To sort of piggyback on the discussion from a few days ago on the post Just Trying to Get By, it seems that, along with a person’s faith being a struggle that should be the source of strength through struggle, marriage seems to be another struggle for many when, if properly understood, it should also be a source of strength for both spouses in times of struggle. Yes, there are many divorces in our country, in our time, but that isn’t even what I’m talking about. So many books are out there trying to teach people how to be happy in marriage, how to continue to love their spouse in marriage, how to make marriage “work.” A successful marriage seems to be nothing more than a marriage that doesn’t eventually end in a divorce.
Is that what marriage is intended to be? Nothing more than something that must be held together? It seems that so many people have found strength in their marriages, in their spouses. Their marriages were something that helped them remain strong as they struggled through whatever difficulties they faced. I wonder if staying married were not the goal, but the given, that maybe there wouldn’t be as many divorces, and maybe more people would start seeing their marriage as a source of strength, not a drain on it.
Imagine for a moment that the parent/child relationship were treated this way? Can you imagine (assuming you are a parent) ever thinking that it was good enough just to let your kid live at home as they were growing up? We don’t even think about caring for our kids; it is a natural and assumed responsibility/privilege. What if they are bad? What if they treat us with disrespect? What if they do not obey us? None of that matters, we love our kids, we want the best for them, and we put all we have into their lives. They are a source of joy and strength for us, a reason to do better and be better and hold on through difficulties, to never give up, to do whatever needs to be done.
I realize that the spousal relationship is not the same as the parent/child relationship but I just wonder why we are so quick and willing to give all of ourselves for our kids, when many times they do not “deserve” it or have not “earned” it or maybe even cause us severe heartache, yet we find it so easy to harbor anger and frustration and disappointment toward our spouses. Maybe I’m young, maybe I don’t understand all this stuff, but I hope that Stephanie and I continue to see each other as partners in the face of a difficult world, as fellow pilgrims on the journey toward Christ, as sources motivation and strength for each other throughout our lives.