Many of you may know that my husband, Jeff and I, lead a small group in our home focused on marriages. It’s a passion that we have, learning to love God and our spouse. I look back 17 years ago when my husband and I were first married and thought, “Wow, how did we even make it?” We first became a couple at 17 yrs of age.
When we married at 21, I expected life to be perfect. We would marry and life would be a joy. Jeff would fulfill every desire I had or so I thought. But soon after being married, and many can agree, I realized marriage is tough. I recall the many arguments as I stomped off, threw objects (not at him of course), or hit doors just to get his attention. I thought he better come to my rescue to fix this problem or he doesn’t love me. Well of course that didn’t work. It actually made it worse. So began a cycle of arguments, leading to us stomping off in anger and never resolving the problem in the first place. I would go to bed upset and hurt, while Jeff would be quiet, walking away, ignoring the problem so as to not argue. Things just didn’t get resolved. Don’t get me wrong. We loved each other and had a lot of good times, but we didn’t know how to resolve conflict.
Growing up was difficult. Rejection in school and problems at home lead to me harboring a broken and hurt heart. I was insecure in so many things: not good enough, not smart enough, and not pretty enough. After my mom passed away a few months after my youngest boy was born, I was a mess and on the verge of a breakdown. I knew I needed help. And God knew my hurts and my heart, too. He knew I needed help. But I didn’t run to God for help and healing. I continued looking, relying on and blaming my husband. I still believed it was my husband’s fault in just about everything.
Eventually, my life began to change as I met with my pastor and my friend for counseling. I thought anger defined every emotion. I didn’t realize there were things like rejection, bitterness, fear, and so many other emotions. I just knew I was angry. I started to get healing in my life though counseling and ministry tools for emotional healing; tools like Sozo and Restoring The Foundations (RTF). Our marriage was improving. Soon after this, our church started a marriage curriculum called “Love And Respect”. Our marriage started to blossom even more and after years of healing and cultivating our relationship, it’s the best it’s ever been. I have learned so much though all the pain, hardship, and continued healing.
Women, did you know your husband desires your respect more than anything, even your love? They need to know and feel your respect, just as much as you need to know and feel his love for you. Your husband desires you to cheer him on, respect him, and so much more. Please read the book “Love And Respect”.
One day as I was reading my Bible, 1 Peter 3:3-5 caught my eye, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves.” I learned true beauty is found in your gentleness and your quiet spirit, not in your appearance. We shouldn’t look for our value in how we look. We can still look nice for our husbands, because we love them and want to look nice. But, do not find your value in only your appearance. And what does it mean, then, to have a gentle and tranquil spirit? Dr. Wayne Grudem says that gentle means “not insistent on one’s own rights’ or ‘not pushy,’ ‘not selfishly assertive, not demanding one’s own way.” Obey the Lord first, not our own desires.
Young women, are you in need of help? Older women, do you want to help? In Titus 2:3-5, it says “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”
Young women, how much more of a blessing would it be to have an older women by your side discipling you, encouraging you, and teaching you to have healthy relationships? They are someone who can pray with you, help you see a perspective you didn’t consider, hold you accountable and love you right where you are. Although Facebook, Instagram, Google and other social media may seem like they have answers, they do not. God uses people to do his work.
Husbands, Ephesians 5 tells you, “Love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” As well as, “Love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” Your wife needs love and being harsh hurts our hearts. It is built inside of her, from the Lord, to desire love. I realize the word “love” is overused in our culture. The same word is used to express affection to our spouse, our cell phone, and our favorite flavor of ice cream. But, the love I’m referring to is love between spouses. Think of the 5 love languages: physical touch, quality time, acts of service, receiving gifts, and words of affirmation. How can you show your wife daily that you love her? Discover her love language and express it to her as often as you can. You can discover her love languages by encouraging her to take the online test! You can even discover your own. (https://www.5lovelanguages.com )
Husbands and wives, marriage is a reflection of our relationship with Christ. I learned the most effective way to improve my marriage was to focus on the Lord and my relationship with him, first. By focusing on Christ first, obeying his word, and yielding to him, your heart will change and your marriage in turn will be blessed. So, how is your time with Christ? Are you getting into his word? As you read the Bible, the Holy Spirit will bring conviction and repentance can happen, if you yield to Him. God can change your heart and your marriage will grow.
Through all of my struggles, I have grown closer to the Lord and my husband. I thank the Lord that he knew I needed help and he didn’t give up on me.
Reach out to someone for help. Don’t be afraid. See what the Lord can do.
Connect Group Ministry Leader