Last week my husband, Kyle, and I celebrated nine years of perfect wedded bliss. We’ve never had an argument or struggle. We get along perfectly well and have every single thing in common. And now we’re bored. to. death.
Thankfully, that’s not the case. There’s not much boredom around here. But, truthfully, our marriage is perfect. Perfect because we do disagree, we do struggle, and we have only a few common interests. It’s through these imperfections that we’re being made perfect.
It’s in the differences that we learn more about each other and who we are as individuals.
Five Things Marriage is Teaching Me
1. Watch My Tone – Not Only What I Say Matters, But How I Say It
I’m prone to being being quick with my words and slow in thought on how they’re said. The result is hurt feelings, confusion, and tension between us. When we were first married I would blame my sharp tone on stress, hunger (I’m definitely the “hangry” type), or being tired. If I was all of the above then there was nothing I could do, I was the victim.
The problem was a lack of self-control and pride (it’s not me, it must be you hearing me wrong. Or, you’re not doing whatever you’re doing the way I want you to do it, so I’m just going say nice things but not really mean them). I needed to slow down and think about how I was going to say what I wanted to say and speak in love; or just keep my mouth shut. God has given me a spirit of power, love, and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7), I just need to use it. And now when I slip up and speak unkindly, I try to humble myself by apologizing and asking for a do-over or address the deeper issue that’s causing my poor tone.
2. My Husband’s My Friend, Too
I would get so caught up in doing all the wifely duties that I would forget to enjoy the friendship Kyle and I have. This realization came about when I read Song of Solomon 5:16, “His mouth is most sweet, and he is altogether desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend…” It struck me that I wasn’t treating Kyle the same way I would any friend, I was treating him more as my employer. I was placing expectations on myself that, though were good in nature, were hurting our relationship. I had my priorities mixed up. I needed to love him, befriend him, and then all else would fall into place.
3. It’s Not About Us
This is a tough one; and one that is the root of so many issues, not just in marriage. But, for the sake of this post let’s stick to marriage. All we do is to reflect the love God has for us and who He is. Our marriage is to be a reflection of Christ and His bride, the church. Kyle is to love me the way Christ loves us – with unfailing, sacrificial love. And I am to respect him and submit to his headship as he submits to Christ’s. By following the teachings the Bible gives us on husbands and wives (1 Corinthians 7, Ephesians 5:22-33) we show the world the love Christ has for His people. We are to be the light in the darkness.
4. We are image bearers of Christ, but not Christ
Just like a picture of Niagara Falls shows qualities and characteristics of that massive waterfall, it’s nothing like actually being at Niagara Falls. A picture can’t capture the smell, the feel, and the atmosphere that surrounds a place like that; it’s only a glimpse. Just like we are only a glimpse of Christ, we are His image bearers, but we aren’t exactly like Him yet. We are still a work in progress and there has to be grace and mercy shared between us.
Honestly, I still struggle with this at times. I put too high an expectation on Kyle to be more like Christ instead of loving him where he is and encouraging him along the way, trusting that God is moving in his heart and drawing him closer to Him. It’s not my job to change him (good thing, because I can’t change hearts), so I need to let it go and allow Jesus to move. Lord, forgive me for being too quick to see where he falls short and slow to see my faults.
5. I Am His Blessing
I love praying for my husband. I want him to be blessed, taken care of, and drawn closer to the heart of Jesus. But, I often forget that I am one of his blessings. God has equipped me to bless Kyle and love him like no one else can. I have the ability, by the grace of God, to be the infamous Proverbs 31 woman – compassionate, strong, loving, and able.
Until Death Do Us Part
So, until death parts us I pray our love is like His.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)
Let’s love like Jesus.
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