I think there’s sometimes a misconception when it comes to couples who let the world in to see their marriage on any kind of public platform.  Like this blog, for example.  I have actually had someone say to me, “wow, your marriage must be so strong to be able to write about it so openly”.  Another comment I have gotten is, “you’re so good at being your husbands’ wife”.  These are flattering compliments, but ones that I think may need some honest responses. 

My husband and I are imperfect people who need the grace God offers us daily.  Yes, I write a blog about marriage, but that is not because I am some expert in being a wife.  It is actually quite the opposite.  I am a woman who knows I have so much growth to do and is actively seeking God in that growth.  I ask God to mold me, to prune me, and to build me up so that I can answer the call He has for me as my husband’s helper.  I write this blog as an honest place to walk alongside other women in the same, or a similar season.

So, in the spirit of being honest. Let’s go somewhere that’s hard for me to go.  Let’s go to the place where I have often failed to give control over to God, even though I know I need to.  I want to be my husband’s helper, and yes, that is what scripture calls me to be. But, sometimes I mistake the word “helper” for “savior”.  I am learning, still, that I cannot be everything to my husband, God has to be that. “Bear one another’s burdens”, yes, but it’s a heavy burden to carry, being everything to someone. (Galatians 6:2).  It’s a burden we are not meant to carry, at all. God tells us in His Word that we can yoke ourselves to Him and make the burdens light. And yet, for some reason I find myself at times trying to take on the load.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.

I hate to see my husband struggle.  It hurts me to see him hurting.  It frustrates me to see him frustrated.  Although the hard days are not a regular thing, it is still so hard to watch those hard days happen and feel helpless as they do.  I start to meddle in those moments.  Thoughts of “how can I fix it, how can I fix him?” begin to flood my mind.  My heart is to make it better for him, but that is not my job.  My job is to stand beside him, encourage him, walk with him on the hard days.  Hold his hand, give him love, and listen.  And yes, there may be ways that I can help him, if I pray first and ask how I can help.  But that’s the key, to go to God first.

I have learned that I must allow my husband to go to God first, too.  I cannot be upset when my husband needs alone time to spend with Jesus for a struggle before coming to me with it.  That’s the right thing to do. I know we want to be the one to make all his hurts go away, but that’s what God does.  Instead of being jealous of the healing God is able to do that we cannot, we should praise Him for that! And seek Him in that.  Our strength comes from Him, it has to come from Him, even within our marriage.

And another thing, it is not my husband’s job to fix me, either.  My expectations will never be met if I rely on my husband to be a replacement for Jesus.  He was never meant to be that.  He never will measure up to that.  I cannot expect that.  So, I too need to find my strength, the kind that only comes from God.  My husband is my helper, but God carries my burdens the best.  God carries our burdens, so that we don’t have to do it alone.  But we have to seek Him, first.

“Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33.

It is always so funny to me when people say, “you have such a strong marriage”.  I wonder what they mean by that, exactly or why they believe that?  I usually laugh because my marriage often times seems like the epitome of endless lessons that God is using to grow us, never ending lessons. A “strong marriage” can very easily be misinterpreted as having a perfect one, and that my friend, we do not have. I think sometimes people see strength as something that comes from within us, but truly it is something God gives us.  We are simply choosing to cast our cares on Jesus and allow God to be God, letting our strength in weakness come directly from Him.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9.

A strong marriage does not mean that you don’t struggle, either with each other or with outside things.  A strong marriage doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons to disagree, mistakes made, or moments of failure.  A strong marriage certainly doesn’t mean we have it “all together”.  If that’s a strong marriage, no, I don’t think we have that. 

“The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God..” Exodus 15:2.

My husband and I have struggled with some heavy battles in our lifetimes.  We both have a past that shapes who we are, but also comes with some scars.  We have stresses and hardships, even now as I write this.  But we have learned that we can best support one another in those things when we are fully depending on Jesus before depending on one another.  We can be each other’s helpers, but we were not made to be each other’s savior.  This truth is what keeps our marriage strong, not because of our own strength, but the strength we find in Jesus.  So, if a strong marriage is one that’s built on fully surrendering to God and acknowledging we both need Him, then yes, I would agree, we just may have a strong marriage after all.

“God gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Isaiah 40:29.

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