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All relationships take hard work

A devotion on marriage and relationships

In September, the Dallas Morning News wrote an article about how a U.K.-based dating website found that Texas has the highest number of cheaters in the nation. Dallas ranked number one, followed by Fort Worth at number two and Houston at number three. 
There are multiple theories as to why Texas may rank number one, but instead of theories about the weather or Southern culture, I would rather look at our ethics, especially those that should be grounded in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
For instance, there are lies we believe as a culture that are repeated in our favorite movies. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good romantic comedy, but I often find myself arguing with the couple on the screen. 
A couple, who felt they should be together forever, will look at each other and sigh. And then they'll say, “If it was meant to be, then it wouldn’t be this hard.” They will embrace and decide to go their separate ways looking for a different relationship that will feel easy and carefree.
News flash, folks — all relationships take hard work! 
Whether it’s a marriage, a friendship, a parent or even a child, you must put in the effort to nurture that relationship.
I have a friend and author, Abbie Halberstadt, who often uses the phrase, “Hard does not equal bad.” 
I love using this phrase to re-evaluate my feelings over things that seem difficult. It helps me remind myself that just because I’m facing opposition, it doesn’t mean it’s a “closed door.”
In our relationships, and specifically our marriages, we must fight against the cultural screams that go against what our God whispers. 
Just because something is hard, and it might feel like a lot, it doesn’t mean it’s bad. We have a big, beautiful God who can do big, beautiful work. 
If you’re walking through a challenge right now, I want to encourage you to take action in three ways:

  1. Seek God
  2. Seek Biblical counseling
  3. Seek Biblical community

Finally, don’t believe the lie that marriage is easy, and it shouldn’t be this hard. Because, truth is, it should be hard. Marriage is the sanctification of two people, it’s not Disney princesses and romantic comedies. Marriage is not a burden to be avoided but embraced and respected. 

Written by Jessica Gardner, social media marketing strategist for Buckner International. 

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