If I am honest, marriage is not all rainbows and sunshine,despite what the social media phantoms would have you to believe by their post. It is a roller coaster ride, full of high heights, dips, loops and drops.  I love being married, but it is not relationship goals contrary to popular opinion. The only (#relationship goals) I have been trying to achieve on a day-to-day basis, is a closer walk with Christ.  Apart from that, I would not be able to tolerate a relationship much less a husband.   I am not being cynical, as terrible as this all sounds.   Marriage is work!  Like full-time, long shifts, no days off kind of work. Let me give you some context.

 

Most of us as individuals have parts of ourselves that we would love to change or cannot really stand about us.  Now consider this…. apart from God no one knows “you” better than you do, I mean, you grew up with you, and there are still things about “you” that you do not like.  In marriage factor in another person that you like fair enough, (especially the cliff notes version of themselves they showed you when you were both presenting your academy award winning performance in the dating phase.)  This person also has parts of them they do not like either.  Despite their best illusion of self-confidence, they have struggles just like you do.

One day the parts of your counterpart that you may not fair so much show up.  Uh Oh… game changer! Now you must decide if the things you do like, far outweigh the things you do not.  Hence a relationship is born that graduates to a marital commitment. At least I hope you figured that out before you took that leap.  Moving on…. Suddenly, while married, you get to see the inner-workings of a person, because you are in closer proximity. News flash, you do not always like what you see.  As a result, conflicts arise because the person you were as a single individual is at war with your new role.  You now must compromise and conform to a life that is more self-less than selfish.  If we are honest, that is the hardest part.

 

So how do we shift?  LOVE is the answer! Not love as the world defines it, but the only true love, Jesus Christ. The Commodores said it best- “Jesus is love; he won’t let you down.” (yes, I sang that in my mind as I typed it out) It is extremely important for love to lead the way, in order to activate your selfless nature and deny your desire to be selfish.  Good news!  Christ is love epitomized.

Literally he is love. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)   This passage supports how Christ encompasses all that we need.   So, if it is LOVE AND Marriage, then Christ must be the focus of everything I do, when I interact with my husband.  This is not easy, remember as a person set in their ways, you and I are used to having things done our way. We find out soon, that is not how this love thing works.  In fact, it is the opposite, it is denying yourself, your will, your wants, and your desires and aligning them with what Christ would want. Do not confuse this with giving up your personality, however, you do give up a version of yourself.  After all, it is Love and Marriage not Marriage and then Love. This is not a business transaction; it is a covenant.  The version of you that would “Do you boo” must die.  The version of you that would consider all things Christcentered, has to be born.  Christ first and then marriage (in that order).  It is Christs’ model of what marriage looks like for us, not what we think is best for our marriage model. So, you and I really must adjust our mindset.

 

Philippians 2:1-11 is a great passage for lovers.  “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” This passage gives us good background on how to display the right attitude for marriage. (WWJD-FORREAL) It shows us how Christ responded in his relationship, which is the closest relationship there ever was.  Sure, He was the creator, he was equal with God but did not think it made him less than to be a servant and subject himself to the cross.  He did not feel as though his role in the relationship, diminished who he was at all.  In fact, it elevated him when it was all said and done.

So, who the heck do I think I am not to subject myself to some things that are unpleasant, for the sake of the Glory of God? Anything that I endure for the glory of God, even if it is not my greatest desire, my prayer is that God will align my desire to his.   I have made a commitment to do what would please God in my marriage. A vow that I do not take lightly. A vow you should not take lightly either my sister.

My love for Jesus trumps whatever else is going on within my marriage. He is the tie that binds us.  He is the blood that covers us, He is the love that saves us, from us. My willingness to be right, my feelings, my embarrassment, whatever it is, He is MORE than all of it.  Christ is right there with me leading me, if I will allow him, through it all.  It is because of that commitment to loving Christ, that I do not think its loss to give up my desires for the opportunity to serve Christ with my marriage. It is a daily renewal of my vows; it is a daily commitment to crucifying my fleshly desire to be selfish.

I have been at this marriage opportunity for nearly 13 years. Marriage is the hardest and most rewarding relationship you can experience with a human being.   By far the hardest part is self-lessness.  Loving my husband, that came easier than I thought. Liking my husband, well he is alright with me.  Christ’s example of self-lessness by loving me before I even loved myself, is the driving force behind me choosing to be a godly wife and to love better for my husband. It is not contingent upon him equating what I can give.  I must remember it is not robbery to be subjected to serving another.  It is absolutely an honor that will no doubt elevate me to even higher plains that it already has.

I can love my husband, only because Christ first loved me. I have done so much in the sight of the Lord that is displeasing, yet he loves me anyway.  No matter how ugly it gets, he sticks right there. He gives me that 1 Corinthians 13 commitment each day.  Christ does that for me, without fail. It is because of Jesus’commitment to me that I am committed to my husband. Nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else.

 

Humbly Submitted- Billy’s Good Thing, Emily Moore