Marriage Is Hard
All marriages are hard in one of two ways, James 4:1 or Galatians 1:4. These are on two completely different ends of the “hard” spectrum. One is hard because of our own pride and selfishness, and one is hard because of sacrifice. One “hard” yields life, and one death.
James speaks about our lusts and self-centeredness producing hard, sinful struggles. If we choose the easy way to please our flesh, we reap hard sin, pain, and offences.
“From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. - James 4:1-3
Galatians speaks about hard struggles against our flesh and self-centeredness producing life. If we choose to work hard and deny our flesh, we will reap joy and life, as Christ’s sacrifice did for us. He was following God’s will, not His own.
“Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: - Galatians 1:4
Marriage is the same way. You can serve your spouse through love and encourage them to seek the Lord, and reap the fruit of a wonderful marriage of faith in Christ. The other choice is to please yourself, and subject your spouse to your choices and desires. This results in conflict (two self-centered people butting heads and fighting against God).
“But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. - Luke 12:31
Sometimes it takes a long time of patient love to reach our spouse. Christ spent thousands of years loving His Bride, while she was unfaithful and hated Him. The key to endurance is Faith (in Christ), Hope (in Christ), and Love (for Christ) as found in 1 Corinthians 13:13.
This choice to work hard, or reap hard is shown through the Scriptures in the parable of sowing.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. - Galatians 6:7-8
You are going to have “hard” in marriage. Pick which one you want.