Why Marriage is Hard…

Over a decade ago, something happened in my own walk with God that I’ve found common to people who pursue His calling for their lives as though it is everything to them.

Those of us in ministry (and whether you have a tax exempt organization or whether you view being a mom, wife, friend, or volunteer somewhere else, if you live your life for the Audience of One, you are in ministry) want something more than anything else in this world.

Time with Him.

It’s everything.

Seriously, I’d give up everything I own, all my relationships, endure anything, if it meant being in relationship with Him.

Some of us refer to “that moment” when we have an intimate and powerful interaction with Him that leaves us understanding on a deep level the Gift of salvation, Christ Himself, some of us refer to that as “the Elijah moment…”

It’s when we would do anything for Him – and we say, “Send me, I’ll go,” in response to His question, “Whom shall I send?”

I went from “having religion” by

  • Going to church
  • Volunteering my time
  • Reading the Bible daily
  • Listening to Christian radio
  • Praying daily
  • And wondering if this was what it was about…


  • Going to church
  • Volunteering my time
  • Reading the Bible daily
  • Listening to Christian radio
  • Praying daily
  • And experiencing Him, conversing with Him, receiving Him, communing with Him, living for Him, seeking His opinion on even the smallest of decisions, waiting, doing, learning, loving, literally breathing in His presence in the moments of the day – because I knew Him (and am still growing in that knowledge of Him, but growing in our relationship).

There are hundreds of already written analogies that try to explain this phenomenon. I don’t pretend to come up with a new one that makes sense. I will tell you, in my wondering, I didn’t know how to have what other people seemed to have. I wondered why He interacted with them, but not me. I was “doing all the Christian stuff” but not “getting it.”

So I did what I’m suggesting YOU do – Ask Him for Help.

Seriously, pray, “Dear God. You are amazing. You are the creator of everything. You blow my mind with everything You are. Thank you for the saving gift of Your Son. He is God, He did die on the cross, and He pays the penalty for my many sins. I accept this gift that I cannot earn nor repay. I confess with my mouth that He is Lord of my life. Teach me how to follow Him and obey Your Word. I’m nothing, yet You want relationship with me. I don’t know how to do this. Teach me. Teach me to hear Your voice over the world’s and my own. Teach me to listen to You and to obey. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Marriage is hard, because it takes humility and deep relationship with Jesus Christ to do it well. Pride is the opposite of humility, and it’s idolizing one’s self over God. It’s the greatest sin in the Bible, particularly the Old Testament. Marriage is important to God because it’s the first and only organization He created that represents His Son’s relationship with the church. It matters. It’s going to be hard (ask Paul, he warned us not to get married because we would “have more troubles.”) because it represents much. It’s going to be hard because it is the training ground, the context through which we become holy and have the potential to represent Him well to the world.

And while your marriage may never glorify God, YOU can bring glory to God within your marriage by being obedient to the Word.

Yeah, I know. Ouch. We all just want to be happy.

If you just know about God, but don’t know Him personally, in a deep and trusting relationship – one where you know Him so well you trust Him even when He allows bad things to happen to you – and can actively choose to give thanks in the midst of that, if He is not the most important thing to you, understand that your marriage will be even more difficult. And you’ll be more unhappy, because you are missing out on the most Powerful Resource in the Universe.

You will be more easily swayed by the world. You won’t persevere, because you aren’t living for Him, you are living for You.

And it costs you to get there – we have to die to ourselves and our selfish nature.

And I’m so glad you are on the journey with me. I understand these things. I know how hard and alone you can feel in your marriage. I am 100% certain that my own pride (and my husband’s) cause ALL of our conflicts. I still have too much of me and not enough Jesus inside me. But I’m growing. 🙂  It’s all about obedience and trust, for me.

Love to you,


So what do you think? Are you humble? Do you trust Him? Do you think this is a crazy thought? To actually know God? Is He everything to you, or are you still trying to figure that out? Did you pray to know Him more today?

titus 2 women leadership

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

15 thoughts on “Why Marriage is Hard…

  1. Hi Nina,
    Thanks for your blog! The past year or so I’ve been learning more about making Jesus the center of your life, your whole life. I gave my life to Christ, asked Him to save me from hell when I was in 7th grade and He has been growing me (even if its been slowly) ever since. But this concept of walking with God and having an intimate relationship with Him is something I keep hearing and learning about and I’m in. And a friend and I were talking today about what it looks like when you make Christ your everything. We grasp it intellectually, but in everyday life, what does that look like?

