From my adolescent years onward, I had a very idealistic view of marriage (probably from watching too many romantic movies). I desired my future wife and myself to be true soulmates, perfectly matched, intoxicated with love and continually in tune with each other’s deepest thoughts and feelings. Even as a non-Christian, my heart was fixed upon a marital union that would be characterized by true oneness.
God graciously gave me the woman of my dreams, but my expectation of true oneness and intimacy was quickly shattered by a little thing called life
Katie was expecting our first child within a month of our being married and had terrible morning sickness. I had just started a new job as a high school science teacher with five different subject preps and was commuting an hour each way. She’d go to bed at 7, and I’d crawl in at 1 a.m. after all the grading and prep were finished. Hence, we seldom saw each other and when we did, both of us were utterly exhausted.
Also, as time went on, we began to realize more and more just how radically different we were. After the newlywed fog cleared, we were aghast to discover our polar opposite tastes, expectations, interests, personalities, upbringings, love languages — you name it, we were different!
And on top of the stress of all those differences, we were both still sinners — saved by grace but possessing a very real “flesh” that needed to be mortified on a daily basis. As a fellow pastor-friend of mine once said two years into his own marriage, “Marriage is basically the process where God takes two selfish people and lets them live together and see their selfishness in all its incredible hideousness!”