In the early part of spring, God challenged me to pray and ask for something big in my life. For a while, I could not think of anything, but then my marriage came to mind. I asked the Lord to transform my mind on marriage. At the time, I was miserable to be honest. The stresses of life had taken hold and I felt farther away from my husband than I had ever felt. Frustration and roots of bitterness began to take hold as my ideas of happy marriage slipped away. I was mad all the time, I felt unloved and wanting and I hated it. I didn’t want to be like this so I knew asking God to transform my marriage was going to be a huge undertaking.
Slowly, God began to transform my thinking. He taught me what it meant for him to be my husband.
““In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master. ’”
Hosea 2:16 NIV
He taught me to find my desire to be loved fully in him. As a quality time person, our normal time together began to be transformed into a deeper more vulnerable way. He dug deep into my heart to mend old hurts. He peeled away wrong thinking and walls I had placed in order to “protect” myself. I had become raw and exposed. Nothing was hidden from Him, my husband or myself.
He then began to teach me the meaning behind love making and truly being intimate with my husband. In the past, I had never understood the book Song of Songs. I could not see how what seemed like a bunch of lusting had anything to do with God. However, God revealed it is not lusting but desire and passion of love towards another. He first revealed that as Solomon describes the body parts of the individuals with such admiration and love that God and I do the same with attributes of character. I praise him in prayer of his faithfulness, kindness and loving ways. He reminds me I’m his beloved and knows me fully. As this revelation sunk in, He presented the idea that sex was as much meant for spiritual growth and out pouring of Love from the Lord as it was a physical act. I served God by serving my husband. This blew my mind. I have always felt like I had a third grade maturity level when it came to the three letter S word so to be so honest about the mysteries of sex and how I am to grow in my spiritual walk was and is a bit of a challenge.
With these new revelations, actions were taken in obedience. I had not realized in all of my misery, I had placed my husband and my marriage on the back burner. Even more so, I had not realized I had the kids placed so highly. In order to obey God, I was confronted with habits I had with the kids that placed them above my husband. It revealed fears of leaving my kids with others so we could go on dates. I had convinced myself all these years that I was being a good mom by focusing on them and I felt guilt when I was away from them. What was really happening, was a deceitful snake in my marriage and in my family. Lies of guilt for taking time with my husband away from the kids flooded my mind and stunted my actions. LieS were told that hurts could not be forgiven. I was convinced that in order to grow in my marriage I was going to have to force Steve to grow with me and if not that we could never grow.
The light was shed on all of it. My heart and my mind was transformed about my marriage and my husband. It was never more apparent I was on the right track as the events of last night. It was our anniversary. I had spent the day preparing Steve’s gifts and getting a special dinner. I told the kids it was a special day or us and the oldest decided to draw a heart note for his dad. The kids were fed an early dinner so that Steve and I could sit and eat at the table and have a conversation while the kids watched tv. We spent the evening close to one another focused on being together. Then as we got the kids to bed and tried to spend “alone” time. The oldest woke up and started some dramatic theatrics that were out of character. After finally getting him to talk, he revealed that he was upset that I had spent the day talking about dad and spending my time with dad. He was ultimately jealous. It was then I realized I truly had set them ahead of my husband. I explained that things were changing that I had placed his father below the kids and that it was not right. I told him in order for Steve and I to truly teach him and be a good parents we must also make sure we are spending time together. I assured him that we both loved him very much and that we would enjoy playing games and such in the morning.
Making time for our marriage and loving each other well is tough business with young kids. Sleep schedules are crazy, stress levels are high and exhaustion is right around every corner. It is easy to say I’m too tired or when the kids get older everything will change. It is easy to set your spouse on the back burner and put the kids in the a spot light. It’s easy to turn your attention to what your spouse isn’t doing rather than what you can do for your spouse. It’s easy to forget to find your love in God when the tangible person in front of you is suppose to love you.
However, make that time! In order to teach your children to be godly adults, you also have to teach them to be godly wives and husbands. If you want your kids to learn to serve others, first learn to serve your spouse even when you don’t feel like it. Find your love and fulfillment in God alone and allow his love to be an out pouring into your marriage. Serve your spouse in ways that they receive love. Show them God’s love for them and for you. Your children are watching. They will learn to love others by your example of how you love your spouse and how serious you take the commitment of marriage. Don’t wait for the other to start the actions of service and love in order to grow but ask God to transform your thinking and begin to love as He loves you.
““A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.””
John 13:34-35 NIV