Sometimes we share our stories for no other reason than to encourage others. Our day-to-day lives tell those who see us only a part of who we are, unless we are willing to reveal even the darker, more vulnerable parts of our story.

For those who may need to be encouraged today, here are a few thoughts about love and marriage based on my story.

I am not one who planned out a wedding or thought about getting married when I was younger, like teens or even college. But I did want to get married as I got older. For me, this came after a good chunk of time on my own – I lived in Connecticut on my own and then moved to Boston. I was fiercely independent always {from childhood} and interestingly, many guys found that intimidating. Surprising, right?

I dated here and there, and even so, none of those men ever made me think, “I wonder what it would be like to be married to this man.”

Long and short, I met my now-husband when I was 33 and we were married when I was 34. Marriage was definitely an adjustment, but we had spent time in good pre-marital counseling and we spent a lot of our courtship in conversations over the telephone and email because we met in Alabama, he was moving to Kentucky and I lived in Boston.

Our relationship was what I call a God thing. David is the person for whom God prepared me and who God prepared for me; I firmly believe that. It was a long journey that included a refining and transforming of me and especially my heart before I met him.

Marriage is not easy. Marriage takes work, sometimes a whole lot of it. Marriage is not 50/50. Marriage is 100/100 at the very minimum. It involves a lot of communication and a lot of vulnerability and a lot of risk because my husband and I are both flawed and we are in need of grace, forgiveness and God every day.

Love, once you’re past the dating & romantic, movie love stuff, is work. I believe it’s also a choice. One that we get to make every day. I started blogging a few years back and the focus of the blog was writing about one reason each day that I loved my husband. I’d heard so many husbands and wives lamenting the shortcomings of their spouses, and I didn’t want to fall into that trap. So, I decided to focus on why I love my husband. It included big and small things, but mostly a lot of small moments. Because that’s what it’s really all about for me.

life is good

My husband and I are in a difficult season. If you’ve read Rhinestone Jesus, we are in a similar situation: my husband has battled pornography in his past and it resurfaced not long ago. This time it manifested itself in an online relationship that initially crushed my heart and tore apart trust. But I am still here and I am in this for the long term. It’s not easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.

Love is what happens in the trenches and in the trying times. It’s what you get to choose when the world says you should simply jump ship and move on. It’s not easy, but God is in the middle of it and so I let him take it all, including my husband and his choices and his need for redemption. That’s not mine to withhold from him.

All I can do is choose to love him. And forgive him. And sometimes that has to happen daily. But that’s a part of staying committed to another person.

My actions do not depend on his. It’s not, if he does what he’s *supposed* to do, then I’ll do what I’m supposed to do. It’s, I’m going to do what God calls me to do no matter what. Because that’s what love does.

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7 thoughts on “Marriage Matters

  1. Your transparency is amazing. Putting it all out there as an encouragement to others is so cool. My favorite part is this, “Marriage is not easy. Marriage takes work, sometimes a whole lot of it. Marriage is not 50/50. Marriage is 100/100 at the very minimum.” So true!

    1. I continue to appreciate your encouragement and support, David.

      I’ve realized that the best way to make our stories count in this life is to share them with others; it keeps us accountable and it provides encouragement. And when we are willing to shine a light on our struggles, God can redeem them in his power and in his strength. I believe that God has amazing things in store for my marriage and for me and David if we will but trust him with all of us.

  2. It is definitely hard to keep loving someone when you’d rather… not love them at that very second. Or day. Or month. Thanks for being brave and sharing your struggle. Hugs.

    1. Thank you, Audra, for your thoughtful comment and your kind, encouraging words. I count myself blessed because I know that God wants only good things for me and my husband and our marriage and that he can work all things together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purposes.

  3. Oh, Judith. My heart aches for the valley you and your husband are in. I’ve been there. I get it. There is definitely light at the end of the tunnel, though. Jesus can (and does!) deliver. I will be praying for you both.

    And thank you for this reminder on this, my 8th wedding anniversary. Marriage is work. Love is a choice. It’s hard. But it’s worth it.

    1. Marie, first, Happy Anniversary!

      And, second, thank you for taking time to read and leave a comment here. I appreciate your prayers. Marriage, like life, is peaks and valleys, but we appreciate the peaks because of the valleys, right? And with God in the midst of the journey, it all becomes worth it. My valleys have always given me greater strength and conformed me more and more into the likeness of Christ {sometimes in spite of myself}.

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