Even though Jesus told us that trials in life are inevitable (John 16:33), we are still surprised by them, mad at them, and at times, defeated by them. God’s intent for intimacy and friendship in marriage may be severely tested when these trials come. But the hard stuff doesn’t mean the gift of marriage and marriage with kids is not good. Our oneness, our ability to be a unified support to one another and enjoy the friendship God intends our marriage to provide is not only dependent what happens between a couple, but also what happens to a couple. In different ways, all of us experience the hurt and hard stuff of living in a less than perfect world. The hard stuff has a way of testing our togetherness.
The good news is, God does not abandon us. While we may feel helpless, the vows we took when we married remind us we are not hopeless. In Jesus, we have all of the resources we need, together, to live out the missing vow to love one another even when it is very hard. Trials don’t have to tear us apart.
In fact, sometimes God “takes us into the depths of our despair in order for a new hope to be born.” It is possible to come through our trials with a hope and joy that is more securely set on the truth and promises of Christ. God can and does use the hard stuff for our good. In marriage, our trials can be a doorway into greater maturity, intimacy, and dependence on God’s grace.
So how do we get through? How do we find hope when we’re living in the middle of the hard stuff? How do we stick together when we are overwhelmed? There is no one method or formula for dealing with all that life throws at us. And sometimes “getting over” the challenges is impossible. But there are hopeful and God-honoring ways to get through the pain, and they begin by not just getting through, but getting through them together.