I’ve been married for five years now. I came into my marriage with certain thoughts and expectations. After five years, I’ve confirmed some of those thoughts. On the other hand, marriage has also shattered other thoughts and expectations. And that’s a good thing. I’m a better husband today because of it. So I wanted to share something with you today. I think it will help debunk some of the myths that arise when we think about Christian marriages. Here are the top three myths I found to be untrue in my Christian marriage.
1. You will have sex every day.
If there was a Book of Psalms for single Christians it would probably include lament psalms about abstinence. It would outline the struggle to preserve one’s self for marriage. It would end with the psalmist making a promise. When I get married, I’m having sex every day for the rest of my life.
As a single Christian, I was on #TeamSexEveryDayWhenIGetMarried. Boy, was I wrong. Sorry single folks. When you get married you will not have sex every day. It’s just not going to happen. Don’t get me wrong. You’ll have sex. Hopefully, it will be amazing. But the every day sex goal isn’t achievable.
Besides the biological barriers that scream, this might not be a good idea, there’s the fact that some nights it just won’t happen. And that’s okay. Have a conversation. Relax. Enjoy one another’s company. Share intimate moments together. Intimacy doesn’t always mean intercourse. The quicker you learn that, the better off your marriage becomes.
2. You will get along because you’re perfect for each other.
Stop it right now. Just take that Jerry McGuire “You complete me” scene and throw it out of the window. You don’t get along because you’re perfect for each other. There’s no way you can take two imperfect people, have them commit themselves to one another, and expect them to have a perfect marriage.
Though it’s impossible to have a perfect marriage, you can have a grace-filled, egoless, marriage that reflects Christ love for his own bride. Christians who go into marriage looking for perfection ignore the fact that sanctification—a big theological word for progressive holiness in our lives as we move toward Christlike behavior—is a continual process.
Arriving at the altar doesn’t mean you’ve arrived at perfection. In fact, it introduces more variables for your own sanctification. How do you react when your spouse says something you don’t like? How do you deal with them disappointing you?
With church members, you go home and they’re not around. With spouses, there’s no escaping their presence. Ultimately, marriage is a means of sanctification because it gives you an opportunity to pursue Christlikeness with one person over a lifetime in ways you wouldn’t otherwise.
3. You are marrying a clean slate.
Sorry future husbands, there is no build-a-bride workshop. Sorry future wives, there is no husband meme generator. When you marry someone, you marry into their experience. You marry into their family traditions. You marry into their role expectations.
This is why communication on expectations is crucial. My wife and I learned this the hard way. Her family celebrates holidays certain ways. My family celebrates holidays in different ways. Our first holiday together we looked at each other and said, I thought everybody did it like this.
Entering a marriage like it’s the first inter-relational experience either of you have encountered is like starting to read a book at six chapters in or walking in a movie theatre halfway through the movie.
Ask tough questions. Talk about expectations up front. Will you buy one another gifts? Will you have a family sit down dinner for holidays? Will you share household chores? Do this, and you’ll realize you aren’t clean slates; but you’ll learn to accurately read one another and avoid miscommunication.
So there you have it. My first three myths about Christian marriage I want single people to know.
Any other myths you’d add to this list?