Recently, my dog scratched my hand and lower arm. My hand was sore, so I took off my wedding ring until it started feeling better. If you’ve ever had your ring off, or any item that you wear with great regularity, you know the feeling that something is missing. When I noticed this feeling, I began to think about what would happen if I had taken my ring off permanently.

Marriages today do not have a lot working in their favor. We live in a society that wants to make sure each individual gets what he or she needs in order to feel good, do well, and move through life without anything holding them back. We live in a culture that wants to provide an easy way out, no matter the situation:

We are friends with someone until it’s an inconvenience. We associate with people as long as they help our reputation. We stay married until we get hurt, or until we don’t feel like being married.

I realized that if my marriage were to end, I wouldn’t be any different from many other people in our world today. In fact, I have now been married for 15 years, longer than other marriages had lasted.

So, what do we do, those of us who really want to see our marriages work in this world where so many people are only out for their own goals and ideals?

We work on the most important relationship. And it’s not our marriage.

In this crazy, mixed-up world where life can change in a minute, Jesus is our only security. He is our hope when things fall apart, when someone hurts us, or when our marriage is difficult.

Some amazing things happen when we pursue that relationship with Jesus:

Life becomes a little easier as we rely on his strength. Hearts are mended as we allow his healing to work in our lives. Rough roads are made smooth. Relationships are restored.

This is not a guarantee that God will fix a relationship in the way we want him to. Rather, it is a promise that God will heal the relationships—that he will provide what is needed in each one, whatever the specific need may be.

As I pondered all these things, I realized that I need to keep trusting Jesus in my own relationships. Marriage is hard, but it is worth fighting for and should push you closer to God. It takes a lot of communication, a lot of working together, and a lot of selfless decisions—like putting the needs of a spouse at the forefront of one’s mind. Marriage isn’t impossible, but we need each other on our journeys–to encourage, pray, and support others’ marriages.

My marriage is not perfect, and I’m no expert on the topic. Rather, I’m in the muck and mire of marriage—just like many others, wondering what’s coming down the pike. I’m committed to my marriage, but that doesn’t mean I’m always confident in it: Sometimes life takes us on roads where we never intended to set foot. Instead, I’m committed to my marriage, but I’m also confident in God.

What if we took our marriages to God, left it with him, and whole-heartedly pursued a deeper relationship with him? If we are drawing closer to him, then we are doing the best thing we can do to make our marriages work.

I know you are committed to making your marriage work, just like I am. And on the day I took my wedding ring off, I realized I never want to be without it.