Why marriage requires mundane work

As many of you know, I’ve struggled with my weight and eating my whole life. I’m obese, don’t like the way I look in the mirror, and the older I get, the harder it becomes to get healthier.

After some friends challenged me, I knew I needed to make some changes. On March 7th I started the Whole30 and did a great job of changing my eating patterns. Even though the Whole30 is done, I’ve maintained clean and healthy eating.

On April 16th, I started a workout group with some friends from church. We meet three mornings a week at 6:00 am and work out hard: burpees, stairs, push-ups, and much more. Our coaches address eating, exercise, sleep, and challenge us to better honor God with our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). I am working my tail off and I’m working up a sweat, people!

But after three months, I’ve only lost five pounds. It’s so frustrating. While some might celebrate five pounds (and I know I should), it doesn’t seem fair. After three months I believe my weight should be lower.

But I’m not here to talk about my weight.

I’ve fallen victim to something we all struggle with. We live in a world that doesn’t value a process but rather wants immediate results. I change patterns for three months and expect immediate change. Meanwhile, I forget about the 44 prior years of sloth and Twinkies. I want results and I want them NOW, and I lose sight of the process.

Last week I read a related tweet by Adam Grant, author, organizational psychologist, and professor at Wharton.

To understand success, pay less attention to the final product and more to the mundane process. It’s way more fun to read Harry Potter and see Hamilton than it would be to watch @jk_rowling and @Lin_Manuel write. But the seeds of greatness are planted in the daily grind.

The tweet also included this cartoon where the illustrator differentiated between what we see on the surface and what we don’t see under the surface (original source unknown on the cartoon).

We celebrate what we see without an appreciation for what we don’t see.

In other words, we see the final product but we didn’t see the behind the scenes or under the surface work that leads to greatness. Usually, we just want the final, great product without all the effort required to get there. We forget greatness comes after days and days and days of the grind. It comes through the small things we do every day.

In an instant society, we want quick results without much effort.

The mundane work required for an amazing marriage

When I read Grant’s tweet, I immediately thought of marriage and relationships. We want the great marriage but we don’t always want to do the hard work required to get there. In this 2-part series, I want to help you get there.

Anyone who owns a home knows the amount of work it takes to keep the house functioning properly. The grass needs to be cut, toilets need to be plunged, trash needs to be placed at the curb, and bills need to be paid.

In the same way, to build and maintain a great marriage, the work must continue every single day. And the work isn’t glamorous. It’s the small things, day after day, that build a great marriage. As Grant’s tweet says, it’s the mundane process in the daily grind that leads to greatness.

The bad news? There are no shortcuts.

The good news? EVERY couple can get there with some work. And believe me, it’s worth the effort. The more time I spend around great couples, the more time and effort I realize it takes to build a great marriage.

Do you want to strengthen your marriage? Check out Kirk and Chelsea Cameron’s online video course THE HEART OF FAMILY. 

This post originally appeared on ScottKedersha.com and was republished with permission. 

Scott Kedersha is the director of premarital and newly married ministries at Watermark Community Church in Dallas, TX. He’s a loyal husband and father to four boys.




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