We couldn’t wait! We were in love! So in love, we couldn’t handle being apart for the time it takes to plan and have a wedding. So, with both of our parents' blessings, we headed to a cute little white law firm, me in my skinny jeans and boots, where we stood hand in hand vowing to love each other for the rest of our lives. And then our marriage instantly began...
Hi everyone! I’m Anna Currin, your study leader for the rest of this week. Above is a glimpse of how my husband and I started our life together, something I love about our story! But while our story began high on love, I soon realized there’s a vast difference between fairy-tale love and reality.
I came into marriage expecting it to be like dating 24/7 — great conversations, romance, hand holding, adventure and all the fun things. But then reality came and squashed my fairy-tale dream. I wanted his full attention, affection and the lovey dovey-ness we had while dating. What I got instead was a job, waves of loneliness, longing to be back near family, and my horrible attempts at all things domestic.
Yes, I guess you could say marriage wasn’t exactly what I’d imagined. I had “sky-high expectations,” as Karen Ehman puts it in Chapter 1 of Keep Showing Up. And because of that, in my eyes, I was failing miserably.
It was during that time, though, that I turned to God in panic asking for help, and He began to show me what Karen teaches about marriage:
“Marriage was made to refine you and make you more like Jesus.”
Through the tears and emotional roller coaster of that first year of marriage, God certainly did a great deal of refining in my heart and mindset. As He brought to light my misconstrued expectations of marriage, I began to learn it’s not my husband’s job to fulfill my happiness. And ironically, once I understood that, I began to find happiness. It also became very clear that marriage requires a lot of work and prayer, and it’s my responsibility to put in the effort.
While that first year of marriage was a tough, tearful one, I’m thankful for the way it strengthened us as a couple and helped us view our marriage as a lifelong journey of growth and refining. And though our marriage is nowhere close to perfect, we're imperfectly learning to love and live more like Christ every day, striving to glorify Him in all we do, especially in our marriage.
In Chapter 1, Karen lists five underlying issues that make marriage difficult:
1. We Have Sky-High Expectations
2. Our Culture Doesn’t Support Marriage
3. We Are Fallible Creatures in a Fallen World
4. Opposites Attract, or Opposites Attack
5. Wanting Our Own Way
Which one has most impacted your marriage? How has God used your marriage to refine you to be more like Jesus?
Don’t forget, all comments are entered into this week’s giveaway (listed in this week’s Week at a Glance)!
Can’t wait to hear from you in the comments!