By Joy Ballard
If life is a journey, marriage is one of its best adventures. Whether or not you consider yourself adventurous, there is no denying that with all its ups and downs, unknowns and plot twists, the lives we live are full of adventure if you choose to see it that way.
The Perspective of Adventure
I adopted that adventure perspective about marriage from the start. It was easy for me at the time since getting married meant packing my belongings and moving to a different country. It was a good thing I chose to see marriage that way back then because since then we have lived in seven different cities so far!
Our most recent change moved us across the country with four children and a truckload of belongings. The adventure was different this time, with kids old enough to understand and a lot more components to figure out. But we were ready for it. After all, we felt like moving pros!
Surprisingly, the first few hiccups in our careful plans threw me for a loop. As anyone would, I really hoped for smooth sailing. I didn’t respond very well to the first interruptions, delays or complications we encountered in the process.
Then, suddenly, it hit me: didn’t I say this was an adventure? And what adventure story has ever been written with smooth sailing from start to finish? None. It would be a blockbuster flop.
Adjusting for Adventure
Adventures involve a lot of pivoting and reworking of plans. Adventures include detours when you least expect it. Sometimes adventures require of us what we didn’t know we had in us to give–sacrifice, trust, loyalty, vulnerability, strength.
Marriage is the ultimate adventure where you get to experience all those highs and lows together with your soulmate. There will be incredible victories and breathtaking scenery. There might also be some rough patches where friendship isn’t exactly how you would describe the relationship. But working together through the adventure, you will find a deeper bond at the end.
I used to be afraid of conflict with my husband. It felt like such a set back so we would avoid it or skirt around it. Now we have been on this marriage adventure for a while, I’ve realized that most of the time conflict is like problem solving. It’s each of us saying, “I think we should go this way” on our adventure and working towards the goal of being on the same page.
The process through the conflict can sometimes feel like crossing a river of lava. But on the other side is stronger trust, sometimes repentance and forgiveness, and always a deepening of our relationship.
Embracing Adventure in Marriage
After the many life adventures we have lived I can confidently say I wouldn’t have it any other way. Somewhere in the wild turn of events we often find ourselves in, we always encounter God in the details and we realize he planned it this way all along.
So when things seem tough, disappointing, unexpected, don’t give up! Trust the journey God has you on and look at your husband, across that river of lava, and remember he’s your guy. You’re on the same team and you can do this together!
Wife Step: What is your current adventure requiring of you? How can you link arms with your husband to get to the other side together?
Joy was born and raised in Mexico, but fell in love with a Minnesota guy. More than a decade, many geographical locations, and four kids later, they are currently settled in the city of Minneapolis, MN. Together they love helping couples discover the incredible adventure marriage was intended to be. Although homeschooling, parenting and helping run their vacation rental take up most of her days, Joy is always finding ways to sneak in time for writing, reading, design and coffee with friends. You can find her posting on Instagram @joy.ballard or @theriverlodgemn. Photo credit: Woodford Sisters Photography
Do you crave a community intentionally growing their faith and marriage? If so, the A Wife Like Me Collective was made for you! Join us as we read Scripture together, meet with coaches, get monthly dinner plans, date nights, and so much more!