Let’s set all the falsehoods aside. Marriage can be tough. Marriage is work. Marriage isn’t always like the “romance novels and fairy tales” I once thought were the norm.
I was not sure what a good marriage looked like some 36 years ago. I would like to think that we both have learned quite a bit from those years. I spoke to a group of young moms the other day about marriage.
And I get it. I remember those days that I was so dog tired that the thought of spending any time with my husband when he got home from work was simply ridiculous. I was tired and sleep deprivation really does a number on you!
Truth be known, I expected my husband to give me my identity. If he did not treat me a certain way, acknowledge how well I had cleaned, looked or acted….I was crushed. I felt worthless.
He was the one that I counted on to make me feel valuable. Even though I was a Christian, I was still of the belief that only my husband gave me my value. Looking back, I believe that it came from the fact that my dad divorced my mother when I was in junior high and did not really take care of us…physically, financially or emotionally.
As a young wife and mother the Lord sent me a mentor. An older lady who had gone before me and was experienced in the areas that I really knew nothing about. She begin to help me learn who I was in Christ. I found out that Jesus Christ gave me my identity, not my husband.
My husband could not be my Jesus. He didn’t even want to be.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
Slowly but surely I began to identify myself IN CHRIST. I realized that the truth of the matter was I didn’t need to be affirmed by anyone to find value in myself because Christ found value in me. I was IN CHRIST and could rest in that. No matter how I felt or where my emotions would take me.
It was the truth I had been looking for.
It changed our marriage. I quit looking to my husband to meet all my emotional needs. That is when our marriage became the marriage I believe that God intended for it to be.
It is far from perfect, we still bicker. But we also laugh. We have been through plenty of life together. And we will go through plenty more! We do encourage and affirm one another, but when our feelings betray us…we still know that we are loved by each other…and by Christ.
We rest in the truth. And it is a good place to be.
*NIV Bible, personal graphics