I just finished a book by Paul David Tripp not too long ago – “What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage”. An excellent book! It’s a book on marriage (clearly) not full of practical tips, but on the philosophy of marriage and why it can be so difficult. It’s on why what you (when you’re just dating) think marriage will be like isn’t what marriage is really like.
From the book:
It happens to everyone. It is the unavoidable reality of marriage. Somehow, someway, every marriage becomes a struggle. Life after the honeymoon is radically different from the honeymoon that preceded it. The person you loved to play with, you are now living and working with. The person who was your escape from responsibility has become your most significant responsibility. Spending time together is radically different than living together. Reasons for attraction now becomes sources of irritation.
Somewhere along the way you realize that you, too, are a sinner, married to a sinner, and you are together living in a broken world. Sometimes this reality just makes mundane little moments more difficult than they should be, and sometimes it means facing devastating things you thought you would never face. But it happens to all.
Everyone’s marriage becomes something they didn’t intend it to be. You are required to deal with things you didn’t plan to face. In every marriage sin complicates what would otherwise be simple. In every marriage the brokenness of the world makes things more complicated and difficult. In every marriage either giddy romance wanes and is replaced with a sturdier and more mature love, or the selfishness of sin reduces the marriage to a state of relational detente.
This is kind of where my marriage is. We’re not in the giddy “Oh yay! Jeff is home from work!” stage of life. We’re also not in a facing cancer/unemployment/betrayal stage of life either. (Pray that that stage never comes, but it might.)
But we’re transitioning into that “sturdier and more mature love” that Mr. Tripp writes about. He writes about how to transition into that kind of love.
How it’s important to prove your trustworthiness daily…
How to deal with differences…
How to protect your marriage.
Most importantly, how to bring grace into your marriage.
It’s a great thing – giddy feelings do fade and that’s okay. They were fun while they’re there and so new. You want them to be replaced by stronger, sturdier stuff.
It’s a great book and I’d recommend it for anyone – single or married and no matter how long you’ve been married.
In other news, Happy Valentine’s Day!