"Great Expectations and Never-ending Hope"
Our marriage story is filled with chapters about being homeless, of job loss and financial bondage, of intimacy and in-law issues, of communication challenges, and more. When we said “I do,” despite our vows mentioning challenges, we didn’t really expect them. We definitely didn’t expect the ones we’ve faced nor the severity of them.
I’m not sure these difficulties would have been any easier had we known they were coming, but I’m a planner and preparer, so I prefer to know. Your marriage may have experienced some of the same challenges, or maybe something much worse. The point is marital challenges shouldn’t be a surprise to us (1 Peter 4:12-13). And the good thing is there is purpose in them.
After listening to our problems in a counseling session years ago, the pastor told us that what we were experiencing was normal. Then he gave us an illustration to show us there was a purpose to our trials. He said, “God is using you to create something great in your marriage.”
“Imagine a hammer, chisel, and stone. God is the blacksmith. Sometimes Jackie is the chisel and Stephana is the stone. Sometimes it’s the opposite. God hammers the chisel causing it to break pieces of the stone, which may be painful. But God’s intentions aren’t to destroy either of you or your marriage. His purpose is to make you and your marriage pleasing in His sight.”
We should expect challenges to happen, but be encouraged by them because we know God is creating something great.
Spend some time in prayer giving thanks to God for what He’s doing in your marriage. Encourage each other to continue on, not getting tired of the work and the challenges, but to be expectant and excited about what will be the result (read Galatians 6:9).
Are you a part of a small group or marriage ministry? If so, learn how the 7 Rings Bible study can facilitate small group interaction, encouragement, and accountability in your group.