As I embark on 28 years of marriage, I am reminded of the faithfulness of God. In 28 years, there have been a lot of great milestones and memories but there have also been A LOT of hard days and even a few hard years. Don’t misunderstand, I am so thankful for each day that God gives me with my husband, but no marriage is perfect!
Allow me to share a little of our story – Neither of us were saved when we got married. I accepted Christ five years into our marriage and then spent 13 LONG years praying and begging God to save Jason. Once I stopped nagging and whining about Jason not going to church and learned to love him regardless, he FINALLY started going to church and a few years later, he fully surrendered his life to Christ (at the age of 40 and after 18 years of marriage).
After he accepted Christ, we spent 3 LONG and hard years in the wilderness trying to find our way and trying to figure out how to live our lives God’s way – How to raise kids God’s way, how to communicate and argue God’s way! We literally almost separated during those 3 LONG years. BUT GOD! He began to restore our faith and trust in Him. He used some godly people in our lives to glorify himself and show us that He was there, and He was in the midst of all that was going on. I thank God for restoring our marriage, life, and family but it was not an easy journey.
I felt led to write this to encourage the woman who is living in a home that is unequally yoked. Or maybe to the woman whose husband is a Christ follower, but he is not walking with Christ as closely as you’d like. Or maybe to the single woman looking for the most godly man. I have been there. I know what it is like to look at another couple and say, I wish Jason would lead like that or I wish Jason would serve like her husband does. This reminds me of a saying that I once heard a pastor say, “the grass grows greener over the septic tank.” If you can resonate with any of these statements, can I assure you that NO ONE’s life and marriage is perfect!
I recently heard a podcast about this very topic and the speaker said, “leaders need followers. Are you willing to follow your husband”? It pierced my heart because I haven’t always been a supportive wife. I haven’t always been submissive, and I haven’t always chosen to follow my husband, which is why we lived so many years in the wilderness. This also means I haven’t always encouraged or allowed my husband to be the leader of our home. I don’t mean that as in, I told him he couldn’t lead, I mean that I chose not to follow. Following your husband’s lead is hard for some strong-willed women who were born with leadership characteristics. But following your husband’s lead is how God designed our marriages to be.
22Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
As I mentioned earlier, those hard years were painful, they caused scars, and some really hard conversations. However, we have chosen to use those hard years to encourage others. We now serve in full time ministry as missionaries to serve the military community here at NAS, Pensacola. If I am honest, there are many days when I now desire and pray to be as in-love with Jesus as Jason is. Don’t give up on your spouse because they are not where you are spiritually or where you desire them to be. Love them for who they are and for where they are. And remember that God loves them way more than you ever could.
No matter where you are in your relationship with your spouse, I would like to encourage you to do two things: 1) pray for your husband every day. Don’t pray for God to change him, pray for him! Pray for his job, his co-workers (and their influence on him), his safety, his walk with Christ, etc. 2) Ask God what you can do or change to encourage your husband, respect him more, and ask God how you can be the wife your husband needs. If you will do this, get ready because prayer changes things.
Why have an “okay” marriage when you can have a JOY-filled marriage?
Let’s talk about it
- What is one thing could you do differently to show your spouse respect?
- Do you have expectations of your spouse that may have not been clearly communicated to him or that need to be shared (again)? This could be chores, budget minded, routine, etc.
- Read this verse: Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. (If you are single, please find a godly mentor or friend to help you be successful in God’s plan, for accountability, and to be a sounding board for you). God wants you to be successful, why not choose to be successful with your spouse!
I realize there is a whole other part to those verses about how husbands should love their wives, but that is a completely different conversation/blog. If you are struggling in your marriage OR if you would be interested in a marriage class/small group, please let me (Samantha Brindle) know. Part of our ministry is marriage ministry, and we’d love to encourage you in the greatest union created by God – Marriage!