Finding Joy in Marriage

Joy in Marriage

Finding joy in marriage comes with great challenges. If you’ve been married longer than one day, I’m sure you realize that.

There are many times when joy flows freely and our hearts feel full of love and respect for our spouse. Other times, marriage is one of the most difficult parts of life.

As we keep the Lord’s purposes in mind, marriage represents the relationship between Christ and the church (His bride). Even Scripture calls this a mystery. And yet we know that God created the institution of marriage and it can yield blessings beyond our imaginations.

In our 30 years of marriage, Mike and I have lived in nearly every spectrum, from unimaginable difficulties to overflowing blessings. I’m happy to say most of our years were full of love and laughter, but for a few of them… the despair and heartache seemed nearly unbearable.

I’ll say this: I’m glad we hung on. During times when we wanted to give up and move on, I’m so happy we stayed. My husband is a gift from the Lord—a divinely appointed partner to share life alongside me. No one (except God) knows me as well. No one can calm me down or fire me up like Mike. We are each other’s allies, friends, and champions. But it hasn’t always been that way.

Next week on the blog, I’ll share how Mike and I overcame our most challenging marital season so you’ll want to come back and hear that amazing tale. Today’s post kicks off a short series on marriage in celebration of June—the wedding month.

June: The Wedding Month

On the topic of the wedding month, I read an obscure fact this week. Did you know that June weddings date back to medieval times? I’ve always thought that the popularity of June nuptials pertained to college graduations and summer vacations, but here’s something, umm… interesting… to consider:

Long ago, weddings were scheduled to coincide with annual baths.

Seriously.

It seems there was just one time a year when thorough baths were given (I can’t imagine what that means—maybe the use of soap??) and that was in May or June. Brides wanted to smell fresh on their big day. Or perhaps it was the groom who wanted the bride to smell fresh. Anyway, they planned the ceremony accordingly. The tradition of carrying flowers stemmed from an attempt to hide any residual body odor.

So there’s that.

Even though we bathe regularly throughout the year, Mike and I married in June. It’s a great honor to also share our anniversary with our daughter and son-in-law. In celebration of the month of weddings and for two upcoming family anniversaries this month, blog posts will focus on the joys of marriage—and how to find God’s joy when things don’t look beautiful and rosy.

7 Simple Ways to Add Joy to Your Marriage

I wish I could say there were “easy” shortcuts, but there are none. Finding joy in marriage takes dedication, work, and unending effort. But it is oh, so worth it (or as my daughter often says, “hashtag worth it!” Yes. It’s #worthit.

Finding joy in marriage isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. There are simple things we can do—practices we can adopt—that can make a huge difference. In fact, I’ve compiled a lovely, printable list of 7 Simple Ways to Add Joy to Your Marriage This Week. It’s free and ready to download by signing up here.

(Please note that the email you provide will give you access to relevant email news and updates as we walk together toward finding joy in our jumbled lives.)

Will you celebrate this month of weddings with me and take deliberate steps toward adding joy to your marriage? Effort poured into a marriage relationship is never wasted. Your determination and focus will pay off, and the results just may prove grander than you imagined or hoped.

Blessings,

Cathy McIntosh

 

 

 

joy in marriage

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