When Your Spouse Starts to Feel Like a Roommate

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Exhaling loudly, I let myself fall onto our couch. I scan the room for the monitor to check if Mike is still praying with our toddler upstairs. I glance in the kitchen and see the dishes that have yet piled high again. The dogs are whining, needing to be let outside. I roll my eyes, annoyed that no one thought to let them out before dinner. It’s the end of the day and my patience has practically vanished. My energy left somewhere around the time I had to start prepping for dinner.

It’s days like these that I seriously don’t have the mental or physical energy to bother even connecting with my husband.

I hear him coming down the stairs as I start to unload the dishwasher. He slowly steps into the kitchen, looks around, and decides to feed the dogs. After unloading the dishwasher, I float to the laundry room to start working on that load that’s been sitting in there for a couple of days. Mike rhythmically moves to load the empty dishwasher. Even though we’re both exhausted, our absent-minded bodies move robotically to do our chores.

No eye contact is needed. No connection is needed. We move, doing what needs to be done, not realizing the slow beat of our tiredness is slowly eating away our heart-to-heart connection.

I used to think it was nice being able to do these things without having to talk about it much. I used to think it was the result of a strong marriage being able to ebb and flow around the home without communicating much. A little lie I tell myself.

A lie that builds a foundation on shifting sand.

It’s that deafening, quiet sound of methodical chores, questionless requests and rhythmical bedtime routines that I let turn my husband into a roommate.

It starts when we each settle into our routines in the evening, after a long day of working and parenting, that we slowly start the change. I grab my phone. He grabs his. We think we’re watching TV together as the sound of the commercials fall on deaf ears.

It’s when Mike comes through the door and I practically throw my son at him without so much of a greeting, while I rush back to the stove as the timer blares at me so my meatloaf doesn’t burn.

I see it as we start to go to bed at different times on a what seems to have become a regular basis. I see it as I start my morning chores while he eats his breakfast before heading off to work.

I then have to ask myself, how did we get here? How did we become the model marriage of robotic intimacy?

Flashes of a dinner spent asking about each other’s day gets replaced with managing kids at the dinner table. I see a fog around our evenings of actually watching our favorite show together and engaging about the plot and characters. Quiet time together in the dark mornings over a cup of coffee seem like forever ago. Intimacy that spread from the kitchen to the bedroom seems like a distant memory.

I suddenly feel this urgency to reconnect with my husband. My breath starts to quicken as I become angry, realizing that the man who knows my heart better than anyone, the man whom I am building a family with, has started to feel like a roommate.

I’m angry because I let it happen.

Sure, it takes two tango, but someone has to take the first step to get the dance moving.

I am learning more and more to appreciate these seasons in my marriage. When I feel my connection with my husband thinning, I realize God is pricking my heart as his daughter, letting me see that having a husband as a roommate is not what He wants for me or for my husband. That when we go through these seasons which seem harmless, are really precursors to a desert. Getting angry that I let my marriage cycle to this point is God’s red flag to me, gently waving in the distant, calling me back to Him.

It’s a weird dynamic to be angry about becoming distant with my husband yet grateful that I feel a closeness to my heavenly Father, whose voice I hear, whispering in his familiar voice.

The reality is this: when I feel this way with my husband, I more often than not am with this way in my relationship with God.

Morning quiet time with the Creator becomes a routine. Prayer seems formulaic. Talking with the Lord seems exhausting after everything I had to do that day.

And His beckoning to refocus on Him and His truth draw my up into his arms and open my heart to my husband again. I decide to make eye contact with my husband when we do the dishes. I decide to take back my empty chores and take my cell-phone glazed eyes and direct them to my husband, not a roommate.

I decide to take the first step. I decide to take back my marriage.

Before our strong foundation turns to sand.

Peace,
Glo

Marriage Struggles: When your spouse starts to feel like a roommate.

Is it OK to love on my husband when I don’t feel like it?

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Spices are in the air. The heat from the oven overwhelms me as I take out the rolls for dinner. Clanking from the corner as Asher decides a spoon is the best for banging against his plate. Dogs are licking up flying food. Steam from the stove top as my potatoes bubble, telling me they’re done. It’s just occurred to me that I haven’t pee’d since this morning. Now we’re crying from the corner because apparently we didn’t want the dog to lick the food off of his actual plate. Fan is running high trying to keep things cool in the house while it’s 100 degrees outside. If only I had just used the grill this time. The buzzer goes off on the dryer reminding me my huband’s work clothes are done. My husband who will be late for dinner tonight.

