The Biggest Surprise About Marriage

I knew this information on an intellectual level but for some reason I chose to be in denial.

I was shocked the first time it happened; like I never saw it coming and then I cried and pretended like my marriage was over in response to the big surprise.

I cried. All balled up in the fetal position on my marital bed.

If you want to be married one day, if you are thinking about getting married one day, if you are engaged to the person of your dreams and are getting married on a certain-specific-pinterestified day or if maybe you are already doing this marriage thing: there is something that surprised me when I married my husband.


What I Discovered

I was surprised in those first few weeks of marriage when I discovered…

My husband is a sinner. (I say is and not was because he is in fact… still a sinner. I just checked. Really, he is a sinner.) 

This truth seems simple enough. This truth is a basic foundation to the Christian life, we are all sinners. (Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.)

For those of you unfamiliar with the terminology of the Bible, (which was me just ten years ago so no judgement.. really, I just checked and still no judgement) to sin means to simply miss the mark; to go through life missing the mark in the middle of the bullseye of God’s perfect holiness.

It seemed like a simple truth. My husband is a sinner. My husband will not do life perfectly. My husband will miss the bullseye.

I am a sinner. (Again am and not was because I just checked and I currently am the worst of sinners.) I will not do life perfectly. I will miss the bullseye of God’s perfect holiness.

My husband being a sinner meant he would sin against me in those first few weeks of our new marriage.

Me being a sinner meant I would sin against him too.

Living together meant our sin would rub up against one another in that little apartment kitchen as we were putting away our new perfect dishes every morning, noon and night of those newlyweded days.

We would both miss the mark of that bullseye of God’s perfect holiness in that little kitchen as husband and wife and we would love each other imperfectly.

Why this basic Biblical truth about sinners was a surprise to me in my marriage still confuses me.

For some reason I believed “the gospel” would bless me, the worst of sinners, with a conflict free marriage. I really believed that Jesus would grant my husband and I, in a marriage of sinners, free from sin and conflict.

holding hands

What I Was Missing 

I would have spent a lot less time balled up in the fetal position on our marital bed if I had known I was missing what “the gospel” really had blessed two of the worst of sinners with in our covenantal marriage.

I was missing the piece that we are both forgiven sinners in our marriage together.

I was missing the piece that even though I fumed with anger about that water glass that sat there on the counter for days… there was abundant forgiveness for that forgotten glass and abundant forgiveness for my fuming anger.

I was missing the part of the gospel that says, “It is finished.” in John 19:30 It is finished for my husband and it is finished for me.

If you are unfamiliar with the words and the redemption story from scripture, I will tell you that from the beginning, in Genesis, the redemption story of God and His people is about God saying, “It is finished” for the worst of sinners. God is rescuing us from the truths we know at an intellectual level but fail to apply to our hearts. The truths we fail to apply to our husbands. The truths we fail to apply to ourselves. 


Because of the gospel, none of us are ever granted a marriage free from sin or free from hurting. However, In Christ, we are all granted marriages full of abundant forgiveness for sinners.

“It is finished” for my husband the sinner. And that is where I have found freedom from the fetal position and the tears on my martial bed.

May “it is finished” be a theme for your marriage. May the gospel give you a marriage full of forgiveness instead of the surprises of sin in your first apartment putting away those perfect new dishes in that tiny apartment.

In Christ I am a sinner. My husband is a sinner.

It is finished for him and it is just the same finished for me.

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