I was surprised that Tim and I both reached a point in our marriage where we really didn’t like each other. Our expectations weren’t met. Our dreams weren’t realized. And we blamed each other.
Marriage is even more difficult when you feel like you’re doing all the giving and not receiving anything back. Over time I grew bitter because I felt that my husband didn’t connect with me. I felt like he didn’t appreciate me. I felt like he didn’t cherish me.
We both made plenty of mistakes, some of which were very difficult to forgive. But God asked me to stop cataloging my husband’s faults – a task I didn’t realize I had been doing for months.
God wanted me to see that no matter how my husband behaved, I needed to treat him with honor and integrity.
It’s similar to how God tells us turn the other cheek when our enemies come against us (Matt 5:39). We are told to do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who mistreat us (Luke 6:27).
I heard a teacher once say that she overcame much trouble in her life when she learned to consistently do good (Rom 12:21). That’s what God wants from us when our marriage is falling apart.
We must do good to him.
Don’t stop to think about whether he deserves it or whether we feel like it. We must treat him well and be kind. Serve him. Help him. Bless him.
Then do it all over again the next day.
I learned a valuable lesson from Gary Thomas when I read Sacred Influence (which I reviewed earlier on my blog). He told a story about the Revolutionary War, a time period in history that I absolutely love. Gary quoted part of a letter from John Adams to his wife, a phrase that is also used at one point by George Washington.
“We cannot guarantee success in this war, but we can do something far better. We can deserve it.”
I get goose bumps when I think of how honorable our founding fathers were. But even more so, when I think about how much God desires that I be just as honorable in my marriage.
I want God to be pleased with my efforts to be a good wife, and even though I know I’ll continue to make mistakes, I want to hold my head high knowing that I’ve done all He’s asked me to do to the best of my ability. So over the past few months, I’ve been praying a new prayer over my marriage.
God, even though I’m working hard to be the wife You want me to be, I understand that I cannot guarantee success in this fight to save my marriage. But-
I can do something even better: I can deserve it.
©Jen Cudmore 2015, All Rights Reserved #staymarried
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