…those who marry will have worldly troubles… 1 Corinthians 7:28 ESV
Disney has corrupted our generation. Happily. Ever. After. Though we all claim we don’t believe it, I think it influences our thinking way too much. Without wanting to acknowledge it, a part of us thinks marriage should be easy…wonderful…at least it would be if we were spiritual and doing it right. One one level, walking in the Spirit does make things easier. However we can never forget we live in a fallen world, and as such trouble is inevitable in marriage.
Ever have a day when you feel like you are constantly misunderstanding your spouse? Even when you try hard to get it right? After dinner the other day, I carried the crock pot from the island to the counter so I could empty the contents into the Rubbermaid I had pulled out. Of course, as I made the trip, my wife moved the Rubbermaid from the counter to the island so she could empty the crock pot. Fortunately we both laughed about it, but there have been countless other things like this that haven’t ended so favorably. Isn’t it interesting that even the good things like this one where we were trying to serve each other ended up with crossed wires. Why? I think because God uses marriage to keep us humble. Regardless of the circumstances, we encounter trouble in marriage and those trouble are an opportunity to turn to the Lord Jesus for strength.
“Happily ever after” damages our soul because we believe that once God allows us to be married, He has finished forming our spirits and souls. In reality, I tend to think God brings us into marriage when He can’t shape us as singles (it’s kind of spiritual formation 2.0 for the really hard cases) :-). Why do I share this? Because I suspect if you are married, you have troubles, and you may be trying to escape the troubles or the marriage. Instead, perhaps, just maybe, God is using the troubles as a form of spiritual formation in your life. It may not be easy, but give up the dream of happily ever after and instead embrace God as the ultimate shaper of your soul, through the trouble you encounter with your spouse. It’s a fresh perspective that just may make life a bit easier.