I’ve been married to my best friend, John, for 6 1/2 months now.
Each day is a new opportunity to choose to put Christ first, both individually and corporately-speaking.
Each day is a blessing, a challenge, a new opportunity to choose to serve the other or put our own interests first.
Some days we really succeed.
Some days we don’t.
God remains faithful, though, even when we do not.
On November 7th, I married a human being.
I didn’t marry a “god”.
I didn’t marry someone who never frustrates me.
I didn’t marry someone who has never hurt me or make me cry.
I didn’t marry someone who processes likes me.
I didn’t marry someone devoid of baggage.
I didn’t marry someone perfect or someone who will ever complete me.
On the other hand….
I married someone who puts his relationship with Jesus first and me second.
I married someone who challenges me and teaches me new things.
I married someone who is kind and honest and exemplifies I Corinthians 13, not always but most of the time.
I married someone who makes me laugh.
I married someone who speaks life into my dreams.
I married someone who fully knows me and loves me, baggage and all.
I married someone who doesn’t complete me but makes me a better person.
As I tell John all the time, I married a very good man. I am proud to be his wife and realize how blessed I am.
If you’re married and an honest person, you’ll admit that a good marriage doesn’t just “happen”. You can’t just get out of bed absentmindedly day-after-day and be close to your partner. You can’t not pray together, not plan together, not play together and expect to feel close to one another.
More importantly, you can’t expect to be in God’s will if you’re unable to work on your marriage. You can’t your personal relationship with Christ nor neglect your home and expect God to bless your efforts elsewhere. Doing so would be a complete contradiction of His Word.
As I’ve written about before, John and I are currently going through Nehemiah together. As a couple, we have life-changing decisions to make in the upcoming months and desperately want to be in God’s will. We want to make the right decisions, not necessarily the most comfortable ones. As the priest of our home, John feels pressure to lead our family in the most God-honoring way.
As I’ve also written about before, Nehemiah doesn’t just pray, he plans while he prays. God blesses his obedience because of it. John and I are entering this season of waiting with the same attitude — we pray and plan. Striking the delicate balance between the two is always a learning experience for both of us. We look forward to what God has on the other side and are thankful for the lessons we’re learning along the journey to wherever we’re going.
As I’ve told John numerous time, as long as we are truly seeking Him, and willing to look at our options with neutrality, we aren’t good enough to thwart His sovereignty and “screw up” His plans.
I think what I love the most about this time in our marriage is that I can trust my husband. I trust John to make the right decision, because I know ultimately God is making the decision and will eventually confirm the same thing to me, if we both have eyes to see and ears to hear.
It’s pretty simple, really:
God’s end of the bargain: To remain faithful to speak and confirm His will in His timing.
Our job: To lay down whatever desires we may have and say, “Not my will but Yours, Lord”.
Probability of success if both parties (God & us) follow-through: 100%
As a wife, it is not my job to force what I want. It is not John’s job to “trump” my desires with his. John carries the extra responsibility of then making the final decision and leading our family in one direction and not the other. I am thankful I’ve married a man who takes this responsibility very seriously. I am thankful I’ve married a man who appreciates, and takes into consideration, my opinion and values my insight. I am thankful I married a man who is not on a “power trip” but instead sees me as a much-needed helpmate and asset to our marriage.
If you’re married to a man like mine, encourage him and love him well. Thank the good Lord every day for him and ask him to help you not take him for granted. Don’t focus on his shortcomings but instead embrace his strengths. As I’ve learned many times, don’t try to make him your functional savior — you’ll only find yourself disappointed. Leave the “saving” to Jesus and work out your salvation with your spouse, yes, but ultimately with the Lord.
There are countless others who weep daily and are not loved well by their spouse. Pray for them.
For those of us who are, I speak for all of us when I say, “Thank you, Lord. Thank you.“