"Blessed is she, who has believed, that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:45

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wearing Too Tight Shoes


Bob and I were married 12 years ago. While we were married in a church by a pastor, we were, at best, visitors to a relationship with God. We had come in and out over the years but never made our permanent home with Him.

As the years passed our marriage deteriorated until we were little more than roommates sharing a house and a son. I had completely distanced myself from God and I had absolutely no clue as to what Bob's beliefs or feelings were. During that time my mom was diagnosed with colon cancer. During her fight God and I had a big struggle going on as well. My Mom lost her fight with cancer but about a month before she died, about four years ago, I gave my life to Christ in a no-holds-barred, I can't make it without you way. Shortly after my husband re-dedicated his life to Christ and has passionately lived out that committement since.

Trying to live a marriage based on God's desires and not ours is probably one of the biggest struggles that we have faced since committing our lives to Christ. It was such a surprise to find out that the things that God calls us to as husband and wife are much harder to meet than what we desire for ourselves. They sound simple enough, but the day to day application takes constant work and sacrifice.

"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."
~Ephesian 5:22-33



The problem is, when you live in a marriage that is all about yourself, you aren't following God's design for marriage. To truly follow God's design it becomes a case of completely giving up to self and starting to live for someone else, all in an attempt to glorify God for what He has done, is doing, and will do.

Over the past three years we have been working at redefining our roles in our marriage. I, ever the head-strong, opinionated, and overbearing woman, has had to learn to submit to the leadership of my husband, even when it goes against every desire I have to take charge. I have had to learn to trust that his decisions will be for the best in our marriage, our family and our spiritual walk. He on the other hand, is very easy-going, quiet and agreeable. He has had to learn to step up and speak out, take control and leadership, and start making decisions that, before, he would just leave to me. He also is learning to look at things from a perspective that is completely different than his in an effort to understand me more and strengthen our marriage.

I won't lie and say that we have easily stepped into the roles set forth in the Bible. It is work on the best days, and a struggle on the really difficult ones. It is like trying to wear shoes that are too tight. But we have found that the more we try to put the other person first, those shoes will stretch just a little more. The distance and discord in our marriage didn't happen overnight, and it wasn't something that we had to work at. We just quit caring and quit trying. The healing won't happen overnight either, but we are determined and dedicated to each other, and to trusting God to continue to heal our relationship. It is a lot of work and a lot of struggle, but where we are now is good. We love each other and are determined to make it work; these days the happiness and love outweigh the other stuff more and more.

We just keep reminding ourselves that the destination is worth the time it takes to break in a pair of too tight shoes.
For more things about marriage that are surprising, follow the link to Marriage Mondays in my right hand column.

5 comments:

e-Mom said...

Bless you for trying to apply Biblical standards to your marriage. As you've mentioned, it can certainly be a challenge.

Thanks for joining us for Marriage Monday today, Seesawfaith!

e-Mom @ Chrysalis

Connie Marie said...

It is like trying to wear shoes that are too tight.

Oh I have recent experience on wearing shoes like that!!!! I could barely walk and we ended up finding an open department store and buying new shoes to wear!

Even though you get those smooshed feet into bigger, roomier shoes... they continue to hurt! They ache and throb and if you had to walk very far in those awful fitting shoes ... big ol' blisters too! You are right... these things take time to heal. You have to take time to let them heal too.

I pray for the same decision you two made to follow God totally will be in my daughter and husbands lives too. Thanks for the encouragement.

Blessing to your marriage!

Donetta said...

Well said.
It is a journey.

Lynn said...

We just keep reminding ourselves that the destination is worth the time it takes to break in a pair of too tight shoes.

Wow, Shannon... This is such a wonderful post filled with the truth of God's word. Thank you so much for inspiring me and sharing your thoughts. This scripture always humbles me and I know it is the truth that makes marriage happy.

God bless you and thank you for sharing with us at Marriage Monday. Hugs, Lynn

April said...

Very good post! My heart is jumping up and down for you guys.

"The problem is, when you live in a marriage that is all about yourself, you aren't following God's design for marriage. To truly follow God's design it becomes a case of completely giving up to self and starting to live for someone else, all in an attempt to glorify God for what He has done, is doing, and will do."

This is so true, God has to be invited into your marriage.