Let’s Stop Discouraging Marriage

A sweet group of thirty people gathered around Warrior Man and myself, and placed hands upon our shoulders. We bowed our heads, and they started praying. One at a time. Each prayer like a sparkling jewel being strung on a necklace of blessings.

Back in May, I had my second wedding shower. It was thrown for me by a group of beautiful ladies from church. Before we went through the potluck line and started opening presents the group surrounded Warrior Man and myself and prayed over us. Good. Sweet. Heartrending prayers. My Dad prayed for our walk with God, that it would continue to grow. My Uncle prayed for us, emotion shaking his voice. My own eyes began to swim with tears.

And that is when a little five year old girl piped up, and added her own blessing:

“Lord” she prayed “Please let them not have as many problems as…as…as…” Every ellipsis she added to her prayer caused the tension to build a little higher. Every couple in the prayer circle began to sweat and wonder who’s name she was about to throw out “as…they think they will have.” The entire group burst out in laughter in the midst of the prayer. The next prayer was offered was short and sweet as well from a father of eight: “Lord, I just pray that they have lots of babies. That’s it Lord. Babies”.

It was at this point my face began to burn. Blessings, problems, babies. All ingredients of the complex, undefinable, thing we call marriage.

The potluck was fun. The gifts were nice. We ended up getting so many lovely things. And three power drills! But I am storing that little girl’s prayer up in my heart for the future.

The reason the prayer was so very special to me was that marriage is so opposed in this culture. Opposed in this life. Marriage is not something that is encouraged.

I am blessed by sweet heart friends and mentors who tell me that marriage is good, and true, and worth it.

But I have to admit that I have heard a lot more discouragement about marriage than encouragement. People joke about how the honeymoon phase is fun, but it will all go downhill from there. Others say that marriage is hard the first morning you wake up and realize the other person has bad breath. Still others say “enjoy dating now, because that is the best part of your relationship”. There is this heavy foreboding about marriage–that it is hard, sub-par, and boring.

I have to admit all these comments, while well meaning, frustrate me to the nth degree.

[Tweet “Let’s not let anything dampen the joy of this thing we hoped, yearned, and prayed for. #marriage”]

I have a proposal: let’s stop taking marriage for granted. Let’s start telling engaged girls with stars in their eyes that marriage is good, and right, and true. Let’s step away from the fear of raising expectations, and raise them! Expectations should be high for marriage. Let’s choose to fill our eyes with the delight of having a good man to call our own. Let’s not let anything dampen the joy of this thing we hoped, yearned, and prayed for. Let’s combat problems in our own marriages with the mighty weapon of prayer.  Let’s choose to listen to the good rather than the cautioning.

Marriage is greatly opposed, and only when we fight to redeem it will it once again gain its power. Are you with me?

Let's Stop Discouraging Marriage // Dandelion Pie // Bethany Lotulelei

Grace & Truth Link-up @ Busy Being Blessed

17 thoughts on “Let’s Stop Discouraging Marriage”

  1. Pingback: Week 11 — 365 Challenge | Second Breakfast

  2. Really beautiful and true post, Bethany. I do agree with one of the above commenters that balance is needed – it’s okay to share that times will be tough. But it should be “times will be tough but it’s WORTH it!” I think you’re right that there is so much discouragement and even apathy about marriage…It’s really sad that the divorce rate is so high among Christians.
    Thanks for this great post, and for linking up with Grace & Truth this week! 🙂

  3. Bethie,
    This is such a powerful post, and an encouraging, much-needed message. The thing is, the evil one will do everything possible to take the good things that God gives you–including a longed-for marriage–and turn it around to make it difficult and a struggle. But you are right, with prayer and the Holy Spirit’s guidance, marriage can be a wonderful and blessed thing!

  4. Marriage is a beautiful union and it takes a lot of work to maintain. I think that’s why is not popular to get married, we live in a fast and easy time. Thanks for sharing

  5. AMEN! So many people told my husband and I about how hard marriage was and how crazy we were for jumping into it (we got engaged after a month and were married 10 weeks after that). We heard all about how the first year would be the hardest and so many acted like we were signing our lives away. Next month will make 2 years since we said “I do.” Though we’ve gone through many external trials (car accident, surgery, infertility, death of my grandpa), our marriage has been such a beautiful blessing. This morning as Husband left for work he kissed me as always and then said, “I love doing life with you.” I could barely respond for the tears in my eyes. Doing life with him is one of my greatest blessings. I’m so so grateful for marriage! Congrats to you and Warrior Man! You have many blessed years ahead of you!