I step in some food the dogs missed. I am going to have to mop tonight after Asher goes to bed. Might as well finish cleaning the kitchen while I’m at it. What little time to myself I thought I might have this evening has gone out the window. All the while my husband probably wont be home for another hour or so and his dinner plate will be waiting for him in the microwave. Anger flares. I feel like I do it all and he seems to miss this somehow. I don’t even bother to think what kind of day he has had that has caused him to come home late.

The nights Mike doesn’t have to work late are the best. You know those images of moms handing off their littles to the hubs as he walks in the door? We basically have that down pat in our house. Sometimes I can’t imagine doing this with more than one kid. I fall down at your feet mamas who are reading this with more than one! And working mamas? Holy cow. Let me just pause and say you are freaking awesome.

Digression aside, when the days are long and the evenings are short, I tend to operate out of my emotions easily. So I want to eat that ice cream? OK. I’m gonna do that. So I just want to read for an hour and fall asleep while I’m at, forgetting to brush my teeth? Yep, I’ll do that on occasion.

The problem is that when I get into these funks, my marriage suffers. My relationship with Christ tends to suffer too. I spend less time praying or reading and more time focusing on everything I “need” to do or choose my “selfish” time instead. And I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty good at talking myself out of things I don’t feel like doing. Especially, for my husband.  I mean, it would be hypocritical of me to show him love by massaging his feet when I absolutely don’t FEEL like doing that. I don’t feel like loving on my husband. I don’t remember him loving on me anytime recently. Why should I do him a favor? LOOK at my day people. My everyday. Who has time for marriage when you are starting a family?

What a silly question. My marriage IS the bedrock of our family. What we do for each other day in and day out in turn serves our family. I think of how easily I get snippy with Mike in front of our son and he can’t repeat what I say yet thank goodness! I think of the moments I throw respect out the window. I think of how easily I let satan envelope me with my selfishness which is the opposite of God’s love. The supernatural love I have flowing through me to minister to others. The love I choose daily. Well, try to anyways. But sometimes, OK lots of times, I suck majorly at this.

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I am reminded of Glennon’s words from Carry On, Warrior who says love isn’t something we feel. It’s something we do. 

All those times when I don’t feel like loving on my husband, well, those are the times I should anyways. The feelings will come eventually. Those are the times my marriage needs me to act on love the most. Because if I don’t, then all those shouldas wouldas will become dust, and my marriage will waiver with the wind.


Our foundation will settle and our home will start to suffer.


I think I forget that we’re a team. That’s it’s me and my husband against the wiles of the devil. I get so me-focused that I forget we’re together on this. I take care of him. He takes care of me. And when my selfish self feels like he isn’t holding up his “end of the deal” then those are the moments to love on him the most. Not for his sake. For mine. I need to love on him when I feel my love bank going empty because that is when God works in my heart the most. That is when I can hear His voice the best. When I am utterly leaning in to Him, trusting Him with my marriage.

I need to love on my husband even when I don’t feel like it because God’s Word calls me to. I am to love even when I don’t feel like because God loves me. He first loved me so I could love others (1 John 4:19). Feelings have nothing to do with it.

Thinking about myself all the time brings deafness to my ears.

So the next time my potatoes are about to boil over and I realize that my evening is shot and my husband better not even ask for help with anything or to be loved on, well, those are the moments when I will cry out to my Father to give me ears to hear and eyes to see. To see my husband as He does.

Do you hear me friends? What about you? Do you let your feelings get in the way of truth?
Peace,
Glo

Struggling in your marriage? What about when you dont FEEL like loving your spouse? Is it OK to love my husbandPIN

I Am Not my Husband’s Holy Spirit

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I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while now. I know some friends of mine who would love to change things about their husbands. Don’t get me wrong. We love them and there are so many things we wouldn’t ever want to change, but I know we can all relate to the things we wish were a little different. And I’m sure there are many husbands out there who would say the same thing about their wives. I have recently felt like God is speaking to me about this in my relationship with Mike and all I can say is the message I’ve been getting loud and clear is that I am not my husband’s holy spirit. 

