Learning the Hard Way

If you are in a messy marriage, you may feel like, “When are things going to get easier?”

Maybe you’ve gone to counseling, you’ve prayed and prayed for your marriage, you’ve worked on communicating better with your spouse, you’ve read marriage book after marriage book, and next to nothing ever happens or changes for the better.

If this is your situation, I would have to say there’s another reason your life and marriage may not be getting easier.

Allow me to refer to a rather timely example in the disciple, Peter, just before Jesus was arrested and crucified. Remember how days before Jesus’ arrest, Peter was professing his undying devotion to Christ saying, “I will lay down my life for you.” John 13:37b (NIV)

But Jesus knew that in a matter of days Peter would deny him … three times.

RoosterJesus told Peter, “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me …” (v.38) After Jesus’ arrest, his prediction came true in chapter 18 as Peter stood outside the courts where Jesus was being questioned. It was there that Peter denied his Lord three times.

But I wonder, when Peter heard that rooster crowing, did he learn something in that moment that could’ve only been learned the hard way?

I can’t begin to understand all the lessons Peter might’ve learned in that one hard lesson, but I do know that it was one in a series of hard lessons that radically changed him. After all, Peter became one of Jesus’ most devoted apostles, facing untold trials, persecutions and finally dying a martyr’s death.  

Do you think he would’ve been so fully devoted, so sold out to Christ, had he not learned how to love Christ the hard way?

So when I look back on the many messy moments my husband and I have been through, I don’t think I would’ve learned nearly so much if the lessons weren’t learned the hard way either. I’ve not only learned to understand marriage and how to love my husband more, but also how to hang tightly to my Savior with my whole heart.

I hope that you aren’t becoming discouraged by the hardness you are facing. I hope that you realize how God, the Great Redeemer, is tirelessly making those messes into lessons that will stay with you much longer than any elusive “ease” you may be chasing.

Photo credit by janingar (Flickr)

So today I’m joining Ann Voskamp 
and thanking God for the blessings He’s turned into lessons in my life and marriage! 

Also joining – 

 
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  • JosephPote

    When God said that He works all things to our good, He really did mean ALL THINGS, didn’t He? Even our mistakes…even our failings…and yes, even our sin…

    What an amazing God!

    Thank you, for sharing, Beth!

  • I continue to have to learn things the hard way, but if it is the way that works, bring it on. Thanks, Beth, for encouraging us to persevere despite the difficulties, in whatever areas we face challenges.

  • Ro elliott

    we are neighbors today…as always, great encouragement here…we have to encourage each other not to grow weary…it is in due season we are changed. Blessings to you.

  • messymarriage

    Thanks, Ro, for stopping by. 🙂

  • messymarriage

    There are many that I hear from who are struggling in their marriages, so I always want to remember what they might feel and reach out to encourage. Thanks for reaching out to encourage me too, Lisa!

  • messymarriage

    So glad that He is busy working even when we don’t see it. Thanks so much for stopping by, Joe!

  • Kim Hall

    You give me hope today, Beth. There is a dear couple in my life who have decided to go their separate ways even though they have a young child. I continue to pray for them and won’t give up on them. Now I see that perhaps they still have some very hard lessons ahead that I am hoping may bring them back together.

    As always, thanks for the wisdom.

  • One of my friends says of her trials that she is trying to make sure that she let’s them “count”. I always remember that when I’ going through something hard. How can I make this count?

  • Laura boggess

    So, this is why I always have to learn the hard way…:) it truly does deepen my appreciation of His goodness. Good thoughts here.

  • messymarriage

    I’m so glad that this has lifted your spirits, Kim. I’ll join you in praying for this couple. Perhaps they will realize this very important truth. Thanks so much for stopping by! Hugs*

  • messymarriage

    I really like that, Kimberly. I want to make mine “count” too and often find that my hard lessons are great inspiration for my blog. Thanks so much for coming by and encouraging me!

  • messymarriage

    That’s the trick–meditating on all the ways God has blessed us in the messes and hardships! Thanks so much for hosting “Playdates” and for stopping by to encourage me! 🙂