Marriage. It’s different than I thought it would be. It’s way better than I expected! But in a way that is more full and rich – certainly not easier or less work. Marriage can be hard.
Somehow in my early 20s, I pictured marriage as a lifelong slumber party. Fun with your best friend always by your side. It can be at times, but let’s face it.
Marriage takes effort.
Lately we’ve been through some life challenges – which ultimately affect our relationship with each other. It’s the storms of life, the strong winds of challenges. And this sweet little tree of marriage we planted 5 years ago has grown and matured. And now it’s being tossed back and forth in the wind.
And we are grateful.
It’s all about roots.
Recently, a mom with three raised (I should add – Godly, gentle, joyful, grateful) children came over for tea and spent the afternoon encouraging me. It was such a blessing. She helped me see down the road in our family’s life and gave me hope and excitement. She shared this verse with me:
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”
She painted an incredible picture of a tree putting out roots deep into the earth, causing it to be even stronger. When the drought comes, when the winds blow, this little tree has to grab on even tighter for survival. And so when it is several years old, not only will the part we can see be grown, but below ground, it’s root system will be strong and mature. Then nothing will topple it over.
Without those storms, the work of putting down roots would not have happened.
Slumber Parties and Storms
Marriage has seasons – good times and bad. Better and worse. Sickness and health. Slumber parties and storms. In our marriage, we are learning no matter what the season we must put down roots. For us right now, it looks like developing new habits in our home:
- Praying together more often – and in all occasions. The middle of the kitchen, middle of a car ride, middle of the night, middle of an argument.
- Relying on God in our weakness and needs.
- Learning how to disagree when we are tired and distracted.
- Developing a supportive Christian community that knows our struggles.
- Learning when to rest together.
- Finding time for date nights without our daughter.
Anchored and Steady
The storms are coming. We can easily fall over. But if we send out our roots to the stream of living water that Jesus promises, our roots are sure to grow.
“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
When know that when our roots are made to grow, we will be complete and full. Then, when we celebrate our marriage of not 5 years, but 25 years, it will be an impressive tree we can see and measure. But the part below ground – our roots – will be full and developed.
Able to anchor us in any storm.
Able to withstand droughts.
Able to create a marriage that stands.