Marriage might just be the most insanely difficult task a person can take on.

The knowing of someone and that someone's knowing of yourself is incredibly vulnerable. The journey is inevitably riddled with defensive spasms, long sieges against internal fortresses you never knew existed and sometimes, let's face it, an aching sense of dissatisfaction.

I think the idea that only half of marriages fail is naively optimistic. Include all the sexless marriages, the cold, the indifferent, the bitter and the emotionally abusive marriages and the remainder thins to a sliver.

It's not that marriage is to blame. Any authentic relationship including family, dating relationships and close friendships suffer from the same struggles. But with marriage, you're stuck. There's no leaving for college, there's no "I've just been too busy to hang out lately" or "let's just take a step back" when things get messy.

People are all smashed up. Though we were made to function as this beautiful, holistic community, our brokenness has driven us so far apart that it's hard to even imagine what God originally intended when he said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him" (Genesis 2:18).

Marriage is the slow deconstruction and reassembling of two human beings who were made to fit together but don't even come close any more. My old wounds have to be unwrapped. Her bullets have to be removed. Our anger, our bitterness, our addictions, our judgmental hearts and lies have to be drawn out into the open, understood and disassembled.

It's no wonder that failure is the rule. But if the central goal for humankind is to be reconciled to God and to each other (and it is [2 Corinthians 5:18]), then marriage is important not only for me and Kate, but for our friends, our family, and humanity as a whole. All told, more damage may be done than good within marriages, but the potential for healing--for true, lasting healing--is more potent than I could ever have imagined. It's awe-inspiring.

"And the two will become one flesh" (Ephesians. 5:31).