“What if God is more interested in changing you, than in changing your spouse?” I wish I could tell you that I sat still on that cold, harsh brown sofa, as the words from the Christian counselor’s lips echoed and replayed over and over again in my mind. Just being candid, it was NOTHING even close to still! I actually began to fidget, get antsy, almost jumped off that couch and stuttered helplessly for words to spout back! Her soft-spoken response was FULL of conviction and had followed my list of complaints and selfish demands for changes I yearned for in my marriage. Changes that all centered around my spouse.
Wasn't Marriage Created To Make Me Happy?
Didn’t I deserve to be happy? I mean, isn’t that what love and marriage were created for, my Happiness? The tears began to flow from my eyes as I began to try to justify to her my reasons for asking him to leave. “You just don’t understand, I don’t feel a thing. I don’t think I love him anymore.”
Unwavering in her stance, she did not seem to empathize with my reasoning of wanting to desert the marriage. How could she ever understand what I knew to be years of wanting more in a relationship, the outbursts of verbal abuse, feelings of isolation, mixed up priorities….. Although her words were convicting, I wanted to reject them and remain in denial. It did not help matters at all that I had been confiding in a friend of the opposite sex about the struggles in my marriage. I loved the way he listened and understood. I appreciated his compliments, and I won’t deny it, I even liked his flirtatious remarks. Deep down, I knew they were so wrong and my emotional involvement in this inappropriate relationship was doing nothing at all to help heal my shattered marriage.
The Change Had To Begin In Me....
The ride home that day, the continued counseling sessions with my husband, and the steps of marriage restoration were some of the hardest difficulties I have ever faced. In all honesty, I remember several nights, lying on the edge of the bed and crying out to God. It was a desperate, painful cry. Have you ever been there? When you don’t know what else to pray….when you just can’t find the words to say? It takes all your strength just to muster a whisper of the name, JESUS. Yet, I knew that if my marriage situation was going to change I needed to repent of my sin and ask God to change my marriage. I came to that harsh realization that the change had to begin in ME!
I began to pray and ask God to resurrect my marriage and my feelings for my husband. Over those next few months, I woke up every morning and I purposely chose to love him! Just getting real, I am sure there were days when I had my cranky rotten attitude that he had to do the same….. and he chose to love me.
I learned that marriage was not created just for me to be happy. It was created to make us more holy. Rick and I were created to sharpen each other into the image of Christ. Even when we did not feel a thing we had to choose to love, sacrifice, listen, empathize and affirm one another.
♥ I Am Grateful That We Chose To Love
It’s been a little over three years now since that attack in our marriage. I love him more now than the day we were married. I am so glad we chose not to listen to the world, it offered us little hope. There were those who thought we were crazy, insisted we move on, “find someone who will make you happy, you deserve it.” We had to shut them out, and instead we focused on prayer and stood on the promises and marriage truths found in God’s word. I am so grateful that we chose to LOVE!
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
In which area do you need to choose to love?
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