Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Reality of Marriage

"There are certainly times when marriage seems much more like play than work, the rewards far greater than the exertion.  I praise God for these times!  But often, the labor in building a healthy and holy marriage is anything but effortless and comfortable."
Jerusha Clark, When I Get Married: Surrendering the Fantasy, Embracing the Reality, pp. 16-17

My beloved twin sister lent me this book after she stayed with us for a week.  I'm not sure how she came across it, but what I do know is that she is preparing herself well for marriage by reading this book.  And to be honest, this book is kicking my newly married butt.  In it, Jerusha Clark unveils many myths that women believe about marriage, such as "I'll always feel loved" or "I won't have to worry about money anymore."  I wish I would've read this book before I got married.  In the nearly three years I've been in wedlock, I've learned a lot about myself and my unrealistic expectations I have towards marriage.  I didn't always expect it to be "play" as Jerusha describes above, but I honestly never expected it to be so hard.  For example, I've let myself go into a funk over little things like thinking my husband would share my same level of cleanliness for our house or want to tell me EVERYTHING about his day when he gets home from work!  Little things like that can definitely build up in a relationship and cause a lot of bitterness (reminds me of the saying "small foxes spoil the vines.")  This book is helping me deal with those little things.  But most importantly, Jerusha continually returns to the point that God is the one who ultimately fulfills all of our needs. Being reminded of that takes a lot of pressure off of my husband to be "all" that I ask him to be and frees me to understand and know God in a more intimate way.  I'm so glad I can turn to Him when my marriage journey is full of sanctifying effort and discomfort as He uses it to make me more holy.  Thank you, Jerusha, for kicking my butt and writing a great book for women who hope to have a godly and healthy marriage!

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