So many marriages have been destroyed because of a lack of the virtue of self-denial when following Jesus. I have often heard the words “Marriage is hard” from the world. But when I’ve heard it said by Christians, I’ve flinched and thought, “No it’s not; it’s easy.” At the same time I’ve wondered if I’m being proud, simplistic, or unrealistic when it comes to marriage.
I can understand why it’s hard for the world. Unregenerate human nature is selfish. It starts in infancy screaming to be fed. It believes that it’s the center of the universe and needs to be treated as such. As the child grows it should be continually corrected, and if this instruction doesn’t find root, the child will grow to be a great tree of self-centeredness. When two people come together in marriage with two monsters of selfishness still wanting their own way, it’s only a matter of time until they devour each other.
Christians, however, are those whose monster has been destroyed at the cross. They have been crucified with Christ and the life they now live in the flesh is kind, selfless, and loving. Corny though it may sound, begin each morning with, “Oh, what a beautiful morning. Oh, what a beautiful day. I’ve got a beautiful feeling, everything’s going His way.” And that’s all that’s necessary to make a marriage easy.
I was encouraged to find a study titled “Uttering Phrase, ‘Marriage Is Hard Work,’ Number One Predictor Of Divorce”:
Calling it the most reliable sign of an at-risk marriage, a study released Monday by the University of Maryland found that uttering the phrase, “Marriage is hard work,” was the number one predictor of divorce. “Our research shows that expressing a sentiment such as, ‘No one said marriage would be easy,’ is, in the vast majority of cases, an indicator that a bitter, acrimonious divorce is inevitable,” said lead researcher Grant Evelich, noting that, above all else, a marriage is most likely to fall apart after one partner insists with an air of authority that a healthy marriage is about making difficult sacrifices or learning to compromise with your spouse. “We also found that asserting, ‘No relationship is a walk in the park,’ or that, ‘There will always be rough patches,’ makes it three times as difficult to stay in your marriage. The figures suggest, furthermore, that anyone who states that their wedding vows require them to, ‘Stick together through the tough times,’ is, in fact, likely to be divorced within six months.” Evelich went on to say that invoking the aphorism, “Sometimes people grow apart,” is the number one indicator that the divorce was entirely that person’s fault.
Love comes easy when you have a relationship with the God who is love. It’s kind, unselfish, and utterly faithful. My friend Mark Spence told his wife that if she committed adultery and moved in with her lover, he would move into the house with them, sleep on the couch, and make breakfast for two each morning, with tears in his eyes.
Ray Comfort is the Founder and CEO of Living Waters and the bestselling author of more than 80 books, including God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life, How to Know God Exists, and The Evidence Bible. He cohosts the award-winning television program “Way of the Master,” seen in almost 200 countries, and is the Executive Producer of “180,” “Evolution vs. God,” “Audacity,” and other films. He is married to Sue and has three grown children, and hasn’t left the house without gospel tracts for decades. You can learn more about his ministry at LivingWaters.com.