Many people think running a marathon or climbing a mountain is an endurance test but compared to marriage, they are a child’s play.
This is because whereas a marathon or climbing a mountain has a known finish line, marriage is ‘till death do us part’. You never know when it will be over and trying to make it to the finish line is the hardest thing you can ever do.
It is a continuous work in which you take nothing for granted. Marriage is, therefore, the hardest endurance test and the most difficult work in the world.
Why marriage is difficult
Marriage is about a man and a woman with different backgrounds, temperament and sexuality becoming one flesh. You fuse together and you are expected to show total unity.
A husband has to be a leader, provider and protector. A wife has to submit and be a helper. You need hard work, endurance and humility in order to follow this order in marriage.
Thomas Hearth, a counsellor, says growth in marriage takes place through a number of deaths and resurrection. If there is no growth it is because what needs to die has not died or resurrected. Simply put, you need hard work to grow your marriage.
Importance of endurance
Endurance is the ability to stand a difficult or unpleasant situation without giving way. You remain active to do something difficult for a long time. It proves your sincerity to hold on to marriage with unity and indissolubility is essential.
Endurance also equips you to stand up to all challenges in marriage and deal with them without making room for failure but the only focus is to win.
Endurance is, therefore, not just your ability to bear a hard thing but to turn it into glory.
Endurance beats divorce. An American study found out that unhappily married people who tough out in hard times end up happier than those who withdraw, separate or divorce.
Growing endurance in marriage
Have a positive mental attitude. See your marriage as good so that you never make divorce an option. Each day, see what you can do differently and better. Your ups and downs are learning processes to build your character
Have a realistic realisation that all marriages are difficult. Therefore, the fact that you face challenges does not mean there is something wrong with your marriage.
In fact, because they will always come no matter how much you love each other, be determined to stand strong and to overcome them.
This starts with loving your spouse unconditionally because love endures all things. The source of your nourishment should be your Maker who instituted marriage and calls you into it to serve Him by what you do for each other. Decide to believe and hope.
Marriage, the most difficult work
If you want a happy marriage invest in and work at it each day because love costs. Hold your marriage as precious as a great prize. Anytime your marriage honours God, He will honour you.
On the other hand, God does not promise happiness and fulfilment to those who do not endure. Don’t give up or lose heart. If you endure to the end you will win. Anything which is bitter to endure is sweet to remember.
Marriage is a lifetime race. It is the hardest work you could do and naturally it is painful at times. To endure in your marriage means to keep going when you are hurting and your body would rather give up but don’t quit your marriage; stay strong and get through the pain.
It is not easy but stay in your course of marriage and success will naturally follow.
When God commanded Joshua to lead his people across River Jordan, He knew they needed to work hard and endure. He exalted them “to be strong and courageous…you will be prosperous and successful, for God will be with you”(Jos. 1;7-9) .
When you endure in your marriage, work hard at it and stay on, you’ll find joy in any situation.