Marriage Myths: It’s Going to Be Horrible

Tim Dukeman comments
| Family

I happened across this article recently, and now I want to send it to every engaged couple in America. A brief snippet:

I had sat through numerous wedding homilies in which the pastor spoke of inevitable marital strife. And I listened with dread as older couples foretold the trials ahead. As a result, I entered marriage with joy—but also with no small amount of fear and trembling. I loved my husband and thought the world of him, so I shuddered at the thought that my feelings could change. Based on this "advice" before our wedding day, I spent my first year of marriage anxiously waiting for the shoe to drop.Any day now! I thought. One of these days I will wake up next to him and second-guess our decision to marry. Any day now we will find ourselves in a knockdown, drag-out fight in which we are shrieking and throwing our wedding bands at one another.

If you've been married recently or you're preparing to be married soon, you can identify with her sentiments. A short list of things I heard from multiple married couples when I was preparing for marriage:

  • "Some days I wake up, and I don't even like my husband." 
  • "I realized that I didn't even know my wife until we got married."
  • "Marriage is the hardest thing I've ever done. It will stretch you every single day."


About a year into my marriage, I started asking around. The response from my friends was amazing: everyone I asked said that marriage is far better and much easier than they had been told. It should be recognized up front that I didn't ask random people off the street. In fact, my sample was probably an exceptionally mature group of well-educated Christians. The fact that mature Christians have happier marriages shouldn't really surprise anyone, but when I dug a little deeper, a pattern started to emerge: they are keeping short accounts.

My own experience supports this idea. If you keep short accounts, there's no reason that it has to be bad, hard, horrible, painful, etc. It especially doesn't have to stay that way. Let's fight back against the prevailing fatalistic notions. Christ came to save us from sin, not make us more comfortable in it. This fatalism arises from a desire to rationalize sin and perpetuate an illusion that our sin is not our responsibility. But it doesn't have to be this way.

Unless you're not willing to repent of your sin and apologize to your husband/wife. If that's the case, your marriage will be horrible indeed. Your sinful desires will tempt you to sin, your will be carried away by them, and that sin, when it has conceived, will give birth to death. In terms of your marriage, you have two choices. You can keep short accounts, or you can watch your marriage die.

It's up to you. So don't try to escape responsibility by pretending that marriage is always bad and you couldn't help it. You can help it. Let go of your pride and embrace the holy responsibility of displaying the Gospel to a lost world through your marriage.


Tim Dukeman

I just finished my Master's Degree at The University of Memphis, and I'm now seeking a Master's of Divinity at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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