Marriage Can Be Difficult

Re|engage has had a powerful impact on our marriage. It did not take long after our wedding day to realize that we knew very little about our spouse. We had done a pretty good job of presenting our best self until we were living with each other 24/7. We both found ourselves wondering, Why isn’t my spouse making me happy all the time? And, why is our marriage so much work? I don’t see marriage portrayed this way in the movies, books, or even with others around me.

Last spring, we were introduced to re|engage and it challenged us to work on and pray for our marriage in ways that we never even knew needed tweaking. We both went into this ministry with plenty of ideas on how our spouse needed fixing, but the Lord quickly showed us that He had some work to do in each of our lives. As hard as we tried, we were never going to change our spouse. “I am the only person I can change in my marriage.” Neither one of us is good enough, perfect enough, or loveable enough. But the good news is that God has offered each of us grace through the sacrifice of Jesus and it was not until we realized that we needed to extend this same grace to our spouse over and over and over again, that our relationship would become what it was intended to be. We experienced the importance of making forgiveness an authentic practice in our marriage. Asking for and extending forgiveness allows room for growth and maturing.

We also realized the importance of putting our spouse above all else, after Christ. We have witnessed the fruit of proactively investing in our marriage. Marriage is not an easy road, no matter who you are or where you come from, and it takes very intentional work, reliance on God, and sacrifices to experience growth. We have learned to seek out ways to invest in our marriage which can be difficult in any stage of life. For us, this means regular date nights, being involved in things like re|engage, weekend get-a-ways, setting aside time weekly to connect and talk purposefully and finding things we love doing together. Since starting re|engage again in the fall, we now remember the importance of intentionality. After re|engage in the spring, we were on a marriage high. The busyness of summer hit, and although we did not realize it, we began to revert to our old habits and patterns.

God has also been impressing on our hearts that He can and wants to use our marriage to bring glory to Him in a world with a warped view of marriage. Romans 11:36 “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” We can only display this truth and beauty and greatness of God by delighting first and foremost in God himself. The power to love an imperfect wife or imperfect husband selflessly can only come through complete satisfaction in Christ. We are so thankful for re|engage—the impact it has had on our marriage and the opportunity we have to point others to Christ.

–Ken and Karen Proctor

Re|Engage meets Mondays 6:30–8:15 p.m. Couples are welcome to join the first Monday of each month. Check out our events calendar to learn more.