I have found in many of my conversations with my friends and with myself, things that we want to change about our husbands sometimes fall into the “spiritual” category. Apparently, we think we know what is best for him and his relationship with Christ. I could easily give a checklist about what my friends and myself think our husbands should be doing differently to better his relationship with Christ.

1) He should frequently initiate prayer with his wife. I mean if I’m having a bad day I want to pray about it. Right?
2) He should want to read the Bible with his wife. I LOVE to read. Why shouldn’t I expect this from him too?
3) He should take initiative to communicate about his spiritual journey with his wife. Let’s stay up and talk about this for hours. Ha!
4) He should read his Bible a lot, in front of me, so I can see it to make me feel better for some reason.
5) Being a leader in the church in some capacity would be a nice bonus.
6) Insert some other expectation in your mind that you think your husband should be doing.

Seriously, though, I sat down and wrote down all the things I thought Mike should “grow” in as a Christian dad/husband of our home. Whether you’ve actually written these down or not, I’m sure you’ve got that list somewhere in your heart. My list had some similarities to the one above. I then made a list of all the things that Mike already is as a Christian dad/husband of our home. As I followed this process I felt God revealing to me that my perception of what we think our husbands should be are based more on worldly expectations instead of what God’s Word says.

Our checklists are based on our emotional desires/needs than maybe what God has really in store for them. Mike does initiate prayer. Maybe not everytime I wish he did, but he certainly does in other various situations. Mike does read his Bible. Honestly, I’m not sure how often he does this. If I was only around him every second of the day… God said to me,”Gloryanna, you’re not his Holy Spirit. What makes you think he needs to “grow” in all these things? How are you growing? What are you learning?” It was then that I knew God was re-directing my focus on to Him and my relationship with Him and where I’m at in my journey with Him.

I was reminded of John Eldredge’s book Love and War when he talks about how mysterious marriage is, yet it is so obvious that God created the union between a man and a woman to reflect His relationship with us. As a result, our marriages are an element to cause us to grow in our relationship with Christ. What is beautiful about this is that in the way I view Mike as “weak” or needs to grow, I find that I’m relatively strong at. I’m sure many of you have learned this in your marriage that you both tend to have complimenting strengths and weaknesses. Where I’m weak, he’s strong. Where he’s weak, I’m strong.

I had never really thought before about how my strengths could be used to help encourage Mike and influence him in a positive way. For example, when I wake in the mornings, I have found that I like to pray before my feet hit the ground. Starting the day off choosing joy and God’s peace is vital to my daily walk. Instead of being discouraged that Mike isn’t all bright-eyed and bushy-taled to start the day like that with me, doesn’t mean I can’t initiate that for BOTH of us as we start our day.

As a result, on Mondays and Wednesdays, I roll over and whisper to Mike that I’m going to pray for our day. Come to find out, he loves that I do this and it means a lot for him to start his day this way. Simple example of something that I could have easily been irritated with and gone about all the wrong way. I find many of us might say something to our husbands like, “you know, it would be really nice if we prayed more together. Why don’t we take turns praying before we get out of bed?” or maybe something like “I wish you would pray in the mornings with me. It would make you feel so much better.”

I don’t know about your husbands, but Mike can hardly function in the mornings, let alone in bed at 6:00AM in the dark. I realized this is a strength for me and it comes naturally to get up and get going in the mornings. Why shouldn’t I do this for Mike? It has brought him a lot of encouragement on his stressful days to have that quick few minutes with me and the Lord in the morning to start his day off.

It’s funny when you start to look at how you and your spouse compliment each other. Here I’ve gone on about praying to start the day off, but many times, in the heat of a trial or challenge, I can easily start to rely on my own reasoning to try and solve the problem. I’m such a “go-getter” that this can get the best of me at times. There have been times I would get frustrated because I felt Mike wasn’t being active in helping the situation, only to find that he’s taking his time, meditating and praying about it. He is quick to remind me to chill out and pray and breathe for a second. A great character trait that didn’t show up on my expectations list. I mean if he doesn’t read his Bible at the start of every day that’s a problem, but lets overlook how he acts when we’re faced with a challenge.