    • So glad you are here, Emily. 🙂

      In everyday life, it looks like having Him part of it all. He’s right there. We’re aware of that, because we sense His presence. We know He is with us, so we ask His thoughts on things we’re dealing with. We listen to Him as He speaks to us. In the middle of a day, He’s constantly pointing out His great love for us…surprising us with it…

      And the contrast, is… on days like today, when I’ve had no margin in my life, He’s desperately missed by me… spent time with Him this morning, but my chaos and the noise of living with kids faded that. So I’m taking action to create more margin. And just doing the next thing, like you. 🙂

      Hold on tight… dare you to ASK Him to bring Him to intimate relationship with you. That slow pace? Get ready for vertical. You do your part, and look out stand back in utter awe as He does His. 🙂

      Love to you,

  2. AMEN! I am learning too. It’s not an easy road but God is so faithful to walk with us as we learn. The closer we are to him the more he helps us. I find him the one I lean on more and more and it helps. Life has been difficult but i don’t know what I’d do without him. My marriage would have ended without his help.

    I’m still too proud, but we’re working on that, too. I’m learning to trust. I find trust the most difficult area to overcome because of childhood trauma. God is walking with me through that also.

    I belive he’s the only foundation to build a marriage on and the closer i get to him the easier it is. The Respect Dare has helped me feel so much closer to my husband.

    Thanks Nina for your ministry to us!

  3. If it was easy, everyone would be in amazing marriages, never been divorced, and weigh what they did in highschool 🙂 Unfortunately, having a great marriage, a great relationship with God, and being healthy takes daily discipline. Something I usually suck at doing.

  4. Marriage is hard, it wouldn’t be worthwhile if it was easy. That being said it can be an extra challenge to be in different places in your walk with Jesus, and finding a balance point between to faith practices to raise a child is adds a whole other level of marriage fun! God is good, and blesses us when our only course of action is our actions. Little things add up to big impressions with a silent but watching spouse.

    I love the Lord. So does my husband. So does our son. We all have a relationship with Him that is unique, and our relationship to each other is also unique. Blending the two so we can pray and praise together is a challenge I never even knew could exist.

  5. Yes! Yes, Nina! I think when you’ve known…not just in the head, but truly experienced with the heart… that unfathomable love of the Father, there is NOTHING that compares…all else pales, and you just want to be in that place of surrender to Him forever! In the depths of me I want His love to overflow so that I can truly love my husband, children, friends, strangers with the very love of Christ. It has taken difficult, painful, seemingly hopeless circumstances, literally driving me to my knees, to bring me to a place where I can say this. Much of that circumstance has not been taken away, but it continues to drive me to His feet and give me strength to obey. He is my all in all.

  6. There is much wisdom here. Thank you for sharing, Nina!

    Sometimes our relationship with Christ provides us simply with hope. Hope for the future… Hope that things will get better… Hope that this isn’t it and there’s something more… Hope that someday things really will be all right. Today, I am seriously SO grateful for this hope.

  7. I have to admit, I am still growing myself. I can honestly say though that I trust Him more now than I did even a year ago. I can’t see my life without Jesus in it and I am eternally thankful for His gift of salvation. I have also found that my relationship with God has had an ultimate effect on my marriage as well; a great effect! We both have found that while we thought we were putting Christ in the center, we actually were putting our selfish needs first before one another and especially before Christ. I have been working on my relationship with God (with the help of The Respect Dare) and it is overflowing into my relationship with my husband. Not everyday is easy, but I have found myself really thinking about what I say before I say it and for those that know me well, know that this is SO difficult for me! My tongue has always been my most lethal weapon and over the years, I have come to the realization how dangerous it was and had become, but I wouldn’t have been able to figure that out without listening to the calming voice of the Lord! He showed me the error in my ways and how I should listen for His words and not my own. Please believe I have a long way to go, but I know that Christ is leading me and I am open now more than ever for him to do so. Thank you for sharing your heart with us!!

  8. You spoke my heart today. God created marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy but there is joy in true holiness. Joy goes beyond happiness because it isn’t dependent on circumstances. I love your heart, Nina.

    • 🙂 Anything good is HIM, Mary. 🙂 Funny we blogged on the same things sorta today. 🙂
      Love you, love this.

      • I noticed that we had a similar message and I did not set out to write what I did. You are so right, anything good is Him and foolish pride is at the root of most if not all problems.
        Love and hugs,

  9. Love this! Thanks Nina. I know about this changing of relationships. I “knew” God growing up and followed the rote prayers and did what I was supposed to in church because my parents told me to. I wasn’t until I trusted God to save me in a life threatening situation that I really came to know God. Now I know that what ever He brings my way easy, hard, sad, happy He is growing me and I will become a better friend and lover to and of Him.

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