Each couple shared their personal overarching view of marital struggles and successes. The Stewarts expressed their experience through raising kids at different stages of life and working through its share of challenges with determination. The Flemings emphasized the impact repeated job loss can have on a man and his marriage but also how working as a team unites the family even amidst difficult circumstances. The Alvords pointed out how even a marriage created through perfect opposites can be redeemed to stand the test of time for 43 years and counting.
What is it about hearing real people talk about real life stuff and how they lived to tell the tale that is so refreshing and energizing for the soul? I think it's our own human nature to highlight the undesired things in our lives and convince ourselves no one else has felt that way. We size up other marriages based on little to no real information and in most cases, focus primarily on the things we feel don't exist in our own marriage. And when it comes down to it, every marriage requires work, every marriage has ups and downs, and every marriage should be protected. I love how Mr. Fleming put it, "Marriage is a daily struggle...not between me and my wife, but between us and our own sin nature."
It will look different for every couple, but for me the take-aways are simple:
- Don't Give Up
- Never stop working at it
- Pray for your spouse (and with your spouse)
- Stay Connected no matter what the circumstances
- Communication is key
- Christ is the true foundation of your marriage
Anything of value deserves to be protected—and your marriage is definitely valuable! Even when things are good in your relationship with your husband, it’s wise to keep your eyes open, communicate well, and put some “guard rails” in place to keep things on track and safe. Take a look at this article on Ways to Protect Your Marriage. It's a great start if you're looking to build some guard rails.