it must: forgive, respect, forsake, listen, and be kind to the one it loves. Having the capacity to love has nothing to do with being a man or woman of God – every one of us must grow into that ability.
Meanwhile, it is easy to demonstrate the likes of Eros, Phileo, or Storge kind of love because no one taught us, but Agape love is hard; you need His grace to accomplish it because it’s not inherent in our human nature. And before you would conclude that love is as easy as those depicted in movies, those are scripted, but in reality, love is hard.
Why is this so?
Love is hard because many of us cannot express love in its fullness. Love in marriage is not a union where you give 50-50 of yourself into it, it’s a union that demands your all to get the best of it.
More specifically, love is hard because we place so many conditions on what we want our spouse to do for us while we wait till they meet the conditions before we do our part to love them. But the love we must express – Agape love – is unconditional.
If you wait until your spouse submits or loves you before you fulfill your obligations, then you do not express God’s kind of love. Scripture has it that while we were yet sinners, Christ loved us and died for us.
It is hard to walk in love with the wrong spouse, but even when the right partner acts the way they do, it’s usually not easy to love them.
More so, it’s easy to get married, but staying married is the hardest. I do not intend to scare you with this, but it’s the truth. You need to stick to the one you’re married to through thick and thin until death do you part.
There would be times when the urge to have sex fizzles out because you’re overwhelmed with the issues of life or your partner is not just in the mood. Just so you know, you will see more beautiful, handsome, intelligent, or irresistible people than your spouse. But in marriage, you have to stick to the one you love and become one flesh.
If you haven’t overcome lust or you have issues with self-control now that you’re single, marriage is likely going to amplify it if you haven’t conquered it, and you die daily.
Love is hard because it has to be selfless and sacrificial. Marriage is not a place for selfish people or those who want immediate gratification because of their needs; you must learn to be sacrificial for your spouse and others in and outside the body of Christ. Jesus Christ modeled these qualities for us. We may not love like Him, but we must grow up to the capacity to love like Him, only then will He be formed in us.
Do you have the capacity to love?
Love is not in word or tongue; anyone can say, “I love you” but demonstrating it is the hardest when your partner does things that make them unlovable. At this point, your human strength would fail, you need His help.
It is not enough to know about love theoretically, exemplifying your knowledge in this regard makes it commendable. Do I write as though I’m flawless walking in love? As a human like you, I bank on His enabling and sustaining grace.
You need to know the truth about love and be empowered to walk in the truth you know.
Jesus Christ and His word is the truth you need to know about love, but the Holy Spirit is the empowerment you need to walk in love.
Can you say, “I am sorry” to your spouse when you are right without exonerating yourself? Can you go the mile to make their life better even when they do not deserve it?
Marriage isn’t hard, but Agape love is, and this is the only ingredient that makes a marriage work. Without love, understanding, communication, openness, oneness, growth, forgiveness and several others would just be impossible to do.
If you can, please lift your voice in prayer for the sufficient grace to walk in love even to those who are undeserving of it.