  6. Thank you so much for your encouragement. I have great examples of wonderful marriages, but I still hear a lot of negativity about marriage. I hate that this culture is so counter-marriage. I love seeing people speak up against dissing marriage and enjoying life together as one!

  7. This quote at the bottom is just beautiful!! Thank you so much for sharing. I totally agree. People who have been married for a while seem to be so negative about the whole thing. They promise you you’ll fall out of love someday, or that you just are too young and don’t understand it all yet. But I disagree. Thanks for sharing your beautiful words and heart 🙂

  8. We heard that message over and over again – “Just wait until…” We never really waited for the other shoe to drop, and, almost 6 years later, it still hasn’t 🙂
    We’ve discovered more things to love about each other, had more adventures, and have thoroughly enjoyed sharing every day together. No, every day, every season, has not been easy, but each one has been so much better because we get to share them. I have no doubt that you’ll discover the same to be true in your marriage!

  9. About a month before we got married (12 years ago now!), another couple who had just been married earlier that year told us that marriage was a lot of work. And they said it like marriage was a ball and chain, snagging their freedom and leaving them unsatisfied. Well, I can say 12 years in that yes, there is compromise at times but if it’s good, it’s always give and take on both sides. We lift each other up when we are down, we encourage each other’s dreams and we always have each other’s backs. I think marriage is a blessing.

  10. I want to tell you a story of a childhood friend. She was married in 1972. She was diagnosed with her first cancer in 1981, was not expected to survive, and beat the odds. She and her husband raised two children, although the cancer took her ability to have the large family she wanted. They now have four grandchildren. Almost four years ago, she was diagnosed with her second cancer. Two years after that her husband was diagnosed with cancer. They stood by each other, going to each other’s radiation/chemo. She would dress in costume for hers,and he would entertain the doctors and nurses with song. He is in remission. She is not and may not be with us for much longer. This has been a true love story. There is nothing as beautiful as a good marriage and two people who stick with each other – it’s the true meaning of “for better or worse”. May yours be long, and with a lot fewer problems.

  11. Hello! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SAYING THIS. I literally have spoken to several people about this over the last two years and I am glad somebody finally said the same things I’ve been thinking. SO encouraging!!!

  12. Ah, yes. Just a there is in life, marriage contains pitfalls. But we go on living, and loving and trying. Nothing could be better than a good marriage, a partnership through the travails of life together. Grow old together.

  13. Yes!! I love this! I think we need more people like you in the world! So many people are avoiding marriage and I hear so many people who are in marriages, trying to jokingly convince others not to do it. It makes me sad!

  14. LOVE this. We are going on 3 years married and we still get the *eyeroll* “You’re still in the honeymoon phase… isn’t that cute. Not much longer till that ends… enjoy it!”
    No. You know what? Don’t talk to me about some foreboding end to “the honeymoon phase.” Maybe this is just how we intentionally choose to be… and STAY. Encourage us to stay just how we are and to always insist on sitting next to one another at a social meal. Don’t tell us that the hand holding will end. Encourage us to keep doing so! The way people discourage pieces of marriage makes me so sad.
    “Oh, to be young!” they say. No. Oh to have a husband who I love so intentionally and who loves me intentionally back.
    Sorry, haha I sound so negative… but it’s a pet peeve of mine! Marriage is such a gift, so don’t be so hard on it, people!

  15. There’s definitely a balance, I think. We don’t want to paint a picture that shows marriage as easy and perfect and always fulfilling, because sometimes it’s none of those things. But we also want to be encouraging of marriage… and show that yeah, it can be work. Yeah, it can be difficult. But, oh, it’s so very worth it! =)

  16. I completely identify with this post! When we were engaged, everyone kept saying how hard marriage was…it would have been so much better to hear encouragement! After all, marriage is one of God’s greatest blessings!

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