Before I got married I thought I would be this incredible wife. I envisioned myself as someone who's only desire would be to please my husband; to cook for him and support him and affirm him... always. I read all the marriage books and had it totally figured out. Then I got married. And turns out I'm still me.
Not only do I not measure up to my own standards, I so often fail to measure up to my husbands. Have you ever been there? Wishing you were different and thinking others close to you wish the same?
When faced with my own inadequacy I can either point the finger at my husband and demand he loves me for who I am. Or I can wallow in self-pity for how I don't measure up. Or I can pull up my boot straps and just try harder. All of these are self-sufficient options that will always leave me wanting and stuck in a downward spiral that leads to destruction.
So what in the world do I do?
Here are 7 ideas.
1. Desperately depend on Jesus to live His life through you. There is no possible way we can be who we want to be, who others want us to be or who God wants us to by our own will power. It's not until we admit that we can't do it that we see the cross for what it truly is, salvation. Only when we see how desperate we are can we depend on another's help and the only one able to truly help is the Lord. The One living inside every believer IS enough to live a life pleasing to the Lord. And He only lives His life through us when we get our self-sufficiency out of the way.
2. Cling to what is true. Remind yourself what is true about your identity in Christ. We, apart from Christ are inadequate and always will be. But as children of God, He has made us adequate because we are seen through the perfection of Jesus. Amazing! He has made us holy, pure, blameless and a host of other things in Christ.
Remind yourself of His sovereignty. God is able and He surely could have changed things by now. But if He hasn't it's not because He doesn't care but because He does. He is not finished using the situation for your good and His glory. He is there with you each step and will never leave you or abandon you. What you are facing today is not beyond His control or care. He is intimately involved and producing in you far more that you dare imagine. Here's a post showing how God provides what we need way before we even realized we needed it.
3. Pray for him. You know him better than anyone and you are his primary prayer warrior. If you're not praying, who will? And I don't know about you but sometimes it can be easy to pray the "you tell em God!" instead of praying the very hardest thing to pray for them. So pray your sweet little heart out. Like David pleaded with God oouring out his hear, tell God how you feel and what you think. But also ask the hard things.
4. Don't entertain lies. Don't let your mind go to unhealthy places of trying to figure out how to get out whatever situation you're in. If you are married, God wants you to stay there (except for in specifically clear cases stated in Scripture) so don't run just because it's hard. Rather, take every thought captive. If others are telling you things contrary to God's Word, then don't talk about it with them. In order to not entertain lies, you need to not listen to them. Give the enemy and inch and he'll be ruler.
5. Consider what to yield. Pray and ask God to lead your thinking of what you can do as a way to serve your husband-even if it hurts and expecting nothing in return. Just because something is hard does not mean it's bad. Lay down your life, following the example of Jesus who gave His life as a ransom. Did you know the word life in Greek here is not a physical life (though He also gave that) but it's His psyche, His mind, will and emotions. He laid down His desires so others could have life.
As a friend of mine says it,
"Choosing the option that is easier is not necessarily God's best for you. Sometimes, taking the easy route is robbing God of the opportunity to show His power and grace in your life. Sometimes God wants you to take the hard route in order to mold your character. When I consider this issue, I think about the many scriptures that point to "taking up your cross daily" so that we can have fellowship with Him, and "the crucified life", where we are dead to sin but alive in Christ, and the sufferings that the apostles experienced as they chose in order to follow Christ. I think even more importantly is that when we are willing to suffer as a result of our obedience, we ascribe great value to God. We are saying, that "my inconvenience, pain, stress, expense, etc, are worth it Jesus, because You are worth it." "You suffered for me, so I am willing to suffer for you."
6. Let go of the American fairy tale and cling to the truth of what marriage is really all about. A sweet former contributor, Nicole wrote not too long ago a great post entitled The purpose of marriage and happily ever after. We need this reminder over and over and over in our we're entitled to get everything we want culture.
One time we had some friends from Iran over to our house for dinner and they shared their story of how they got married. It went a little like this. Their moms met and decided they wanted their children to get married. Three weeks later they met and got married. End of story. Our entitled American mindset of the fairy tale marriage is just not a timeless and universal principle in Scripture. But laying your life down for another, whether they deserve it or not because you made a commitment before God is.
7. Thank God every day for your husband and even thank the Lord for specific attributes and thank Him for where you are right now.
Laura, the founder of Missional Women is married and has five kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 12 years serving with Master Plan Ministries. Laura is the Women's Development Coordinator and has discipled over 150 girls, led over 30 Bible studies and speaks to college and women's groups. Laura has authored 5 books, including an award winning 12 week Bible Study on First Samuel, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional, Reach; How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God, and A Devotional Journey through Judges, a devotional to accompany the free online Bible study at TheBookofJudges.com. You can find her on facebook,twitter, pinterest, youtube, instagram and her author site.
If you'd like to read more from this contributor, type her name in the search box on the top right.
Sharing this over at these awesome blogs