I need your help.
Last week I received an email from a woman who was struggling in her marriage.
She has been married a long time and said she doesn't believe in divorce,
but she doesn't have much belief in marriage, now, either.
So she wonders, "How do you make it work?"
She asks a second question, also.
"How do you not get lost behind your husband and children?"
These are big, difficult and important questions that need the best kind of answers.
I have not written her with my answer yet. I did write to her and tell her I would think about it as they are
not easy questions to answer.
But, I thought, if she is feeling this way, perhaps you have felt this way, too,
and would know how to answer her.
Also I have such respect for you all, I know that your answers to the question,
"How do you make it work?" would be wise and valuable to me AND to anyone who
happens upon this spot.
So, if you would, if you could, please share your wisdom and advice here in the comments.
Or feel free write an answer over on your own blog and leave a link so we can come over to read it.
Since the primary purpose of this blog has been to encourage women to love their husbands and children,
I thought I would work this out here on the blog.
(No, the primary purpose is not watching and talking about television. I know that's what you're thinking.....)
For my part, I don't think I am best to answer the "how do you not lose yourself" question.
I think God made me very headstrong and independent and at no time have I lost myself.
Not that it's a great thing, but I have too much self interest to lose myself.
(This quality is a double edged sword, as you can imagine)
Dear Losing Heart,
How do I make it work? Wow. That's a big question.
I have 27 years of ideas.
But perhaps, the first and hardest part of making it work is coming to terms with the idea that
you are sometimes the only one interested in making a marriage a beautiful thing.
If you are alone in your quest, let me assure you that a marriage can heal with time and the efforts of just one person.
Just one person and God.
It was prayer, God's Grace and living the principles laid out in the Bible that kept my husband and I married.
When I was working on it alone, I did many, many marriage Bible studies.
I listened to Christian Radio, especially Elisabeth Elliot.
I went to counselors. Several different times.
My motivations for working on our marriage have not always been God-centered, they have mostly been self-centered.
For a huge part of our marriage I was motivated by pleasing myself, I wanted our marriage to be better because
I was unhappy. Mostly unhappy with my husband.
Let me try to give a straightforward example.
I stopped loving my husband. My heart was hard. I was going to stay married because "God hates divorce" and I am very stubborn and prideful.
I wasn't mean as I continued on in this unhappy charade. I was civil and unloving and sticking it out cause that's what God wanted. (How miserable is that?)
BUT. I was totally forgetting the main principal of the New Testament.
Love one another.
Love your enemies.
By not loving my husband, I was not pleasing God. I was not doing the first thing He wanted me to do.
And boy O boy was I SHOCKED when I realized that I was far from the perfect-long suffering wife.
I was in the wrong, too. I had not been doing my part. Truly.
And so I started doing loving things and I prayed that God would help me love him again.
I learned that love is a verb and love is very different from what you see in the movies.
I decided that really loving like the Bible suggests to love, was how I wanted to love.
And then my heart healed.
It took a few years for my heart to warm up and start feeling lovey-dovey....
but it happened. I am ashamed to think that I didn't love my husband for a time. But I am forgiven.
And so I pass along that story as a story of hope.
Your feelings for your husband can be renewed.
There is no reason to keep slogging along.
Look at your own heart and see if you have some heart issues to work on.
Are you unloving, unforgiving? Are you bitter or angry?
Draw near to God and search the Bible to see what he says about these attitudes.
I can not promise that your marriage will be ALL BETTER because of doing this....
But YOU will be more at peace in knowing that you are living a life of obedience to God as you....
trust and obey His word.
As you see. That is just one way of looking at it; what came to mind this morning.
I know you all will have super wise things to add.
I look forward to it....and I am going to print out all your replies. (So rite good, will ya)
p.s. If you want to talk about AI and Project Runway in the comments,
that's okay too :o)