“Marriage is hard work,” says the pastor to the couple.
This statement is true. Marriage does involve hard work. However, it does not paint the fullest–or healthiest–of pictures for marriage.
Marriage is not all hard work. At least, that is not how I see God designing it. The Song of Songs suggests marriage is a lot of fun as well.
A good marriage is one where elements of friendship are present. The hope is that one marries someone whose company they enjoy. Marriage, like friendship, will require commitment and work to maintain. However, I rarely hear pastors or others talk about how “Friendship is hard work!”
In my admittedly limited marriage experience, I have seen a stark contrast between my two marriages. The first marriage was a lot more work than my second marriage. That is saying a lot since the second marriage includes raising a kid together, whereas the first did not!
Yes, I believe times come in even good marriages where we have to work hard to keep our commitment to the relationship. This is true for important friendships as well.
However, I think something is seriously wrong if we focus on the “hard work” to keep an intimate friendship just as I think something is seriously wrong if our focus is on the “hard work” it takes to keep a marriage.
Be prepared to work hard on the relationship like you would for any important relationship in your life, but I hope that relationship is much more than just “hard work.”