Things were going fairly well. We had some rough spots early in our marriage but seemed to break through the walls and really fall into sync with each other and our life. We were best friends. During this time so many people we knew were struggling in their marriages- so many. I remember this one particular perfect afternoon, as we were sitting outside on our front steps together, I turned to him and said, “It is so sad that so many of our friends are going through such hard times in their marriages- it is just sickening. I wish they could find this place where we are at and experience the same peace and joy that we are experiencing. My heart is content.”
Did Satan hear my words that lovely afternoon and decide we were the perfect people to stir up trouble with? Was I eluded by my content heart into thinking that I didn’t have to keep working to protect what precious thing I had? Or did God want to step in and perfect some things only He knew needed mending? Who knows… all I know is things got shaky.
The content in my heart grew to bitterness and anger. His gentle and kind spirit morphed into something vicious and full of resentment. The little things, those seemingly little personal characteristics that shaped who we were, that we thought were so innocent, grew into mountains that separated us.
You see, in the beginning we had started building our marriage side by side rather than as one. It worked for a while. Being the control freak that I am, I took over heading the household. It came naturally to me and him, being the quiet and laid back man he is, let me do it. This little mistake, which never even presented itself as an issue, began growing strife in our hearts and after almost eight years it exploded and brought every other little issue to the surface along with it.
We all know that when we obey God we reap the rewards of our obedience, right? Unfortunately I missed the boat when it came to obedience in marriage. We were Bible believing, God fearing people- we thought we were doing it right. Sure, I knew generally how things were “supposed” to work but as long as our way was working what was the harm? Well I got a swift kick in the behind for believing that one!
Our problem was that we didn’t ever seriously look at the Biblical principles of marriage which are oh so important! We decided to do things our way. As I continued to lead our household I grew more and more resentful of my responsibilities and lack of support (mentally and emotionally) from him. The burden became too heavy to carry. He, on the other hand, was feeling shut out, disrespected, belittled and invalidated. Unknowingly, every day that I took control I also took away a piece of his manhood. Neither of us could come to the other and admit our struggle.
I desired for him to step up and support and lead me yet I refused to give him the respect and support that he needed from me to do so… it was a vicious cycle. Unless we communicated and committed to change nothing would begin to heal.
Once we started to really look at Biblical principles and roles and where we went wrong so many things began to fall into place. Was it hard for me to step back? Yes! Was it hard for him to slowly begin to take a leadership role? Yes! We still struggle daily but we know that we are headed in the right direction. God created us to each have exactly what it takes to walk in the roles He has assigned us- sometimes we just lose confidence in that provision.
Examine the depths of your marriage. Are there places where resentment is brewing? I encourage you to look at the Biblical principles of marriage and see where you and your spouse stand. Are there areas where you might be a little off? It takes time and dedication to make a marriage work. We all bring some flawed trait to the table but when we work, not only side by side but as one, we can effectively tackle any issue that we encounter.
About the Author
Sarah Harmony-Powell is the author of independent devotionals found at SarahHarmony.com. Her mission is to encourage others through her own life experiences and Christian faith. She strives to bring comfort, encouragement, inspiration and hope to her readers.
Sarah also is the co-founder of She Shares Ministries, a ministry dedicated to helping women restore relationships by choosing grace over gossip, peace over pride and restoration over resentment. She co-authored the upcoming book, “It’s Just A Little Gossip- Letters Of A Broken Friendship” which will be available summer 2012.
Connect with her HERE!
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