“Congratulations! But, I gotta tell you, marriage is really hard.” This was the response my friend gave me when I told her I was getting married. My brother responded to the news with a grim, “Wow, are you sure you want to get married?” In an attempt to make sure I was taking my wedding seriously, my well-meaning friends and family overly prepared me for the trials of marriage. Meanwhile, on the other side of my wedding day, the joy I’ve experienced in my relationship has caught me almost off guard.

In the last year you’ve probably read or seen something in the news about marriage: a new study showing a decrease in the marriage rate, a movie glorifying an affair, a splashy celebrity divorce. Maybe it’s my pessimism talking, but most of the stuff I’ve seen on marriage hasn’t been positive. By the time I was approaching my own wedding, all of the talk and images surrounding marriage left me terrified and depressed. How could anyone get married and stay married, and why would they want to? Going into premarital counseling, I had this idea that marriage was going to be hard, horrible at times, and the biggest trial of my life, and I know I didn’t come up with those thoughts on my own.

I’ve seen marriages succeed. My parents are nearing the 40-year mark and my grandparents are getting close to 65 years together. I’ve got some great role models, but sadly I have just as many, if not more, friends and family members whose marriages have failed. Early in my twenties I watched my pastor fall prey to an adulterous relationship that eventually ended in the ruin of a marriage. In the months leading up to my wedding I watched as a close family member’s marriage disintegrated. As I tucked myself in at night, my thoughts were consumed with the things I had heard from the media, friends, and family about marriage. It all made me want to run screaming in the opposite direction of the aisle.

I’m so glad I didn’t.

Maybe I’m still in the honeymoon phase and speaking out of turn here, but I think more of us need to stand up and add some positive talk to the marriage discussion. Is your marriage amazing? Tell someone. I wish more people had told me how great marriage could be instead of how hard it would be and how much work it would take. I know it will take work. I’ve seen far too many marriages end badly to believe that it’s going to be easy.

I love my husband. The fact that he puts up with my selfishness, pessimism and taste in music is a miracle. I truly believe marriage is a miracle. God gave us this beautiful relationship as a picture of Christ and the Church and it is time we started showing it off to the world. In John Piper’s This Momentary Marriage, Piper says it like this:

Marriage is patterned after Christ’s covenant relationship to his redeemed people, the church. And therefore, the highest meaning and the most ultimate purpose of marriage is to put the covenant relationship of Christ and his church on display.

Do you have an amazing husband or wife? Are you amazed every day that they choose to love you? Please share your story, it could be the only positive voice a couple hears in a sea of negative marriage talk. Leave us a comment below and let us know why your marriage is amazing.