Marriage

When The Going Gets Tough

The vows say in sickness and in health, for better or for worse.  We’ve had both this month.  I’ve been tested, rattled, sad, mad, and desperate.  I’ve prayed for strength, and acted out fear and anger, asked for forgiveness, and tried to release my fear by faith.  That last bit is tough.  Fear is my enemy.  Yet, I’m commanded in the Bible not to allow it to rule me.  It can be argued that based on this and that and the other thing….that I have a right to feel fear and that feeling should be honored.  And while feeling it isn’t a sin…allowing it to rule your heart is.

My Harry has been under a great deal of stress for a while.  He has things from his past that rear their ugly heads from time to time as well.  Everything converged on him at once a couple of weeks ago and he found himself in a very dark place.  And I was definitely afraid for him in every way a wife could be afraid.  But, today I’m choosing trust instead of fear.  And some might say that makes me naïve and a Pollyanna.  But I argue that it makes me wise.  His good health in every way is my goal.  And a strong marriage is what I want, so why would I do anything that would jeopardize either?

If I gave in to the fear I would run for the hills.  You see these memes on Facebook that say things like, “Maturity is learning to walk away from people and situations that threaten your peace of mind, self-respect, morals, and values or self-worth.”  And on the surface I would completely agree.  To a point.  As a wife, I’m called to a higher level of maturity.  I’m called not to run away from something that is hard.  To see it through in love.  That is harder than walking away.  It’s choosing to trust and love that other person as God loves them.  The problems with memes like that is they are self-centered instead of other-centered.  And yes there does come a time when its best to walk away after being mistreated.  But God also uses trials and adversity to make us better people.  He uses trials in relationships to reveal things that need to change so the couple can have a stronger bond.  So I remain.  Because this will not break me.  And I love my husband.

If I gave in to the fear I would drive my husband crazy.  I’ve never wanted to be a nagging wife.  Care and concern if mixed with fear can become toxic in a relationship.  No one wants to be asked a million times a day if they are ok.  I beat back the fear when I think of what could happen to him physically and I fight the urge I have to coddle him and care too much.  Inside my heart, I do.  So I have to allow my faith and trust in God to work on me and allow me to have restraint.  I’m not 100% good at this one.  This is my greatest struggle.  But at least I’m trying.  And I hope in doing so I am able to make things better for him not worse.

If I gave in to the fear I would drive my husband away.  Why would you bring someone in and share things with them if you know you’re going to “get it” for doing so?  Even if I have a right to be upset, if I choose to act on my fear, he would share less not more.  And if intimacy is my goal, then why would I do something that knowingly pushes him away?  Yes, fear is my enemy.  It is used to destroy things not build them up.  And building up is my goal.

So, even though things are tough right now.  I’m choosing everyday to love and trust.  And I hope I’m going to be a better person for it.  I hope I help instead of hurt.  I hope the love of Jesus Christ shows my husband that he is first to me a brother in Christ and a husband after that.  He is my friend and always my friend first.

And so we tackle what was promised in our vows.  To choose to honor and love each other in the good and bad times.  And hopefully we will watch the miracle that true love is; flourish, grow, and bring us closer to God and each other.

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