Do you ever wonder why you got married? Are there times that you find yourself frustrated with your spouse? When many of us first get married, we tend to have very specific ideas of how our marriages will look. Often those ideas will clash with the ideas of our spouse.
I believe that all marriages go through ups and downs, ebbs and flows if you will. I know our marriage sure has.
Marriage isn’t easy. In fact, I think it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
The truth is, I have been blessed with a wonderful husband. He loves me. He takes care of me. He works hard to provide for the family so that I can stay home.
Yet, I’ve seen the ups and downs in our 15 years of marriage.
About 4 or 5 years ago, I was really frustrated by my marriage.
My husband was always working.
My marriage just hadn’t turned out the way that I’d hoped.
I had fantasized about evenings spent together, exercising or reading the Word.
I had fantasized weekends spent entertaining or going out to be entertained.
Instead, I faced evenings alone because he had gone back to his office to work after spending time with the family.
Somehow the fact that he had spent time with the family wasn’t good enough.
My picture of marriage had been greatly influenced by Christian Romance novels. Those characters were so romantic. They were in good shape. They seemed like heroes in my eyes. Now I’m not saying that Christian Romance novels are wrong. Most would probably read them and take them with a grain of salt, thinking they were just stories.
I remember clearly the month that God asked me to stop reading those books.
I remember clearly the rewiring that had to happen in my brain.
You see I had come to the point of wondering what could have been different had I only married someone else.
No, I wouldn’t have dreamed of getting divorced at this point, but I really wondered if I’d made a mistake. I believe I was on a very slippery path, that could have led to the separation of my marriage.
Oh on the outside, I pretended that everything was great, but on the inside, I was in a dark place.
Change had to come
#1: I had to come to the place that I would accept my husband for who he was, not who I thought he should be.
Ultimately, I realized that me expecting him to be something he wasn’t actually came from a place of trying to control him. Trying to control someone never brings lasting change.
#2: I had to come to the place that I had gratitude within my heart for all the good that God had placed on the inside of him.
The question that I began to ask myself is, “What if God gave me exactly the man I need?”
#3: I had to come to the place that I loved him unconditionally, not for what I knew he should become.
I’m not God so I don’t know the plans that God has for my husband.
#4: I had to come to the place that I recognized that I was also wasn’t perfect and that I also needed to change.
There was a time that I actually thought that if my husband would just change, I would truly be happy. The truth is that unless we allow Jesus to fulfill us we will never know true joy.
Letting go of the romance books, changed a lot for me. It wasn’t an overnight change, but it was the beginning of an overhaul on the inside of me.
When I let go of those books, I replaced it with a lot more prayer for my husband. As I began to pray for him, I began to see little changes in him.
No, he’s still not perfect.
He still has a tendency to work a little too hard.
He still doesn’t log hours and hours at the gym.
But, the biggest thing that happened when I let go of the romance novels and began to pray, was that my heart changed.
Seeing our husbands through God’s Eyes
#1: I was able to see him for who God made him to be.
#2: I was able to see how he tried to be available for our family.
#3: I was able to see how he supported me in my dreams.
My story doesn’t end here. I know that there will be more trials and there will be more times when I might get frustrated. However, when we choose to allow Christ to help us, we have the potential to have great joy in our marriages.
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