If we could sit across the table from each other, steaming hot cups of coffee (or hot chocolate, if that’s more your style) warming our hands, and you asked me how I met my husband, I would probably look at you with a ridiculous grin on my face. The story of how God brought my husband and me together is one I love to tell. It’s not remarkable; it’s a rather common story. But I love it because it’s a clear reminder to me of the hand of God reaching into our lives and setting us into a grander story that He has put in motion.
My husband and I have been married for less than ten years, but we’ve accomplished a lot together in that short time. We have moved seven times, had four babies, started a business, and adopted a dog and twenty-something chickens. Our life is rich and full. But somehow, if I’m not careful, I can lose sight of just how beautiful it is.
I’m so thankful for the husband God has given me, a man who is very different from myself. He takes risks where I hesitate, is confident where I fumble along, and sees the big picture where I get lost in the details. These differences between us are not insignificant or trivial. They are the very things God knew we needed in each other. God knew He would be glorified in our marriage by the way my husband and I, as two radically different people, grow in unity and become a better reflection of His Image to our family and to the world. Marriage to a spouse who is radically different from me allows me to experience the gospel more fully in my life.
But here’s the thing: it’s easy for me to forget. I forget that God has a spectacular purpose in giving me a mate who is so different from me. Too often I allow the very things that God meant for the good of our marriage and our family to be the things that plant seeds of bitterness in my heart. Instead of fighting for unity, I end up fighting for my own way. I come to the fight armed with phrases like “unfair-mental-load”, “I-never-get-a-break” and “you-just-don’t-understand.”
All these things might even be true, but when I use them as weapons to defend myself, I end up losing the battle that really matters – the one for the heart of my family.
My husband, though his intention is always to love me well, has done some very hurtful things in the course of our relationship. He has said the wrong things, made some wrong decisions, and let me down more than once. But he is not my enemy. I do have an enemy, but it’s not him.
The real enemy is one that we must engage together – the enemy of our own sin and brokenness. I cannot defeat this enemy when I am taking up arms against my beloved. The battle must be fought on our knees. When I humbly come before God, bringing my hurt and bitterness to lay at His feet, my enemy has no power over me. When I choose to notice my husband’s needs before my own, the enemy grows weak. When I’ve been hurtful and wrong and I willingly let go of my pride and ask to be forgiven, the enemy loses its hold. I’ve wasted too much time fighting the wrong enemy.
So if we could sit across the table from each other, warm mugs growing cold, I would ask you – are you letting seeds of bitterness grow quietly in your own heart? Are you fighting the wrong battles? Friend, fight hard against the real enemy, for the sake of your marriage and family. We don’t have any time to waste.
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What a huge blessing for you to see this so early into your marriage. Thanks for sharing so others can prepare for the spiritual battle together in prayer with their husband instead of battling against their husband.
Oh yes. This. THIS. You have so insightfully communicated a most fundamental message for wives and moms today. Thank you for your care and gentleness in speaking a hard but important word. ❤️
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