Updated: Apr 3, 2020
I had a divine appointment the other day. Actually, I have them every day but sometimes I'm intentional with recognizing them and sometimes these appointments get overlooked as just another conversation in my day. I don't always put my spiritual bifocals on to “see” the timing as a God appointed conversation. Are you guilty of doing this too? Do you recognize your relationships and conversations as God working in and through your life to others in your day-to-day life or as I would like to call it, the mundane?
My conversation was with a person I have known for years. She knew of my past struggles and she has shared some of her recent struggles with me that she has been suppressing. And so that I protect her anonymity I will not say how I know her, but I will tell you she asked me a question I knew God had me in her life for such a time as this day. She asked me this question… “How do you get to where you were in your marriage years ago with the difficult days to the happiness you both share today?” Wow, that is a 24-year happiness in the making with a whole lot of brokenness, hurt, anger, trust issues, vulnerability, bitterness, resentment, pride, and guilt sprinkled all in there together on both sides. Short answer to her was, “It wasn’t easy and ONLY by the Grace of God.”
I went on to tell my friend that great marriages don’t just happen, they are built over a long period of time. And sometimes, you re-build and re-build again. Good thing we are in the construction business! But seriously, marriages are made by 2 people who choose to stay together and FORGIVE over and over. We have also continued to love and like each other for the long haul. There is a difference between loving and liking your spouse…let me explain, loving means having a deep sense of care, respect or admiration for someone but to like someone, you enjoy spending time with them, talking to them and look forward to seeing them regularly.
Really good marriages (appearing on the outside) choose to work it out against the odds and work through the continuous conflicts, every single one of them. People who are married for more than 10 years have had real issues to work through, at some time or place in that relationship. Long-term marriages must learn to communicate really good to understand each other and see the offenses that were pitched to their partner intentionally or unintentionally and take accountability for the offense. There is a lot of forgiveness on both sides. Most people come to the marriage with baggage that they have to sort through and this can be painful.
A really good marriage is the make-up of 2 broken people who become humble over time. Humble to each other and their partners needs above themselves. Marriage is not for the faint of heart. Marriage is getting in the mud, digging the holes, pulling the weeds, and hopefully sticking with it long enough to reap the blessings of the harvest that God intended for the couple to share together and with future generations to come.
I don’t know where you are today in your marriage or where you have been but know that God understands you and your spouse. He knew the mistakes and hurtful words you would say to each other before you made them. He placed you together for a reason and He wants to grow you both as individuals and as a couple. It is my prayer that you will yield to His will and purpose for your marriage. Stay vigilant to seek God first above your spouse to learn how to love your spouse as God loves them. This takes grace. This isn’t easy and we aren’t God. For me, I had to give my heart to God and my marriage to God and surrender both for Him to help me love like He wanted me to love. I discovered through this process a love like no other and this was my true intimacy that I share with my Creator. My love for God spills over each day for my husband and kids. If I didn’t have the strong relationship with God, all of my other relationships would be disastrous.
I know there is a lot of worry and concerns going on with the COVID-19 now. Use this time of “sheltering” to draw close to God. If you don’t know Him, I suggest you invite Him into your life and heart and repent of your sins. (Contact me directly if you would like to know more). If your relationships are struggling, drawing closer to God very well may be your answer. He will show you how to love, forgive, let go, and surrender. God designed you, He knows exactly how you think, what you need, and how you need to be loved. Don’t give up...I can truly say through all of my struggles I am the happiest I have ever been with all of my relationships and I have more peace than I have ever had. I feel so richly blessed for these reasons.
***(Disclaimer, I cannot speak to all marriages with abuse, neglect, or infidelity. Nor am I judging people who walk away and end the marriage due to these reasons. I can only comment on what I went through and how we chose to rise above our personal differences together).