Navigating Expectations vs Reality in Marriage

By Vladimir Savchuk | February 15, 2024 | 3 mins

Navigating Expectations vs Reality in Marriage

In a story from the Bible, Jacob wakes up to find he’s married to Leah, not Rachel, the woman he thought he was marrying. This mix-up is a lot like marriage for many people: what you expect isn’t always what you get.

I believe that many walk into marriage with high expectations but low preparation which usually results in great frustrations. Here are a few things to consider if you are entering a marriage season.

Marriage’s Five Stages

It’s important to understand that all marriages go through these stages at one point or another:

  1. Fascination – when everything is new and exciting.
  2. Irritation – when small things start to annoy you.
  3. Toleration – when you learn to live with those annoyances.
  4. Appreciation – when you start to value each other more.
  5. Celebration – when you’re really happy to be together.

Being aware of these stages prior to marriage helps regulate your marriage expectations so nothing catches you off guard or creates unnecessary disappointment or dissolution.

4 Myths About Marriage

1. Marriage Fixes Everything

Some people think getting married will solve all their problems. But, the Bible, in 1 Corinthians 7:28, says that marriage actually brings its own troubles. Marriage isn’t a cure-all for personal issues.

It is not a magic pill that causes all of your addictions, hurts, and loneliness to disappear. Only Jesus can do that.

2. Marriage is for everyone

This is not true. Jesus said that marriage is not for everyone (Matthew 19:10). In fact, He was the greatest single-person alive. Paul was another example of someone that did might things for God but was single (1 Corinthians 7:7).

Singleness is not a disease that you need to get rid of. Actually, the word “single” means being whole and unique. I would encourage you to aim towards that even while married.

3. Marriage Makes You Whole

Actually, marriage is more likely to show you your flaws than fix them. It’s like a mirror that shows you what you need to work on. If you allow God to deal with them, you will see changes in your character and in your marriage.

Marriage will only magnify everything you have now, so allow the Lord time to work on those areas.

4. marriage Is a Contract

The Bible says in Malachi 2:14 that marriage is a covenant, which is much deeper than a contract. A contract is an agreement between two people for the purpose of protecting their rights, limiting their responsibilities, and safeguarding their interests. A covenant is an unconditional surrendering and choosing to lay down one’s life and rights.

  • A contract requires a part of you; a covenant demands all of you.
  • A contract has an expiration; a covenant is eternal.
  • A contract is written with ink; a covenant is written with blood.

Remember that God desires marriages to work, but they need to be based on truth, not myths. Marriage is a journey with good and bad times, but understanding and preparing for it can make all the difference.

Read: 5 Snakes to Kill in the Marriage Garden

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