I’m so quick to forget and become clouded with my own list. God loves us unconditionally and doesn’t put legalistic expectations on us in our relationship with him. Why am I doing that to my husband? Well, I know Satan gets a lot of satisfaction from this. Another great thing about Eldredge’s book Love and War. He reminds us that we are at war in our marriages. Satan wants nothing more than to bring bitterness, discontent, anger, etc., into our marriages. We forget we are on the same team.

We can so easily lose sight of the big picture and what God is doing in our relationship with our spouse. Some of our husbands really may need to grow in some of the areas on our list but in the end, they have free will and choices, just like us. We are not their Holy Spirit. We are their helpmates. So what does this mean? As Mike’s helpmate and wife, I want to be as encouraging to him as possible in his relationship with Christ. I’ve got a good hunch that any rude remarks or “guilting” conversations are certainly not going to encourage him. Why is it that many of us feel that if we just tell them what their doing wrong, it’s a good idea? The more I think about that, the dumber it sounds. I have NEVER responded well to someone “guilting” me or condemning me. If anything, I pull away from that person. I am immediately reminded of 1 Peter 3:1-5

The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance–they styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes–but your inner disposition.

To me, this is a huge reminder of how actions speak louder than words. To me this says, you are your husband’s helpmate. The way you live will encourage him.  Of course this doesn’t mean that anything we say just floats off, pointless. We all know communication is important. And let’s face it, we are definitely going to screw this up daily. That’s the beauty of surrendering to Christ and managing that surrender daily. Letting Christ grow in us and taking the focus off of what our husbands aren’t doing, focus on what they are doing, and really focus on what God is doing in us, will bring us peace. Let God take care of the rest. Trust can be a marvelous experience when we truly release ourselves to it.

You know what’s interesting, before those verses about wives, if you notice Peter says “The same goes for you wives.” Well, Peter just got done talking about the kind of life Christ lived while he was on earth. Yah, he talks about how he was crucified and suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. I know these verses can touch our hearts in a lot of different ways, but I don’t think we can overlook the fact that Peter wrote these verse hand in hand. If anything, it reminds me that God will set things right. God does care about every detail of our lives. Focusing on that brings me peace about what the future and present hold for my marriage. I certainly don’t get those feelings when I get all wrapped up in what I think my husband should be doing.

I would encourage you take a few moments and make a list of all the positive, godly character traits your husband has. Keep that list some place you know you’ll read it often. Maybe at the bottom write “I am not my husband’s Holy Spirit, but I am his helpmate.”

Evaluate your strengths as his wife and helpmate. Think about ways your strengths could bring encouragement to him. What actions could you do? Ask God to show you ways you can bring encouragement to your husband, instead of resorting to a “guilting conversation.”

Evaluate his strengths as your husband and helpmate. What areas have you overlooked or forgotten about because you were focused on your expectations instead of what he is already strong at?

Give yourself a brief moment, as much as possible (I try to do this daily) when you can pray and speak positive over your husband and your marriage. I love The Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word by Joyce Meyer. She has a whole section with bible verses for wives to confess out loud about their husband, marriage, and themselves. I have these posted in various places in my house, along with other verses about being a mom and prayers for your children. There is huge value and effect in writing God’s word down and posting it around you to read. Habakkuk 2:2 says

Then the Lord replied, “write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that anyone can read it easily.”

Whatever you do, don’t stop praying. Whatever you do, forgive yourself and your husband for anything that is keeping you from experiencing the joy God wants you to have in your marriage. Marriage is hard. We know forgiveness can seem even harder sometimes. Remember, you and your husband are on the same team. Think about how much energy we waste being angry or wishing for things to change. How much joy are you letting Satan rob from you? Take back your joy. Choose happiness. Choose encouragement. Choose to be the wonderful helpmate God picked long before the earth was created for your husband. Accept that you are going to fail at this at times and as you accept the flaws in yourself, accept the flaws in your husband. Embrace the redemption Christ brings to us.

 

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Marriage: Laughter Instead of Anger

Ken Davis cracks me up! I’ve always appreciated his humor and enthusiasm for life. If you’ve never heard of him, you should check him out. This video makes me think of Mike and me later down the road. Shoot, we’re about like that now when we’re trying to argue across the house!

