In “7 Truths about Marriage,” I reflected on some key things my wife, Susan, and I have learned about marriage. As I’ve read comments on my marriage posts, I’ve come to realize that there are a lot of lies out there about marriage that people are not only believing, but also are embracing.
Here are 7 lies about marriage:
Lie No. 1: Marriage is a contract. If we accept this lie, we think that marriage is a mere transaction. That it’s an “I’ll do this, only if you do that” kind of relationship. And, “If you don’t do that, I’m terminating the contract.”
I have shared previously that “Marriage was never meant to be a contract to be broken, but a covenant to be cherished. [There] is the clear difference between a covenant and a contract … In a nutshell, a contract is all about what you get. A covenant is all about what you give.”
Lie No. 2: Marriage is an outdated institution. If we accept this lie, we are saying that this God-ordained institution established since the beginning of mankind and intended to last while mankind is on this earth can be set aside and disregarded by the whim of man. The institution of marriage may be under attack, but it is still unchanging.
Lie No. 3: Marriage is a 50-50 partnership. If we accept this lie, we excuse ourselves from putting our 100 percent into the relationship. We will constantly be comparing our efforts against our spouses and questioning who does more in the relationship. In such a scenario, husbands and wives may even find themselves keeping a marital scorecard of who spends more, disciplines more, does the dishes more, cleans more or works more. Marriage is a 100 percent-100 percent, give it all you’ve got relationship.
Lie No. 4: Marriage will end the battle with lust. If we accept this lie, we set ourselves up for disappointment and failure. Most struggles we bring into a marriage are not solved by marriage, but rather in marriage.
Lie No. 5: Marriage will fix my problems and make me happy. If we accept this lie, we put unrealistic pressure on our spouse to fulfill us and take care of all our problems. Marriage should bring happiness and satisfaction. Spouses can help one another to work through issues, but our spouse can never be the be-all and end-all of our lives. Only God can.
Lie No. 6: Marriage is about what I can get from my spouse. If we accept this lie, we will crush our spouse with our selfishness. When our marriage is focused on giving, instead of getting, it’s more rewarding and enriching. Love is all about giving.
Lie No. 7: Marriage shouldn’t be hard work. If we accept this lie, we misunderstand the true nature of man and marriage. Because we humans are inherently selfish, husbands and wives must constantly work against that nature and seek to give to rather than to get from their spouse.
Donald Trump once said about working on a marriage: “Well if you have to work at it then maybe it’s not worth having. I have to work at everything else in my life. I have to work at my work. I just think a marriage should be easy, not hard.”
Actually, we do have to work at marriage, and it is worth having. Like most other things in life, when we really work on our marriage, it only gets better and better.
What are other lies about marriage? Have you ever believed any of the above lies?
Mark Merrill is the president of Family First. For the original article, visit markmerrill.com.