We have been married for almost six months now. I wrote a few weeks ago about how marriage is not our redemption. While writing that, Dan and I reflected on some tough realities regarding remarriage. We are so grateful that God gave us each other and the gift of a new season of life, however we would be lying if we told you it was all rainbows and unicorns.
Here are the reminders we would share:
- God is not going to send you an angel who walks on water. He’s going to send you a real live human being with flaws and annoying behaviors and sin. If you put a new person on a pedestal of perfection and as being your redeemer, you are setting yourself up for disappointment and you are setting up the other person to disappoint.
- Blended families and remarriage bring their own set of hard things. In his book, The Smart Step-Family, Ron Deal says, “it takes most couples five to seven years to get through the tensions of stepfamily life to match that of a husband and wife in a first marriage.” Even in the best of situations, remarriage means you are exchanging the challenges of singleness for all new challenges. If you enter in thinking that remarriage is going to solve all of your challenges, you are probably going to have a shocking awakening.
- It is easy to ignore the sin in your own heart. Can you believe that Dan told me how to load the dishwasher? I have been loading dishwashers my entire adult life and I certainly didn’t need instructions. My reaction was quite strong and honestly my internal response was even nastier. As angry as I was about a silly dishwasher, my reaction was a bigger problem. It was easier to be mad at Dan than to evaluate the pride that roared out of me over something so insignificant. In the book The Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller writes, “Marriage does not so much bring you into confrontation with your spouse as confront you with yourself.”
- Once you think you have it figured out, there will be something new to figure out. Kids change, seasons change, jobs change, circumstances change… all of this is part of life. And every change affects the blended family in ways you haven’t experienced before. We are constantly adapting and figuring out each other as new seasons come our way.
- Marriage is not the end in itself. If the wedding is the goal, you have a whole life left together that needs purpose. The goal of marriage has to be to point each other and others to God. And this is not always easy. It is a life of self-sacrifice and trying to live the gospel every single minute, even in your grumpiest, most tired, most stressed moments. Marriage is a gift for God’s glory which makes it worth all of the tough moments.
If you are remarried or in a blended family, we would very much love to hear your perspective. What would you add to this conversation?