A few years ago I started making a “Top 10” list. I reflect on the past year, how I’ve grown, things I experienced, read, accomplished, and look at how God revealed himself to me through out the year. At the top of the list for this year will be “Learning to laugh more with Mike, instead of getting angry.” Here is a perfect example of what I mean.

I am a terrible passenger driver, as is Mike. I’m quick to criticize Mike and his driving. I typically criticize him on his speed, not because he’s going too fast, but because he goes slow! Yes, I know. Opposite of what you might’ve thought. I am really in to watching lights and the pedestrian signs. I watch the countdown to try and make the light. I think I became an expert at this because I used to have to drive across town almost every day to get to work.

So, Sunday morning rolls around and we’re running late to church. I always say I think God was playing a joke on me when He picked Mike for me, who as it turns out, is the slowest person I know and I am very much the opposite. Yah, we’re almost always late to church because of Mike. Anyways, I find myself saying often to Mike, “if you would have been going the speed limit, we would have probably made that light.” And there it is. The beginning of one of the most ridiculous arguments, on the way to church no less! Ha! I remember one time as we were making our way to church, I had coffee. I was pregnant and thinking about how this was probably going to make me pee all morning at church.

We were running late, of course, and I noticed we had already stopped at two lights that we probably could have made if we were going a smidge faster. I roll my eyes, thinking Praise and worship will be over by the time we get there. Bad mood ensuing. No, don’t try to hold my hand while you’re driving. I’m trying to be irritated with you. 

As I’m thinking of ways to be snooty with him, Mike quickly puts on the brakes before a light and some coffee spills on me. I can instantly tell that he’s expecting me to come unglued. In that instant, I thought to myself, if Asher was in the car, how it would look if I so disrespectfully get mad at Mike? The Holy Spirit reminded me of a verse I had read that morning from Proverbs. Side note: a friend of mine had said that if you aren’t sure what to read from the Bible, Proverbs is a good book to pick a chapter to read based on the day of the month. So, if it’s the 15th, I would read the 15th chapter in Proverbs. Anyways, I was about to get angry at Mike. I was reminded of Proverbs 15:15.

“A miserable heart means a miserable life; a cheerful heart fills the day with song.” (MSG)

I chose to laugh. I made some silly remark about how the coffee would attract people to my growing stomach anyways. Mike chuckled back. The drive to church instantly took a lighter mood. I think of other times when Mike would do things that would normally easily irritate me, but instead, I chose to laugh about it. I want to live the most joyful, cheerful, life possible. I can’t do that on my own. I’d get angry trying!

The Holy Spirit continues to reveal His Word to me. The Holy Spirit is the one who helps me grow in this area. Reminding me to always giving thanks. Counting it joy in the trials, knowing that I’m growing as a person. Laughter gives strength to spirit. Proverbs says a twinkle in the eye means joy in the heart (15:30). I think a twinkle in the eye also means more joy in your home. A home that I want to not only be joyful for Mike’s sake when he comes home from a hard day’s work, but also a joyful home for Asher to thrive in, especially as he gets older.

I’m certainly not perfect at this. There are always moments when I criticize instead of keeping my mouth shut or laughing with Mike so he doesn’t feel bad. Sometimes we jokingly do the “What?” game as Ken Davis joked to diffuse an argument. But the Spirit is helping me try not to watch the pedestrian lights count down anymore, at least while Mike’s driving.

Peace,
GloDo you find yourself fighting with your spouse all the time? Sometimes, laughing instead of getting angry may be the best alternative. Marriage tips and advice.

 

 

Why Can’t I Just Forgive?

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Sometimes when I’m mad at Mike, he might ask me if I’m still mad at him. Sometimes I respond, “I’m only on seventy times two right now!” He knows I’m referring to Peter in the book of Matthew.

“At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, ‘Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?’

Jesus replied, ‘Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.’ ”     Matthew 18:21-22

I always thought it was kind of funny that Peter gave a number of times when he asked Jesus this question. Seven does seem like a mystical number in the Bible. Maybe Peter was thinking, Hey, I can live with seven times, I mean six just doesn’t quite seem enough and more than that just gets to be too much! Ha! I can just see Jesus throwing his hands and shaking his head while slightly exclaiming, Seven! Thinking, Oh Peter, if you only understood

Why was Peter asking this? Jesus just finished explaining to them the importance of working out conflicts with someone who has hurt you. He makes it sound like a “process” of actively pursing and choosing to forgive that person. Jesus said try talking to him, if that doesn’t work, talk to him with someone else present, and if that doesn’t work, talk with someone who might offer guidance to him and guess what? If that doesn’t work, “you’ll have to start from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God’s forgiving love” (Matt. 18:17).

