Going into marriage, both of us had an idea of what we thought marriage should look like.  When we finally got in, however, it became apparent to us that there was still so much to be figured out, so much bending and compromise on both our parts (which can be extremely challenging for two stubborn and independent people like ourselves).  Although we are given a Biblical view of marriage, a lot of times, our own selfishness and pride get in the way.  There are a lot of dating and marriage books out there, offering pictures of what relationships should look like.  For us, it comes down to a daily "laying down" of ourselves for the other person, and that has been challenging and refining at the same time.  

I (Michelle) write about this today because I came across a couple of articles online about marriage, some good and some not so great.  The divorce rate in the Church and the secular world show little difference in our marriages, with 50% of marriages ending in divorce.  More and more, it's becoming more acceptable to say, "Oh, well the marriage just wasn't working".  What that essentially means is that the marriage wasn't working the way that you thought it should.  I can't say anything about those who don't know Jesus, but for those of us who do, the pitfall isn't in simple selfishness or lack of family values.  The pitfall in marriage (as in any part of our lives) comes when we have placed something else as an idol above God (ie- my happiness, my career, my  ideals about marriage). As I write these thoughts, I hope I am doing so humbly, knowing that we are all human and prone to selfishness and pride.  I genuinely enjoy my marriage right now, but there have been times (and will continue to be) when it just seems difficult to be married.  That is why it is so essential that we continue to pray and grow together spiritually, asking for His grace in our marriage as it grows.  

I did also today come across an encouraging video by Matt and Sarah Hammit (Matt is the lead singer of the band, Sanctus Real) regarding a song he wrote named "Lead Me".  The first time Curt and I heard this song, we were only months into our marriage, but we really appreciated how the song wasn't just about a man leading his family, but about God leading the marriage and family.  Isn't HE what ultimately makes marriage and family beautiful?


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