|Benny, me, Max, and Lydia|
A question we get from most people is 'How is married life?' And I do not know people's motives in asking that question. Are they hoping it's going bad so they can feel better about themselves? Would they genuinely pray for us if we said it's going bad? Will they be jealous if we say it's going great? Would they genuinely praise God for that and rejoice with us? I guess the honest answer is most people are in-between.
The true answer is that we are doing great. In hearing from other couples, it sounds like it is common for people to have a difficult start to marriage, and from pre-marriage counseling and reading books I admit I was a bit nervous to get married. But after the honeymoon when things normalized and we spent more time together, it was fine.
All I can say is, praise God. I complained (to others and to God) and hated to go through the difficult roommate and teaching experiences I've had in the past, but now, looking at our marriage, I would say it was all worth it. Being a teacher and learning to deal with thankless pupils who complain at the drop of a hat has helped me be less demanding of Max to recognize what I do for him. And having roommates who controlled the temperature, talked bad about me, and slammed the door in the middle of the night has helped me value Max for his thoughtfulness. And when he asks me what I want, sometimes I'm still shocked that he values my opinion. It is nice to be trusted and given the freedom to make decisions for two people and know that he will tell me the truth if he is displeased.
We still have our spats and flare-ups, but the foundation is strong and we know our feelings are not always to be trusted. Love is truth and action, not an emotional roller-coaster.
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. -1 John 3:18
This should be encouraging to those of you who have gone through difficult circumstances and cannot see the point. Why did God allow those experiences to happen? If you had good motives, why were people allowed to attack you and misunderstand you like they did? Well, the short answer is, God loves you SO MUCH that he wants you to rely on him and grow your character. God disciplines those he loves, and he allows us to be tested strongly. Those who are truly His will remain in Him and not be pushed away through the trial. They will draw closer to their source of strength, Jesus Christ.
Think about it. Jesus and Peter were friends, and Jesus told Simon (Peter) that he would be attacked intensely by Satan. It is not stated whether Satan demanded this from God the Father or Jesus himself, but either way, God said yes and granted Satan permission to wreak havoc in Peter's life, with the goal of making Peter lose his faith in Christ.