Divorce is usually the farthest thought from a bride’s mind as she plans her wedding. While she’s walking down the aisle she isn’t typically walking in regret. Most healthy couples are super excited to start their new adventure as husband and wife.
But at some point thoughts like “I wish I wasn’t married” creep into the minds of many married couples. The first year of marriage is a big adjustment for everyone. It can actually be much more than that, leading some to have doubts early on. For others the wish to be single again doesn’t happen until they have been married many years. It’s more common than you may think. People secretly wish they weren’t married for a variety of reasons. For example:
- You discover the person you are married to is a difficult person to live with.
- Marriage may have brought with it much suffering in various circumstances (health, finances, etc.).
- Some wish for a life that is less complicated (maybe the way it was back in college when all you had to worry about was homework and having fun)
- Between kids, husband, work and home life there is little time for self, and the idea of being single and having time for yourself can be very appealing.
Daydreaming about what it would be like to be alone for a while (even if you only wish to be single for a few days) is an overflow of the fatigue, selfishness, or disrepair found in our hearts. If you have ever wished that you were not married then I hope these next few truths will encourage you as you look and fight for joy and satisfaction in your marriage.
1. God is not done with your husband
If your husband is a believer then you can have full confidence that God is still at work in your husband’s life. He is a child of God and therefore God will work in and through him to restore the image of Christ. This work may seem slow, but God does not go back on His word nor does He ignore his child. The best thing you can do is encourage your husband and pray for him every day.
If your husband is not a believer then be diligent in praying that God will grab a hold of his heart and drastically change it. Be an example of Christ’s love to him, especially during hard times, and trust God to do what only He can do.
2. God is not done with you
As God is working on your husband He is also working on you. God uses marriage to bring to the surface sins that we might otherwise have never realized were lurking in our hearts. The purpose is the same for you as it is for your husband, to reveal in you the image of Christ. Christ has gone to prepare a place for us in his kingdom. In the mean time He has given you His Holy Spirit Who is now at work in you, to transform you now and prepare you for eternity.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
3. God has planned this path for you
God is a God of providence. Nothing happens by chance (Acts 17:26). Hannah sings a beautiful song about the providence of God in 1 Samuel 2, reminding us that God is the one who decides when we live and when we die, who will be poor and who will be wealthy. Your life is no accident. It was planned out with the precision and goodness of our God, and this includes your marriage. The spouse you have, you have for a very specific purpose. As we already saw, marriage opens our eyes to sins that are hidden deep in our hearts. We are also called to glorify Him in all circumstances including the good and the bad days in our marriage.
4. God has a Greater purpose in your marriage
Marriage between two believers is a picture of the covenant relationship between Christ and His church. So if you are married your purpose is to display this relationship to others through your marriage. How do we do this? By loving how Christ loved us, by sacrificing the way Christ sacrificed for us (selflessly), by serving the way Christ served others.
But there is another purpose to our marriage. Sometimes our marriages are hard and it is during these times that we have the opportunity to practise suffering well and to learn to say “Christ is all I need, He is sufficient for me.”
As the well used saying goes, “the grass always looks greener on the other side,” but we should know by now that this is not true. The grass is the best where God has placed us. Do you trust your God? Is he good and full of wisdom? Then view your marriage as an adventure that God has given to you. An adventure that will have hard days and dark storms as well as bright days and lots of fun. Two people who love the Lord have the power of Christ on their side and therefore the ability to have a marriage that is thriving and fulfilling.
(Let me say that it is okay, and sometimes necessary, to seek help from your pastor, counselor, or other wise person when your marriage hits a difficult time. And in the case of abuse it is imperative that you seek help immediately.)
Jen Thorn and her husband, Joe, live in IL with their 4 children. She loves studying theology, reading the Puritans, and has a passion for horchata and all things chocolate. Jen blogs at JenThorn.com as well as Love God Greatly. Follow her on Twitter @jenlthorn and Facebook.