Read His Words Before Ours!
I re-discovered something today.
I’d known it for quite a while, but sometimes things get brought to a new light, squeezing our insides and forcing our eyes to look full in the face of something hard, something bitter.
The man I married….he cannot satisfy my deepest needs.
But it isn’t one-sided.
I can’t satisfy him either.
We’d been fighting (er, having a “discussion”), and the farther in we got, the more we realized, again, how very different we are.
He walked away.
We both love each other, but the one we each married to find happiness, wasn’t delivering.
I stowed away, carrying our youngest and a handful of tissues to our closet, closing the door behind me as my eyes sought out a familiar landmark on our bookshelf:
our wedding pictures.
Not the professional one, but a scrapbook created with the loving hands of my mother-in-love. I prepared for a good, long cry as I sat cross-legged, wiggling baby cooing, and opened its pages, already weeping.
I gazed at our happy faces, naïve little 20 year olds who knew nothing of what lie ahead. Nothing of the pain of journeying.
Nothing of the angst of disappointment.
Nothing of being un-fulfilled.
Oh, if I could go back…
Run into that “ready room” where that young, glowing bride was gleefully putting on her gown.
Me, mid-thirties, plenty of graying hairs mixed with my blond,
pooching belly drooping with the stretched skin of carrying 8 little lives,
a face lined with wrinkles of both worry and laughter,
hands that had wiped tears, baby bottoms, caressed my husband, clenched tight in anger, and now held the pages of that scrapbook nearly 15 years old.
“Stop!” I’d say.
“You don’t know what you’re doing!
That man! He won’t deliver on his promises.
He can’t satisfy your heart. You will grieve, dear one! You will grieve!”
He will grieve.
My baby gurgled and chortled, grabbing at the pages before me. I looked into his eyes, and looked back the girl in the picture, and at the skinny boy next to her.
Neither of them knew.
But someone did.
The Father who loved them both.
Jesus knew we’d open our eyes to this day when we’d recognize again that we weren’t “perfect for each other”.
He knew we would wade into this disappointment.
That we would see the other as the enemy.
And He was ready to hold our hands as we kept walking.
See, marriage wasn’t the problem, the focus of our affection was.
Marriage wasn’t designed to make us happy, but to make us holy.
Not married? No problem…whoever you’re relationship tension is with,
they weren’t designed to make you happy either.
Those people at church.
That man from work.
That guy on the internet.
Those friends who betrayed you.
That bestie who loves you, but still manages to hurt your feelings.
Your son or daughter……
all will disappoint,
all will leave you empty,
all will confuse you into thinking that the enemy is the other person’s inability to fulfill.
I turned a few more pages and saw the younger version of my in-laws, smiling and glowing as they looked at us. They were celebrating their 25th anniversary that year, noting that when we celebrated our 25th, they would be celebrating their 50th.
Depth. Richness. Fullness.
My tears stopped falling.
Rich relationships awaited my husband and me for the next 50 years if we’d allow it, but our happiness had to stop depending on the other.
We were so different.
My love and I.
So far apart.
Then the Spirit’s voice reminded me of precious verses in Ephesians.
Paul had just finished teaching the church how, even though we are dead in our sins, God made us alive together with Christ.
Our “alive-ness” is found first in unity Jesus!
For He Himself IS our peace, who has made us both one,
and has broken down in His flesh, the dividing wall of hostility. (Ephesians 2:14)
There were 2 groups: Jews and Gentiles.
If ever there was reason for intense conflict, it was between these two.
But Paul reminds them that Jesus is for them all, and that peace begins in Him.
Walking together means first walking with Jesus.
Finding resolution means finding my footing in my identity in Christ first.
Growing love for my husband starts with investing in my relationship with God.
“…that he (Jesus) might create in himself one new man in place of the two,
so making peace,
16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross,
thereby killing the hostility.
18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.”
Ephesians 2:15-16, 18
If the Lord can bring two dissenting parties together for the sake of the gospel, He is more than able to bring unity in your relationships!
If I could go back to that “ready room”, I wouldn’t warn that girl to “stop and run”, but to lean in to her Savior, because His love would fill her up, allowing her to love her husband even better.
Go. Lean In. Do Battle and Love Well!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!