What?!? Start from scratch? That might be why sometimes I feel like I just can’t reach forgiveness with someone. It also sounds like a lot of work to reach forgiveness. Although, he did mention seventy times seven, hmmm… Why is forgiveness so hard?

I’m not one who believes that I have to do tons of work to get God to love me or forgive me. If I do this and this and this then all is well in the God department. I don’t think it works that way. Now, when it comes to forgiving someone else, I do think there is an action required on my part. I think Jesus is pointing out that you have to choose to forgive. That is an action of course, but by making that choice, you have to trust God will take care of the rest.

Notice how he doesn’t say, once you do these steps for forgiveness, the other person will finally understand. No, he says you might have to start over, meaning you might have to keep choosing to forgive that person. And you might have to do it seventy times seven times! He doesn’t say you will get that other person to change their ways. He doesn’t say you will get that other person to come forth and apologize. I’m starting to think the whole forgiveness “process” is really for the person who is hurt, more than it is for the person who has hurt you.

That’s not to say your actions of continuously choosing to forgive a person wont have an impact on them, but I wouldn’t worry about it being your responsibility to change that person’s feelings. Yikes! That is way easier said than done. I have to trust that I am doing what I believe is right and God will take care of the rest. I’ve heard several pastors say something along the lines of how forgiveness is really for you, the person who is hurt.

I think Joyce Meyer said once that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting it to kill the other person. Double Yikes! I don’t really think about that when I’m caught up in the anger I’m feeling or bitterness. Although, I bet poison tastes pretty bitter…

I’m a big believer in speaking the Word out loud. So, what do I do when I’m harboring unforgiveness and letting it eat away at me? I speak God’s truth out loud. Even if I don’t feel it, that doesn’t mean it wont work in my heart. The Holy Spirit is the one who ministers to my heart. I particularly like Galatians 5:1

“Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you!”

I like this verse because it reminds me that I am letting unforgiveness make me a slave and I don’t know about you, but I hate it when I realize that I am letting Satan control my emotions. I am free! Woohoo! I don’t have to feel that way! None of us do. I’m going to choose that freedom. Even if it’s seventy times seven times or whobody knows how many times.

Peace,
GloFaith and forgiveness are hard. Why can't we just forgive others?

 

 

Marriage Is Hard

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Marriage is hard.
This sounds like the Biggest. Understatement. Ever. Let me explain.

I recently have been reading the book of Matthew in The Message Bible (Eugene Peterson’s translation). I’m a big Peterson fan and have loved reading this Bible. If you’re unfamiliar with The Message and are looking for a Bible that feels comfortable and simple to read, I would encourage you to try this one.

In Matthew 19 Jesus is talking about marriage with the Pharisees, who are “badgering” him about divorce. They ask Jesus about when it’s OK for a man and woman to divorce and He gives him the answer (verses 8-9).

Jesus said, “Moses provided for divorce as a concession to your hard heartedness, but it is not part of God’s original plan. I’m holding you to the original plan, and holding you liable for adultery if you divorce your faithful wife and then marry someone else. I make an exception in cases where the spouse has committed adultery.”

Of course the disciples, always reminding us of our human selves when Jesus is explaining things, make their interjection by asking Jesus what’s the point then of getting married if you’re “stuck.” Jesus replied in verses 11-12

But Jesus said, “Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace. Marriage isn’t for everyone. Some, from birth seemingly, never give marriage a though. Others never get asked–or accepted. And some decide not to get married for kingdom reasons. But if you’re capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.”

Holy Buckets. How have I missed this verse? Did I read that right? “…mature enough…certain aptitude and grace…growing into the largeness of it...” I went to look at other translations and now I see why I felt like I’ve never read it this way before. I think what Jesus said here can be easily overlooked. Other versions say something like “not all can accept this saying…but he who is able to [accept it] let him...” I’m not here to get into some argument about Bible translations or divorce. I’m just sharing what I felt the Holy Spirit stir in my heart while I was reading this portion of Matthew.

