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April in the spring of 1994, a few months before Greg and I got married.

You might actually find a guy with very few red flags who seems totally ready to be a godly husband. And you might think you have practically no red flags yourself. You may assume that you are going to live “happily ever after” once you get married. But please keep in mind that “in the world, you will have trouble.” Some flags don’t really show up well until after marriage. Some people are able to hide their flags and pretend to be what we want them to be until after the wedding. Sometimes new flags pop up that were never there before. And sometimes hard things come – even without flags or warning. I didn’t understand that before we got married.

There is no guarantee for any of us that if we pick “just the right spouse” we will always have everything we want and never have trials – or that our husband will be everything we expect him to be.

In fact, Scripture promises us that we will face problems:

  • “those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.” 1 Corinthians 7:28b
  • “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

We WILL have trouble in this life. We WILL have problems in our marriages – or in our singleness, for that matter. And there is one answer to our troubles. Jesus! God plans to bring GOOD things out of our trials and suffering. He is sovereign over all of it. He will use it to strengthen, refine, and mature our faith and our walk with Him:

  • Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

Please understand that people can and do change after marriage. Marriage itself changes  people in ways we can’t always predict. Difficult things happen and people may respond to grief, disease, disasters, death, trials, the sin of other people, or depression in destructive, unpredictable ways. Hard times will happen. Good things will also happen. Rick Warren, author of “Purpose Driven Life” has experienced his share of heartache and joy. His son committed suicide several years ago – and he describes that good and bad things are happening simultaneously all the time in our lives. It is as if good things are one rail on the train track and bad things/trials are the other rail.

I don’t say these things to be a “Debbie Downer” but so that we will remember that even if we do marry a godly man and we are well-prepared for marriage – there will be trials, suffering and hardship.

So, seek to prepare to be ready to be a godly wife and woman. Prayerfully seek to determine if a man is God’s will for you and is a true follower of Christ. But realize that there will be many good things and many bad things to come. Some times will be full of incredible joy, richness, happiness, and blessing. Other times will be painful, frustrating, difficult, or overwhelming. These extremes are part of life. Single people suffer from problems. So do married people. Married life is not about “living happily ever after.” The time for “happily ever after” will be in heaven with Jesus for each of us!

Our lives here have one primary purpose – whether we are married or single – and that is to bring the greatest possible glory to God!

We may not get what we want or expect – but we WILL receive God’s will for us and we will receive what is ultimately best for us in God’s eyes! His sovereignty brings us such peace and comfort!

Thankfully, there are some guarantees in life, though. 🙂 The promises of God in the Bible for those who are in Christ:

  • God promises to never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)
  • Jesus promises to be a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)
  • God’s love will never fail us. (I Corinthians 13:8)
  • God will cause all things to work together for the ultimate good of those who love and trust Him, who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28-29)

Explore many of the thousands of promises of God to you and enjoy the Treasure that Christ is to us and all that He offers to us – the spiritual abundance of heaven is ours when we belong to Him!

Verses about suffering

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