A great marriage is made up of two people who consistently put their vows before their feelings.
Hello my friends.
I want to share one more email I received from Debbie*(not her real name). Here are some excerpts.
-Our 5 year marriage has been a roller-coaster.
-I've felt unheard, ignored. He never consulted me.
-We had heated arguments, and went days without speaking to one another.
-He kept telling me how I wanted to become the 'man of the house'.
-We fought about everything! Especially in laws.
-One day I cried and told God that I needed my peace. The constant conflicts were wearing me down.
-I told Him to bring peace to my marriage, to guide and direct me to be the wife that He (God) would want me to be for my husband.
-Then I started to listen to my husband. I started to be kind and not expecting kindness in return.
-I became patient with him even when he didn't deserve it. When he hurt me, I found ways of telling him politely just to get it off my chest and unburden my heavy heart, without expecting an apology or anything.
-God can do amazing things I tell you!
-Now we talk. I mean, we really talk. No shouting contest. Nobody struggling, wanting to be heard.
-Now I understand how married people can slowly become friends, and even best friends.
Such a beautiful story. It genuinely encouraged me, and I gained an admiration for Debbie*, even though I don't know her personally.
Here's my reply to her.
Here I am, 11 days later, hanging my head in shame. I'm sorry it took me this long to get back to you.
I got tired. This submission series has taken its toll on me. It's been hard writing the posts, because, naturally I've been preaching to myself about the matter and having to ask God for help and guidance in my marriage. You never graduate from submission class. You learn it for the entire length of your marriage. And talk about timing...my husband and I had a major misunderstanding two days after my last post. And after a very long time, it came up again that I wasn't honoring and trusting him. For the life of me, I can't remember what we were fighting about; thank God for that. Fights are best forgotten.
But it was a gut punch for me. The realization that this is a mountain I'll be climbing nonstop. And some days I will fall back down many metres. I thank the good Lord, that I will never fall all the way to the bottom because He's holding me. He's the harness and the rope. He will help me, because I love Him, and because I am His child.
…13You will tread upon the lion and cobra, The young lion and the serpent you will trample down. 14"Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high because he has known My name. 15"He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.…
The institution of marriage is under constant attack from satan. It's not hard to spot; just look at the global divorce rate and how it has increased over the years. I think it's because marriage is the only human relationship that is a model of Christ and His church. That's POWERFUL. I wish I had this at the fore of mind more frequently; it is a humbling truth. You can't play around with marriage. It's serious business. It separates marriage from the ugly picture of it that's put forward in sitcoms: lazy couch potato husbands, gossipy snarky wives. Also, remembering what your marriage represents, inclines you immediately to show grace to your husband especially when none is deserved. Because that's what Jesus did for His church.
I believe one of the fastest ways to make cracks in the foundation is by not listening to your husband but instead having sharp arguments to prove your point, not yielding when you don't agree with him, and not letting things go after your "submission".
One of our run of the mill disagreements is about which roads to take when we're headed somewhere. He'll ask my opinion, and I'll give it to him. Then sometimes he goes ahead and uses his route. Long ago that used to infuriate me; why did you ask me if you were still going to do things your way?? And if his route ended up being full of traffic, making us late, I would really dig it in...'if you had just listened to me'. But we are older and wiser now, God has worked on us. So some days he'll use his route, and it sometimes ends up being the wrong one. But we won't fight. We have a conversation. This season we're in especially, with small children; being in a car alone in traffic is a date we won't pass up on, LOL.
Your email made me smile; tuko wengi my sistah. Let nobody lie to you that their marriage is bliss 24/7 and they never disagree. And if indeed that's how they live, they have a major passive aggression issue that needs dealing with. So there was nothing wrong with your early days of marriage. You're just two sinners bonded by flesh and spirit. That's an active volcano. And on some days, lava flows out of every window of the house, because your two personalities have clashed and the volcano erupted.
But you deal with the mess and move on. Because marriage's a life thing. That's how God designed it. If you veer off from the blueprint, you'll be setting yourself up for a life of misery.
OK. We're done ladies. The submission discussion ends here, for now at least. The post coming up will cover a lot of theology on marriage, so you'll need your bibles. Then after that, husbands, it will be your turn. Prepare thine selves!
Christian, wife, mom, doctor, and an alien on earth, on my way to the city of God.