Jesus just said marriage is hard. For some reason, that simple statement gave me a big umph of encouragement. I’m thinking if the Creator of the universe says marriage is hard, then I’m not crazy. Whew. Not only did he say it was hard, but he said we grow into it. Meaning we don’t always stay the same. We are always changing during the different seasons of marriage.

This made me think of a marriage book I read once that talked about how a couple was arguing because the husband felt like his wife had changed since they first got married. The counselor responded with something like, “Duh. We all are constantly changing as we face new obstacles in life. As we go through new experiences. Those experiences change us.” I was reminded of how glad I am that I am not the same as I was when we first got married. I could not imagine how we would have handled having a baby then!

Knowing that both Mike and I will continue to change and will continually strive to be in harmony together even though sometimes it feels like utter discord, is a good thing! I certainly hope I’m not the same in fifty years as I am now. I hope to be wiser!

I also noticed that word grace. This makes me think of a book Mike and I reading together right now titled Love and War by John Eldredge. (I’ll write a review on it later.) It’s an amazing book. One part of the book discusses how God put you and your spouse together in order to draw you closer in your relationship with Christ, that’s why Paul compares marriage to Christ and his love for the church, for all of us (Ephesians 5:22). I need that grace. I think of all the times I think to myself about little ways I wish Mike would change and stop myself to ask God what he’s trying to show me. Not what he’s trying to show Mike. Sheesh. I’m not Mike’s Holy Spirit. What a relief when you really really think about that. I may be a source of counsel, but I am certainly not responsible for his relationship with Christ.

I am thankful for all of the good times in marriage.  Even though things get hard, they also get really really really good.  That’s another post … I am thankful for God’s unending grace that reminds me of His love for me and Mike, for all of us. There is no way I could get through any season of life without His grace.

Peace,
Glo

 

Does marriage ever feel hard? YES said anyone. Why is Marriage so stinkin hard?

Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word–Confessions for Wives

I started getting frustrated with Mike. Like it was his fault or something. So the little time we did see each other was turning into bickering and annoyance. The fifteen minutes in the morning was turning in to who can get the last word in!

I was listening to Joyce Meyer and if you’ve ever read any of her books or heard her, you know that she emphasizes the power of your thoughts and words. One morning she was really hammering about speaking God’s Word over your day and your emotions and getting a good start to the day. I realized that I have a little purple book by her hidden somewhere called “The Power of Speaking God’s Word.” I decided to speak the confessions for wives every morning before I started my day.

You know what’s amazing about being in a relationship with God who loves you unconditionally? When you start praying and asking Him to grow in you and help you, 1) He does! 2) He reminds me that I don’t need to feel guilty about whatever emotions I’m wrestling with! He reminds me that I am a new creation in Him! That His spirit lives in me and because of that, I can have a good day if I choose it!The end of the story is pretty predictable.

You wouldn’t believe how much better my days started getting. Mike was so understanding when he got home once I started receiving him with love and support. Breakfast or bedtime or the quick brushing teeth moment became a quick time for us to connect from the day. I started seeing that for a husband who goes through busy periods at work (thankfully, not all the time), he is incredibly sensitive to my needs. Once I started genuinely asking him about his day or the project he’s working on, I realized that he almost always asks me about my day with genuine interest. That can mean a lot to a mom who’s prime audience is a 16 week old!

God opened my eyes to Mike’s needs and took my eyes off of myself. I saw how stressed he was too! Speaking God’s word, spoke an awareness in to my day. Showing me opportunities to stay positive instead of thinking about me, thinking about me, thinking about me…One of my favorite verses from the confessions for wives portion is the translation of  1 Thessalonians 5:11, 15-18 (NIV) page 27 of Joyce’s book– “I encourage my husband and build him up. I do not pay back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to him. I am joyful always. I pray continually; giving thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for me in Christ Jesus.”

That’s a great way to start the day! Sometimes it’s a quick, “God thank you for this day. Thank you for helping me stay positive. Your joy is my strength.” Or sometimes I say “Thank you, Lord, that I have a mind like You.” Whatever it is, I can always tell a difference in my day when I speak God’s Word over it!

Peace,
Glo