Given that it's Valentine's Day today and traditionally when we were little and thought of love and happy endings it usually involved a big white dress and a tuxedo, I thought I'd write about marriage. Marriage has had a great deal of media coverage in the last year. Everyone has a different opinion about what marriage is and isn’t and I'm not going to question any of that. What I am going to do, is throw my hat into the ring on the benefit of marriage that is mostly overlooked and under appreciated! 

One thing I know to be true about marriage (having been married for 14 years) is that marriage is all about personal and spiritual growth. I watch people who give their marriage up when it gets really hard and I wonder if it’s because they don’t realise that it is precisely at that moment of intense pain that the work of marriage is being done.

When we find ourselves hurting more than we could ever have thought possible, when massive issues rear their ugly heads and triggers are going off left right and center, this is when the healing work of marriage begins. (I'm not talking about abusive marriages, but normal, when the going gets tough kind of marriage.)

Only when we are safe enough, can some of our deepest issues come to light. Only in an environment of complete surrender, trust and sureness that the other person won’t reject or abandon us can the healing proceed.

If you find yourself in this place, take heart, muster your courage and fight for your marriage. As you push through the challenges, you will find yourself in a better place personally and your marriage will be a huge step closer to being more like the relationship you always dreamed it could be! 

Alternatively, you will find yourself on a carousel, cycling back again and again, struggling with the same issue in each subsequent relationship that follows. Face it now. Get it sorted. Garner your courage and trust. Trust that the other person loves you. Trust that they want to work this out too. Believe that this season will pass and then you can get on with the next great thing together!

Gretchen Mitchell