Kate says . . .
A bundle of nerves and excitement as I waited at the back of the church. Waiting for the moment when I would walk to him. The man who captured my heart with his caring, loving ways. Six years in the waiting after many years of long distance. I was ready. Ready to be a wife. Ready to learn all about marriage. Ready to be patient, kind and loving. Ready to do it all, believing I knew God’s heart towards marriage.
I never realized one of his precious plans for me in this journey to oneness with my amazing husband would be to bring to light things about myself. I never saw the battlefield ahead. As I can look back over that battlefield, I know that God never left us. He was teaching me things about the man I was married to, but even more importantly he was teaching me about myself.
I am selfish
Plain and simple truth! Marriage has been like holding up a mirror to myself. It has shown me that in most situations, I think of myself first. What I want, my feelings, that I am right or how I am hurt. What about me?? What about me?? That is where I go. The realness of me is not always pretty. I have to be honest, I can go there just as easily now at times. Yet, when I do I stop myself and try to think of Brad and his perspective. During my days, I stop and think of how I can do things for him, putting him first. Being selfish has the illusion of feeling good, but caring for your spouse first feels so much better.
My communication or lack thereof, stems from my family of origin
You know that moment when you and your husband are having a disagreement and you just want to bang your head against the wall-right next to him doing the same. You have communicated your side of things, why is there still a problem? It is through marriage that I started to understand how God has made me as a communicator as well as how the nurture of my family has affected my communication. Yup, I communicate much like my family. I tend to be loud and want to talk things out, where Brad is quiet and wants to withdraw from confrontations. I don’t think I ever took a good look at how I communicated until I was married. Knowing each other’s communication tendencies and how to work those together is such a hard but good
I believe lies all too often
They are everywhere and I have believed them. They are in movies, books, friends, family and even sometimes church. They are lies that the enemy tells us about marriage. If we are honest, the lies usually feed the selfish nature in us, that is how we can identify them as such. What lies are you believing about marriage?
I am a control freak
Sharing a life and a home with another person who has a unique personality is so wonderful and yet so confusing. In the first 5 years of our marriage it sent me into a tailspin. What do you do when you are in a tailspin? Seek control. A little control turned into a lot of control. Especially after we had our first son. I needed control to feel ok in life. Unfortunately control for me was a lack of trusting God in my life and marriage. I trusted God as long as he left it all in my hands and didn’t ask me to do anything I didn’t want to do. Giving up control and asking God what he wanted for my marriage, was one of the hardest things I have ever done and yet it was only then that our marriage began to flourish.
Embracing God’s love and grace are the best things I can do for my marriage and husband
We are told that God loves us, just where we are. Yet we don’t believe it, not in our hearts. We ask God to forgive us for things we have long sought forgiveness for. We feel we must keep asking, because what we have done is too awful for him to forgive us when we ask the first time. We want to do penance for the things we have done, because grace is too hard for us to grasp. The best thing you can do for your marriage is to have a heart knowledge of God’s love for you and that his grace covers it all. That doesn’t mean there are not earthly consequences to our actions. But God’s grace is enough. Plain and simple. I love what Brennan Manning says in his memoir, All is Grace:
“My life is a witness to vulgar grace — a grace that amazes as it offends. A grace that pays the eager beaver who works all day long the same wage as the grinning drunk who shows up at ten till five. A grace that hikes up the robe and runs breakneck toward the prodigal reeking of sin and wraps him up and decides to throw a party, no ifs, ands, or buts. A grace that raises bloodshot eyes to a dying thief’s request — “Please, remember me” — and assures him, “You bet!” A grace that is the pleasure of the Father, fleshed out in the carpenter Messiah, Jesus the Christ, who left His Father’s side not for heaven’s sake but for our sakes, yours and mine. This vulgar grace is indiscriminate compassion. It works without asking anything of us. It’s not cheap. It’s free, and as such will always be a banana peel for the orthodox foot and a fairy tale for the grown-up sensibility. Grace is sufficient even though we huff and puff with all our might to try and find something or someone that it cannot cover. Grace is enough. He is enough. Jesus is enough.”
We are all sinners and God’s grace covers us. Love God and love who he has made you to be. Then you can seek to love your spouse well!
When you go through hurdles in your marriage, you can stop and ask yourself, “what is God trying to teach me about myself through this?” It is the harder questions, but it puts the focus where it needs to be.
What has marriage taught you about yourself? I’d love to hear what God has taught you through your marriage.