It’s not that my marriage was in trouble or anything. No, nothing like that.
We have only been married seven years – so we’re newbies. Add to this that when we married, Z and I were well into our 30’s and had been living on our own for more than a decade respectively. So you can imagine the adjustment we had as newly weds.
Z is a detailed perfectionist. Yea, all those times I said, “Oh well, he wont notice…”. Umm…, yep he did.
I on the other hand am a pleaser.
You can see the dilemma already.
And in these seven years, we have butted heads many times. We didn’t have our first, real knock-down, drag-out fight until after our first child was born. With my background in childcare and his background….not in childcare, well, naturally I felt I was more qualified to make the decisions regarding our children.
He, naturally, felt that we should make them together, but that he should have the last word.
Looking back, I see he was right.
But, I viewed his opposing opinions as a disregard of my obviously superior qualifications. I was insecure as a new mom.
Can I let you in on a little secret? I was afraid to admit that deep inside I felt like the most unqualified human on the planet to raise a child. But he didn’t know that – and so he was unable to help boost my wavering confidence.
No, he viewed my reactions as any other person would have – stubbornness.
And the result wasn’t very pretty.
And we have disagreed rather hotly over matters regarding our children many times. I assume I am more qualified to make the final decision, he feels his position as head of the home grants him that right – and thus we battle over who will have the last word.
The battle that has held our marriage hostage to “good” rather than great.
I’ll be honest. I was quite smug when I started reading Darlene’s book “Messy Beautiful Love“. I was pretty sure I was a good wife. After all, I know I’m a good cook, I am a meticulous housekeeper (okay, maybe a little OCD, but who’s keeping score, right?)….
…I even iron. Okay? So doesn’t that totally earn me the “Wife of the Year” award?
(hint – there is a Messy Beautiful Love book club starting next week…so keep reading)
It was with this humble view of myself (cough) that I began reading her book, but it didn’t take long before that house of cards was swept to the ground by the wind of realism that I viewed myself through the prism of my intentions, not through the lens of my actions, reactions, and their visible attributes.
There were many times that I laid my Kindle aside and walked away. The humbling experience was too huge to take in all in one sitting.
And yet, I chose not to reject pain of this pruning. No, I needed to feel it – every bit of it – as the Lord faithfully cut away those branches that were keeping our marriage from being as fruitful as He intended it to be.
I will say that it hasn’t been easy to swallow the horse pill of humility….over and over again; to bite my tongue when I have the perfect comeback – dripping with juicy sarcasm; to beat down my pride when I am positive that I know better how our children should be dressed, disciplined, guided, or taught.
Sure – he respects my input, and even accepts my suggestions as valid – or even better than his.
But I’ve learned that by truly occupying my proper role as helpmeet; by truly submitting, not only by my intentions by also by my actions, I invite peace and blessing into my home.
Messy Beautiful Love has changed the whole tone of our marriage. It has launched it from being good to great.
And now I’d like to let you in on a little secret!
Visit her site: Today’s Marriage Prayer and cover your marriage in prayer!!
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