Friday, March 22, 2013

What Marriage Has Taught Me

By Carmen Delia Miller
It is no secret to anyone who knows my husband and me, that we have been through some things. 
One of the biggest things that happened that effected our marriage was my husband's infidelity. It was one of the worst and wonderful times of my life. Yes, I said wonderful. You're probably wondering what could possibly be so “wonderful” about infidelity, betrayal, lies, and pain. It's forgiveness, trust, faith, hope, grace, and love. That's what I learned during the 14 days my husband left me.

For years I thought I loved my husband unconditionally and we had a perfect marriage. Boy, was I wrong. Our marriage is far from perfect, and we are far from perfect, but we are perfect for each other. More importantly we serve a God who is.

After the wedding is over and the “marriage” begins we find ourselves consumed with work, kids, and ministry. A few years go by and we may find that our marriage has become a bit stale. This is not the time to walk out on your spouse and just give up. Instead, this is a good time to think back and recall why you said “I do” in the first place. Remember those crazy things you did when you guys were dating? The laughter? The fun? These past years I have learned that the best way to recapture those happier days is making sure that each day involves that same new joy. Proverbs 5:18 clearly tells us that a husband and a wife are to continually rejoice in one another.

Here are a few things things I had to learn that helped me to be a better wife (and continue to help). And they are right out of scripture, so you can be sure they'll work!

Don't be a contentious, nagging wife: It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop [on the flat oriental roof, exposed to all kinds of weather] than in a house shared with a nagging, quarrelsome, and faultfinding woman -Proverbs 21:9 (AMP) One thing I didn't want to be was a difficult person to live with. I didn't want to be one of those wives that are constantly starting arguments that I know my sweet hubby can't win, because I will continue to have the last word. In a nutshell, I didn't want my husband living with “Lot's Wife.”

Speak life!: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God -Romans 3:23. My husband is amazing, and wonderful, and so loving. But he is a flawed man. He is a man that “falls short” almost daily. He will make mistakes, because we all do. This is not the time to put him down and insult him. Instead, speak love. Speak uplifting words to encourage him. Speak life in his life.

Submit to him as to the Lord: Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord -Ephesians 5:22 (AMP). Something about that word just gets women uncomfortable, and I was one. When I learned that submitting to my husband had nothing to do with me or Him but my obedience to Christ Himself, everything changed from there. It was hard. Very hard. Before I met him I was an independent single mom. Now I was no longer head of the household. Once I got the hang of it, it was amazing. I submit to my husband daily and enjoy it. God wants me...no, He COMMANDS me to come to Him when I need something. To ask Him. To bring my EVERY concern and desire of my heart to Him as a child does to his father -- without worrying about whether it is appropriate, and then trust Him. If my husband starts getting on my nerves, tells me something I may not agree with, I must give it to the Lord and trust that He will take care of it. My job is still to remain submissive to my husband. The Bible doesn't say "submit to your husband IF he loves you like Christ loved the Church. (and vice versa). It's your business to submit, because you are trusting that God gave you your husband...not because he's earned it or he's good enough." Submitting to my husband as to the Lord is the same thing. I'm to be thankful for the gift that God has given me in him and trust that God will bless me through him....because he has promised to. I am also to let him know what is in my heart. What I think, what I want, what I need....and even what I don't think I can handle and don't want. And then, I'm to trust that he is going to love me and lead me, taking my desires and my welfare into account (even when he isn't doing it in the way I think he should do it).

Pray over your husband: For You, Lord, will bless the [uncompromisingly] righteous [him who is upright and in right standing with You]; as with a shield You will surround him with goodwill (pleasure and favor). -Psalm 5:12 (AMP) It is no secret that temptation is everywhere. I remember our Pastor once telling us, “the enemy doesn't want to tempt and attack unbelievers. They already serve him. He wants to destroy the righteous men leading their homes and living in obedience.” Not a day goes by I don't cover my husband in prayer. I bind up any spirits that will distract him from the Lord and his family and our ministries. Remember, almost everything that goes on in our lives, and homes—good and bad—ares based off  of the decisions our husband's made. So let's pray that God leads them to make the right ones.

It is a process and I still make mistakes, but I am so thankful for God's grace and my husband's. I want to please the Lord and I know He delights in that. Every day I work on being a better wife. The wife God created specifically for my husband. I don't worry about what my husband's responsibilities are, because that is between him and God. Right now, God wants me to concentrate on HIM!

Dear Jesus, Give me guidance in ways I can keep my marriage healthy...and growing...and loving... and fun. I also want it to be centered on You. 

Amen.

[Carmen Miller spent her whole life searching for empty substitutes for God. She tried to find her worth, value, and identity in things and men, only to be left empty and broken. Today, she enjoys sharing her story of brokenness and the day Jesus Christ came into her life and healed, restored, and made her whole! She is Founder & Editor-in-Chief at WHOLE Magazine and No Longer Broken.  She is also Co-Founder at God Over Porn; a movement existing to spread awareness on the dangers of pornography, by exposing the enemy's lies that have kept many in bondage.  She is passionate about the body of Christ and being set free from the bondage's that hinder their walk with Christ.  You can check out her main website CARMENMILLER.ORG.]

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