Written By: Tricia Underwood
I’m sitting in the exact same chair I sat in when I told him I was done… it was over… that there was no more I could take of our marriage.
It’s a white rocker whose matching partner usually sits empty alongside of it most days, as I find myself swaying along to the rhythm of life outside on our front porch, taking in some much-needed deep breaths, and staring up at the blue sky above me.
That day, however, I don’t remember pretty blue skies. I don’t remember any birds chirping, as they are this very moment. All I remember is the love of my life now standing against the post that held the porch up, looking completely defeated, as if he were trying to hold the entire world upon his shoulders, after the words I had just spoken to him, begging me to tell him what else he could possibly do to fix this.
I had already checked out emotionally.
I was asking him to just let me go.
In my head, I had it all figured out. I had believed the lies the enemy told me that our kids would be happier in the long run with us living apart, as happier (separated) adults than what we were living at that time. He begged for patience and forgiveness… for me to offer him more time to work on some issues we had. I thought the time I had already given him had proved worthless and always ended with the same results. So.Why.Keep.Trying?! That’s the question the enemy kept asking me.
I was tired. Oh, so tired. I just wanted an end to the pain I was in and to somehow find peace in what I thought would be freedom.
Thank God that over the course of 3 more years, the man that God gave me, the father of my children, never.gave.up on me! He never let me go! He never said “yes” to my requests for separation. He fought harder than I ever imagined.
During that time, God broke and softened my own heart as He kept pursuing ME. I didn’t realize how far I had walked~ no, RUN~ from His ways and from His arms. When your own heart isn’t right with God, your relationships, especially your marriage, are bound to suffer!
God taught me so much during those 3 years about how marriage is so sacred to Him through my husband’s constant pursuit, patience, and unconditional love for me. Though I gave him absolutely no reason to, my husband showed me that he loved me as Christ loves the church.
The healing in our marriage finally came once I accepted God back into my heart and re-committed to live my life for Him. Once I finally realized just how far I had run away from the Lord and how badly I needed Him in my life, I cried out to Him from the deepest, darkest, most broken place I have ever been. And He Was There! Right there… with Open Arms! I would have never been able to accept my husband’s love again without first fully accepting God’s love, and God healing our relationship first.
Next, God healed our marriage. When I reached out to my husband with sincere words of regret for such time wasted, painful words spoken, and moments I can never get back to re-do or fix again, my husband welcomed me just the same as God~ with completely open arms… as if he had been waiting for that moment all his life! Our “issues” or problems were exactly the same as before. Nothing had been “solved”, however it was how I now chose to see them that was different (and that’s truly a miracle in and of itself)!
I realized how close I came to losing everything that was important to me in my life~ my husband, my marriage, my family, my home~ nothing that is replaceable! None of that is worth worrying over our “issues”. If love can win over what we have been through, then our issues are truly not that important.
My husband shows me he loves me in a million different ways now~ a lot of ways that are different than when we first got married, and those are the ones that mean the most to me!
Yes, love can change the longer you are married, but it can change for the better if you just look for the GOOD, appreciate what you have, and live your life to serve one another in love!
Ephesians 5:22-33 (NLT)
For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body. As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Until Next Time,