Community Incubator

Marriage- the hardest thing I have ever done.

Community Incubator

I’m reading The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller. It’s shaking up my view of marriage so much! He blew my mind with the idea that marriage is like the ultimate community.

If you’ve been in church for a while and have been connected to the people, you know community changes you. Or if you have had any real connection to other people. When you open your heart to others and let your walls down, you tend to end up getting hurt and hurting others. You learn to forgive and ask for forgiveness. You experience judgement, confusion and deep pain.

Marriage is community at its finest.

When I was younger I truly believed I was going to marry the man who was everything I ever wanted. He would be gentle and strong, never get angry. He would want to change the world with me and do all the things for me that I didn't want to do and vice-versa. We would be perfect for each other.

Ha! As if. Now that I’ve been married for a bit, I am realizing marriage is like the community incubator. Ha ha.  I am nothing close to perfect and being this close to someone highlights all of my imperfections. It’s not like my husband says, “these are things you need to work on”. It is more like God showing me my weak spots through my marriage.

Aaron and I like to say we are "honey-moonin' for life". Truth is, sometimes I end up in bed angry and heated because... lets face it, I don’t get my way (it’s sure isn’t that simple in the moment!). After five minutes of complaining to God, I begin to allow Him to speak. As I take a deep breathe I hear that I need to change my attitude.

When someone is committed to you, FOR LIFE, it allows you to let your guard down. Now that you've promised to be together no matter what, you don't have to  "have it all together". Sometimes our expectations are just way too high too. I thought, "He will be so patient with me and I will have so much grace for him".  

The reality is, our flesh is still here. I am still going to struggle with my will. I am still the little girl that wants what she wants, NOW.

I have heard it said: “You might not be perfect, but you’re perfect for me!” If Aaron said that and it was true I would have to be very simple. Can you imagine never being offended by the person closest to you? They just do whatever you think is best, never question you or doubt you.

Paul, in the Bible, said he had a thorn in his flesh (2 Cor). We don’t know what that thorn was... it could’ve been anxiety, who knows? It could have been addiction or even dyslexia. I think my thorn is pride. As soon as I think I’ve pulled it out, I catch myself judging someone. The truth is we all have these thorns, no one is without sin (1 John 1:8). Praise God, we don't have to stay in our selfish ways.

God wants us to be pushed by our spouses to change.  The Holy Spirit wants to help show us the way to be more like Jesus. I believe to be like Jesus is the goal. Christ was "the anointed one". Let's try to walk in the anointing. Lets try our best to live like Jesus, like anointed ones. He gave Himself up for us to have freedom. He literally laid down His life. We have to give up ourselves for our spouse, lay down our lives.

It’d be like me saying: “You know what? We don’t have to do what I want, let’s do whatever you want! I choose you instead of me.”

That is very generalized. I'm not saying its okay to be abused and to just accept it. I am talking about what movie to watch, who does dishes, who turns out the light, lol. It sounds so silly! Every couple has the mundane things that they argue about. There is always room for grace and letting go.

Another example.. My husband and I don’t agree on the size of our family. He would be okay to have as many kids as I want, but that isn't necessarily what he thinks is the wisest choice. I made this such big issue in my head! It mattered so much to me. My oldest brother explained that we can make these life decisions like this into idols. He’s so right! I’ve ALWAYS said I would have four kids. God didn’t tell me to have four kids. I just thought it was best, because that’s what I grew up with in my childhood home. To be honest, since I’ve realize this I’ve felt so content with my small, little, three person family. I’d be okay with whatever God gives us. I think I’d be okay with just my one little girl.

What’s so hard is, it can take YEARS for your spouse to hear something you’ve been trying to tell them. We all know listening and hearing are different. It’s not like people are purposely ignoring their spouses. Communication is just so weird. We grow up in totally different kinds of families, some parents do confrontations by yelling while the other family doesn’t even do confrontation. We grow up in churches with different denominations. Schools can be very different. In my marriage we grew up in different countries!

How do we expect our spouse to read our minds when we have completely different backgrounds? Or even when I “try” to explain myself I can’t even expect him to always truly understand what I mean.

Only the Lord can know our true, deepest heart. Overtime people can start to know what our heart beats for and what brings us pain. But they’ll never be able to fully understand. We are all so unique.

This idea of having a spouse that “just gets me” is just not realistic. During the dating period everything seems so easy and fun. The girlfriend who is so laid back changes to being intense and uptight when she’s married. She’s stressed and thought her husband was supposed to be the answer to stress! She says to herself, "Why doesn’t he want to rub my feet?!" Ha ha.

When Aaron is vulnerable with me, I can be more vulnerable with him. The more I serve Aaron, the more he serves me. If we both won’t help each other out, the harder it is to want to. Someone has to start being like Jesus and it'll open the door for the other person. If they don't want to walk through the door... be faithful to the Lord and stay strong.

I am working on doing the little things for the Lord and not anyone else. That way if it goes unnoticed, it’s not like I did it all for nothing. I also feel more fulfilled when I do it for God. When I clean my kitchen and change Stella's diaper, over and over again every day,  it brings me so much joy. I can watch my husband and be grateful, not bitter because he does it his own way.

When you sign up for marriage under God, you are signing up for life change. For the Lord to bring you closer to another person than you have ever been before and ever will be again.

I believe this will make us more like Jesus who is kind, has self-control and uses wisdom. Marriage can teach us to take ownership for our own behavior.

If you are on the fence about getting married... I suggest to dive in, head first. So far it is the hardest thing I have ever done and the best thing at the same time.