30 May Taking off the Boxing Gloves
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”
Psalm 32:8 ESV
In a previous post, I mentioned how my husband and I both brought defense tools or baggage into our marriage that were not healthy and would do more harm than good. I want to give these “tools” their proper names: deceit, rebellion, defiance and disrespect, to name a few. I believe we were very immature and needed healing in various parts of our personal lives when we joined together in matrimony. What a recipe for disaster!
I’m sure Jason will chime in with his own post regarding this topic; but for now, I’ll speak on what I brought into our marriage. Looking back, I can say with absolute certainty that I had a spirit of rebellion going into that new chapter of our lives. I had this attitude of, “If I don’t like what you are doing or are saying to me, then I’ll see myself out.” I had issues with submitting to my husband as the priest of our home. I had this mindset that I could do things better than he. I also believed that I didn’t need him. I could do things on my own, even though I was now in a holy union with my husband.
I had trouble learning to let go of my old ways and thought patterns. I loved my husband and wanted our marriage to work. But, I didn’t respect him. It also didn’t help that his defense tools weren’t so healthy, either. Those first few years of our marriage were such a mess.
God was there.
One thing Jason and I did right was to have genuine intentions in putting God at the center of our home and marriage. It was not easy. My background included a single-parent home (no example of a healthy marriage) and while Jason grew up in a two-parent home, there were certain marital strains and issues resulting in the dissolution of his parents’ marriage years later. It can seem to some that our marriage was destined to fail from the beginning.
But, God tends to take the most imperfect people and create something beautiful…something that works. And He did it with us. I’ll never forget crying myself to sleep one night. In my tears, I told God, “I can’t survive this marriage the way it is. I don’t know what to do.” And He answered me. Oh, how He answered! Just a few short hours after that cry, I was awakened by my own husband. He said, “Amy, I’m trying to fix my wrongs in this marriage. And I know that you have every right to be the way you are with me, but I need something, some kind of effort from you. I don’t know if I can go through trying to save this marriage if you remain indifferent.” My answer? “Ok.” And I meant it. I knew that God was showing me my ugly in that moment. I knew that even though I may have been a victim to some of my husband’s unhealthy tools, it did not give me the right to be indignant, as if I had done no wrongs to him. He was wrong and so was I. It took the two of us to enter this marriage and it would take BOTH of us to work hard for it.
Marriage can be so complex and difficult. We’ve learned and continue to learn what works and what doesn’t work for us. There have been many selfish acts and wrongdoings. Yet, God has continued to hold our hands and guide us gently, with His supernatural wisdom.
We are not perfect. There are moments when I continue to be baffled at some of the things Jason does. And I’m sure there are MANY moments where he just shakes his head at my own behavior. But, we are each other’s mirror: we show each other what is beautiful and what needs to change about ourselves. We are not in competition against each other. We are in this journey of life together. When the storms hit, we know that our foundation is strong, because it is standing on the Rock of our salvation. And if there is a loose bolt or screw that needs to be tightened, we tighten it together with God’s direction.