Talking Your Marriage Off the Ledge

Marriage is just plain hard. I’m not going to sugarcoat it because it’s the truth. Plus, I’m getting too old to sugarcoat stuff.

And if I can be completely straight-up for a moment…it’s particularly difficult for Jason and me. Having both been through one failed attempt each, we bring some suitcases baggage to our nine year old union.

Yet as we dive deeper into the abyss of marriage, as we grow-up and continue to allow God to strip us raw, the more I’m believing it can be a good thing.

Sounds funny, doesn’t it? I mean, in the Christian world, marriage is touted as the greatest part of being alive.

And it can be.

When it’s good.

But when it’s bad, it is very, very bad.

It’s on those very, very bad days when I feel like I’m going to come completely undone.

When our marriage is strained, when we walk through the inevitable valley that is so normal yet so painful, I feel as though sneaky tentacles have wrapped themselves around my heart and are slowly squeezing out life until I can’t catch my breath and I’m gasping for air.

Because here’s what I’ve discovered: It’s not Jason’s job to be my personal God. Oh, the pressure.

He cannot fulfill all of the things I want him to fulfill in me because, gasp, he’s made of flesh. Turns out, he’s human just like me.

And only God can fulfill the stuff I expect Jason to fulfill.

Yet on the flip side, God’s doing a whole new project with him, too. He’s got us both in the refiner’s fire and while it’s hot and can be uncomfortable, the finished product is always beautiful, and better, than it was before.

We’ve reached a certain level of familiarity after eleven years together: He can complete my sentences. We have entire conversations with just our eyes. He knows my history, can read my heart well, knows what will make me laugh. Knows when to just reach his arms around me as I cry and not utter a single word.

But with this level of intimacy comes an ability to wound deep. When words spoken in anger rip through my heart, they carry more weight than if anyone else had spoken them because he’s an extension of me and I’ve let him see a part no one else has ever seen.

Two become one. But the halves can sometimes be at war and all that tugging and pulling and heckling is exhausting.

And in my exhaustion, I plead with God and beg Him to change him. To point out the error of his ways and get him back on-track.

But if I had a dollar for every time He gently points out my own role, my own sin in the equation, I would be one wealthy woman.

Neither of us act alone because we are one. One. The two shall become one.

So when we tug and pull and heckle, we exhaust and hurt and isolate because we are fighting against and not for.

And here’s the thing: sometimes I forget my husband is actually a person. A real person with feelings.

He’s not my enemy. The enemy is the enemy.

And when God tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves, He’s meaning our husbands, too.

Our husbands are our neighbors.

I’m not talking about abusive husbands. If your husband is abusing you in any way, then I say get the heck out. I can’t get behind the concept of staying with an abuser just because you made a vow.

But what about the rest of us? What about those who aren’t in abusive marriages but know there could be so much more yet we don’t know how to get there?

We choose hope.

Yes. It’s that simple. We choose hope.

Because behind hope, there’s love. And behind love, there’s power.

So starting today, let’s see our husbands the way God sees them. Let’s compliment their masculinity. Let’s check-in with their hearts. Let’s stop what we’re doing and embrace him when he walks through the door.

Because while we as women have it rough at times, they do as well.

And when we communicate we are for and not against, we slowly walk backwards off the ledge.

To the point we desire to go.

I’m feeling really led to write about marriage these days. More coming on this topic . . . I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback. What’s something you want to talk about on the topic of marriage?