First, here is a little back story of my childhood household. My parents divorced when I was 5 years old. My mother, a single parent raised me and my two younger siblings after her and my father separated. All the memories I have of my father’s present in my life is at funerals or in old photos. The relationship I have with my estranged father has been emotional burdensome, but after seeking professional counsel and dealing with the effects of my parents’ divorce. I have found “peace and understanding” of why I felt the way I did and how to move forward through life. The impact of my parents’ divorce caused so much emotional trauma it affected both past relationships and friendships. I’ve learned to no longer blame myself for anything my parents went through, or I no longer feel abandoned because my father isn’t present in my life. My relationship with God has grown so much and His promises and word has given me so much comfort and truly understanding my identity in Christ alone. I lay all my worries and problems at the cross of Jesus Christ. I understand “I am loved and worthy” and my Heavenly Father promised to “never leave me or forsake me”. The issues and problems I struggled with in my childhood up into my adulthood was pain transforming into His purpose. I don’t know where I would be without God present in my life, but He took the long suffering I carried on myself and gave me peace and rest. Selah.
“My soul finds rest in God alone.” Psalm 62:1 (NIV)
“I have found the one my soul loves.” Song of Solomon 3:4 (KJV)
Me and my husband met when we were in college back in 2003. We have been married as of 2022 this year for 10+ years. Marriage is a holy union, covenant between two, husband and wife, vowing to God to love and serve one another (your spouse). Marriage reflects God’s plan for both husband and wife an example of Jesus Christ commitment to His Bride, the church and His sacrifice for her.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:25-27 (NASB)
Marriage is a divine commitment not only with your spouse, but with God as the center of your marriage. God has revealed over these past 10+ years who I thought I was "perfect" person. But I am not, I am nothing more than a "broken" person who needs "grace".
"God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it." Ephesians 2:8-9 New Living Translation (NLT)
Thinking I was perfect as if I was whole, and yet I was broken. I really thought I had my life all together. I used to believe by doing good, I was good too. If, I was good, then I was perfect. I am not perfect, but imperfect. Looking back over the past few years married, it was so easy for me to point out my husband's flaws. But I had flaws too. I would nit-pick over senseless things that bothered me about him. When he did not wash the dishes a certain way, I would get frustrated and annoyed. When he forgot to take the out the trash, I would get frustrated. When he did not pick up his clothes off the floor or forgot something I told him to do I would feel some type of resentment towards him. Then my sarcastic and nagging attitude unfolded towards him. I became so annoyed for the things he did and the way he did them. What God revealed to me through those years was my heart was the problem. My heart was the issue and reasons why I responded to my husband the way I did, out of love. How did I get here? Why did my heart feel so resentful toward the one I vowed to spend the rest of my life with?
“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Genesis 2:24 (NIV)
What I did not understand is we are one flesh. During our wedding I remember in our wedding program for the reception. We had included Bible verses that would represent our union in what we knew about marriage. But my heart was not reflecting what I understood as God’s Word. My heart was still broken from emotional trauma I had suffered as a child from my parents’ divorce and my estrange relationship with father. I always told younger self when I once found a spouse and got married divorce wasn’t going to be an option on the table. I do not want my children to have to suffer or experience the same broken heart or emotional trauma of what I went through. All these thoughts came from fear of the unknown because of my childhood past. The only difference I needed to understand once I surrender my heart to God, he can fix the problem.
“My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.” Proverbs 23:26 (KJV)
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB)
I thought I was, “perfect” having it “all together” my actions were revealing I wasn’t perfect. God’s glory was revealing in my “heart” how broken I needed a Savior, The Holy Spirit put in me, a new “heart” to become “a new creation” in Christ. This is my identity, seeking and living a life of God’s grace.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
“So, God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27 (NASB)
Seeking God’s Word and truth, I understand that He is only perfect and holy. I am imperfect person, different and unique but created in His image. My ways are not His ways nor or His thoughts are the same way as how I felt about my husband. Things started to shift the way I saw my husband when I continued to seek God’s Word. The Holy Spirit has been teaching me to see him the way God sees me, in His Son’s image. Being born into a two-parent household and then raised into a household with one parent changed the dynamic of our family. Fathers are known as leaders or the head over their household. Most of my childhood I was taught and understood how to live independent because of the examples I saw in my mother, but my dependency was to live my life fully relied on God alone. My husband was raised in a two-parent household and his parents are still married today. We grew up in two different households but that did not mean God did not see him unworthy of His grace.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23 (ESV)
My husband flaws aren’t any different than my own. We are both loved and worthy of God’s grace because he loves us. His love is unconditional, worthy, holy, and everlasting. He created both of us and therefore we are deserving of His love.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)
Marriage isn’t a fairytale where the author have us imagine the couple in the romance novel holding hands, spending time together, or getting married and living happily ever after together. Plot twist, there is an enemy “seeking someone to devour” he is a liar and wants to weaken, kill, steal and destroy marriages. Be alert!
“Resist him, standing firm in the faith because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:8-9 (NIV)
The enemy from the beginning in my childhood tried to deceive me into believing there was no hope for me. How could I stay committed to marriage with my husband when my heart was broken? The hope I planted was believing and trusting God I could spend my life with someone who loves me unconditionally even when I was broken. I prayed for my husband before I met him. So, when I met him, I knew he was heaven sent from God because I made a vow to God that the person, he sent he would send someone in his image to be my husband.
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV)
It seems easy to judge someone without understanding the reasons why they behave the way they do. And I was so focused on my husband flaws, I could not see how broken I was and struggling with my past. The enemy tried to distort my view by using my past against me. The problem was my heart and how I saw him from my perspective instead of how God sees him. God gave me a new heart and a new Spirit to walk in His love, not the love I thought as a child was perfect. But his, perfect love who died on the cross because he loves me.