Marriage 101: Where are you planting your roots?
I am now 10 months into my marriage and I can safely say that I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that I married the right man this time. As many of you know I am divorced and I have been pretty open with my story and sharing my the reasons why. I even shared my entire testimony. But I have been extremely hesitant about sharing details about this marriage because as I stated I am only 10 months in. I do not want to ever appear as though I think I am the authority on marriage and relationships or even give off the thought that I have arrived. But I do believe God placed in me a desire and a responsibility to share what I have learned in the hopes that it will help someone else not make the same mistakes that I did. So if you are reading this please don’t take it to mean that I know it all. But please take heed to what God could be telling you through my own story.
Marriage is the most misunderstood yet desired thing on earth. Many people want marriage yet don’t even know what it truly entails. The honest truth is that their desire is fueled by what they see and not what they know. Social media, movies, and mainstream society are feeding us this made up, romanticized version of what this union truly is. People focus more on the wedding day than what it means to sustain a healthy marriage. They portray it to be about love, romance and happiness. The idea that one you find ‘The One’ you will finally be complete. And if you believe this don’t feel bad because I did to. But let me tell you honey, that is a big load of crap. It’s a complete lie and it is part of the reason the divorce rate is so high. Because people aren’t being told the truth therefore their reality never measures up to their unrealistic expectations. Let me give you my example.
When I got married the first time, I was went in with this idea of happiness and romance. I knew there would be hard moments but I did not understand that the root of a marriage can not be based on a feeling like happiness. To be totally honest my relationship was rooted on happiness, codependency, and good sex. 3 things that are circumstantial. And once our circumstances changed so did our marriage. Once I decided that I wanted to be closer to God and stop having premarital sex. Once we got married and he experienced a near death experience. Once he went through a severe depression, everything changed. There was no more happiness which we once found in each other. That caused our sex life to suffer. Which ultimately forced us to be less dependent on each other and more dependent on other things or people. I turned to God and he turned to other women. This may sound like just an unfortunate series of events but it’s not just some random coincidence. The foundation we laid for our marriage was not on anything solid or reliable. It was based on things that can easily change. So once they changed we did not have anything solid to sustain us. I prayed, and fasted, and begged God to fix my broken marriage but God literally told me, ‘Why do you expect me to sustain something that I never gave you permission to be apart of in the first place?’ God really forced me to be brutally honest with myself. If God is never truly invited into our relationships/marriages and there's never even been an attempted to honor God with our lives or marriages, why do we expect him to bless it?
This time around from day 1 our foundation has been about God. And I do not mean from the day I met my husband. I honestly mean from before that. We both separately, before knowing each other, prayed for God to send us a spouse who was Christ centered. Now of coarse my list had many other things because I wasn’t leaving anything up to chance this time 🙃 but that was number one on my list. I started praying for my future husband that I hadn't even met yet. And almost exactly one month later God introduced me to my now husband Ken. Now please don’t take the quick short version of story and try and manufacture the same results. For a year and a half prior to meeting him I was completely devoted my entire life to God. I had no relationship and I was not dating. I was honestly sitting around procrastinating about signing the final divorce papers. But that isolation period helped me develop my relationship with God so that once I did pray and ask God for his very best, God knew I was ready. I wasn’t just asking for stuff from God. I actually actively pursued my relationship God first.
So what does all that really mean. The reason I know my marriage will work this time is because I know our foundation is in God. Instead of good sex we focused on a strong prayer life together. Instead of codependency we both depended on God. Instead of happiness we realize that our union is one of purpose and though we want to be happy above all else we want to please God. Our happiness might fade for a season but our assignment from God is unchanging. We are still assigned the responsibility to use our marriage as an example of Gods love towards one another, whether we feel like it that day or not. Like I said before, feelings and emotions are a terrible basis for major life decisions because feelings are constantly changing as life changes. Base your life, your decisions, and your marriage on the one thing that does not ever change, God. I promise you the peace of knowing that God will bless and sustain you is so much better than the uncertainty of wondering if you can keep your spouse happy every single day for the rest of your lives. You are only one human and that’s to much responsibility for you to bear. Give that burden to God. I gave that task to God and I realized he so is much better at it than I am!