One day my then 13yo niece said, “just because you have a bad day doesn’t mean you have a bad life.” Such wisdom from a babe! And she is right. Our life or marriage is not defined by the bad days we have, or even by the good days. They are defined by love.
In the case of our lives, as followers of Christ we are defined by God’s unconditional love for us.
Romans 8:38-39 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Nothing can separate us from God’s love. No matter how many mistakes we make, how many times we fall, He will always love us, and is ready and waiting for us to return to Him, ready to forgive whatever we do. Jesus’ blood covers us so that God sees His righteousness, not our sin. What we have done has been washed away and forgotten. When we come to God and repent and accept His sacrifice for us at salvation, everything we did before that moment is wiped away. And every time that we come to Him after that, to confess and repent, He again wipes it away. Our identity, after we commit our lives to Him, is based on what He has done for us, not on what we have done or who we are.
Love also defines our marriages. My pastor said recently that the mark of a healthy family is not perfect treatment of each other or a lack of disagreements, but love; that after the disagreements pass we come back to one another out of love. If we walk away or remain angry and refuse to forgive, then we are loving ourselves and not our spouse. We are acting out of hatred and not love. Love in its barest sense is self sacrifice.
John 15:13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
The movie Frozen portrays this perfectly, that the act of true love required to heal was not romance, but sacrifice.
1 Corinthians 13:7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
(Love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
If we can come together in true love for each other, with an effort to put the other person first, then our marriage will be defined by that love, and we will have a good marriage overall, regardless of how many bad days we encounter.
Isaiah 9:6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
We belong to God, the most powerful healer and physician in the world. He is working in our lives and marriages even if we can not see it.
Embrace love. Entrust your life and marriage to the only One who can heal it, and resolve to come to your spouse and God out of love regardless of your circumstances.