During our engagement, my husband and I dutifully pursued premarital counseling. A well-meaning seminary professor and his wife graciously walked us through some of the highlights and lowlights of their marriage and how they had addressed issues. We covered faithfulness, forgiveness, and the roles of a husband and wife. But what I remember most about the evening was feeling that I already had marriage figured out. We were both seminary students who loved God, knew Scripture, and had great communication skills. That, coupled with our mutual love, meant that we were could do marriage "right" and avoid the sinkholes that had doomed other relationships.
Twelve years later, I am still, by God's grace, happily married, but I continue to be confronted with the extent of my foolishness in those early days. I have faced unfulfilled expectations, disappointments, and unmet needs, just like every other married person has. Minimally, I could have better anticipated the hard seasons of marriage if I ...1