Last night hubby was telling me of a friend who has had two extra-marital affairs and her husband, who found out about it, just says it has nothing to do with him. Another friend – both of whom who have had extra marital affairs, are on the brink of divorce. Both couples have children and I find it completely heart-breaking. However, another friend commented about the wife of the second couple, “with all her baggage and what her parents were like, no wonder she’s going through all this.”
That really struck a chord.
Firstly, because of my own background. As hubby has often said – my parents did me a great disservice. I come from a broken home, and my only example of marriage is of a women who was (is) insatiable in her need to have everything be about her and who walked out of her marriage. And my dad, who just checked out and well, couldn’t be bothered. I don’t want to be the person to give up – I want my harvest of blessing.
Galatians 6:9 Good News Translation (GNT) “So let us not become tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we will reap the harvest.”
In our early years, hubby and I were having this huge argument about what I cannot even recall. But, I walked out – I went and sat in the car with all intentions to leave, but didn’t even turn the ignition. As I sat there, I realised that this is what my mother would do – and this wasn’t going to work for me. So, I went back inside. It was an awful way to handle things, but I just didn’t know any better. It is a time I recall with great sadness at how badly I handled that situation, and great embarrassment and shame. That is NOT the kind of wife I want to be.
And that is the crux of this post – I read and learn and talk to God about my marriage all the time, because I want to learn HIS way of doing marriage. I don’t want to emulate my mother or my parents’ marriage. I don’t want my baggage from my childhood to mar this wonderful gift of marriage and parenting that God has blessed me with.
But, also secondly, I want Baby Girl to have a background that is happy and filled with fun memories. While you make a marriage work because it is God’s call for you to do that, you also do that so your children can grow up in a stable and loving environment. When you have kids, your marriage isn’t just about you anymore. It’s about the whole family – this is something my own mother never understood. She would often say that her kids (me and my two brothers) had a wonderful childhood, like we were somehow never affected by their marriage or their divorce.
So, that is why I do all this – but mostly, and thirdly, it is to honour God. I truly believe that marriage speaks to and can reflect Christ’s relationship with the church. I would even go so far as to say that in healthy non-Christian marriages God’s name can be glorified and used to showcase His love and His relationship with the Church. Sadly, not many Christian marriages can say the same. Just this morning, I prayed for God to give me His heart of love for my husband and daughter; that just somehow, in some small way, they can glimpse God’s heart for them through me. It’s a tall order, and I have so many “what-if’s” running through my head that by and large hold me back, but I need to ignore those and listen to God and quite simply trust in Him. Marriage is very important to God and it is through His strength that I can do this.
Philippians 4:13 New King James Version (NKJV): “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
And that is why I am praying that God will make me a faithful wife.
F – Faithful
A – Accepting
I – Interesting
T – Trustworthy
H – Happy and Holy
F – Fearless
U – Understanding
L – Loving and Loyal
Faithful to my husband in thought and word and deed. I am blessed because my husband does not squander our money, he doesn’t gamble, he isn’t having affairs, there is no abuse of any sort – so I am truly very blessed! I want to be worthy of this blessing, and so it is my prayer that God will help me, teach me, encourage me and give me the heart of faithfulness. Not just faithfulness in the absence of a specific act that would constitute unfaithfulness – but faithfulness in what I think: about him, about our marriage; in what I say: how I portray my husband to family and friends; in what I do: do I cherish him and love him and respect him?
Romans 12:9-10 New Living Translation (NLT): “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”