Do You Love Your Spouse {No Matter What?}

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My sweet mother-in-law once inscribed a card with the sentiment, “You two are proof that some marriages really are made in heaven.” And while on certain days I would agree with her, on others . . . well, let’s just say that we’ve had disagreements that were not at all angelic.

Those fairy tales I grew up on? It didn’t take long to realize that they were just stories. Carey may have been my Prince Charming, but his armor was tarnished and his horse was covered in mud.  I might  have been his princess, but my garb was ripped and torn.

We’ve now  been married for sixteen wonderful years, plus a couple we don’t talk about. Like any married couple, we’ve been through extreme highs and devastating lows. At times, one or both of us have suffered depression and doubt, and we’ve had days in which one or both of us wanted to leave and never come back. In some seasons, we acted like Adam and Eve, pointing our fingers at one another and blaming each other for our pain. During other hard times, we both made sinful choices and negatively influenced one another (just call us “Jezebel” and “Ahab”). We argued and yelled, sulked and pouted. It wasn’t pretty, folks.

Thankfully, we’ve weathered the storms life has thrown at us. However, after a particularly difficult season drew to a close, I fully understood how even good marriages can end.

As I’ve watched several friends go through unwanted (on their end) divorces, I’ve also been struck by the fact that marriage vows are spoken, and broken or kept, by two separate, distinctly different people. Both spouses must be fully invested for a marriage to work. Carey and I must both choose daily to love each other, even when we don’t feel loving.

That doesn’t mean the choice is easy or fun. In fact, there are times when making a decision to love our spouse, no matter what, doesn’t seem humanly possible.

And you know what? It really isn’t.

Like motherhood and the ministries God has called me to, marriage has brought me to my knees more than I ever dreamed it would. But I’ve learned that on my knees is the very best place to be.

On our knees, we come to God in desperation. On our knees, we recognize our weakness. On our knees, we cry to Him, just like Peter did when he attempted to walk on water: “Help, Lord—I’m drowning!” And He always receives us there.

God has repeatedly met  me at the point of my deepest need, and He wants to meet you too. Can you hear Him? He’s calling, “Come to me when you are weak and weary. . . . I do not despise your weakness, My child. Actually, it draws Me closer to you, because weakness stirs up My compassion—My yearning to help. Accept yourself in your weariness, knowing that I understand how difficult your journey has been. . . . I have gifted you with fragility, providing opportunities for your spirit to blossom in My Presence (Sarah Young, Jesus Calling).”

You see, God designed marriage to be a picture of Christ’s love for the church. A union of two believers fully relying on Him—allowing His life to flow through them—is incredibly powerful. Satan doesn’t like that at all. So he will throw everything in his arsenal at a godly couple to distract, distance, or even destroy them.

The hardest part of it all is that we can’t control what other people do. We can only pray, make the choices God asks us to make, and set healthy boundaries. And pray some more. Hopefully, both we and our husbands will choose Jesus, joy—and our union.

 

Guest post by Dena Dyer. She and Tina Samples have recently released Wounded Women of the Bible: Finding Hope When Life Hurts. Leave a comment below if you want to be entered in a drawing for a FREE copy of the book. Meanwhile go check it out {and if you get your copy before we give away our copy, we will reimburse you for the cost!}.

 

Dena DyerImploding relationships, incapacitating losses, injurious personal mistakes, or spiritual failures—whatever the issue, the wounds are the same. Dena Dyer and Tina Samples get it. They have their own stories of pain before healing—along with similar experiences of their families and friends. Offering more than pat affirmations or vicarious shoulders to cry on, Dena and Tina delve deep into the shared emotions and injuries that women of all ages have in common—and move readers toward the recovery and healing that only God can provide. No matter what hurts you’ve experienced, Wounded Women of the Bible proves that God understands and that healing is not only His intention but His delight!

 

{Photo Credit: quarterlifewoman.com}


 

3 thoughts on “Do You Love Your Spouse {No Matter What?}

  1. Oh how very true. Even after 17 years of marriage we are still learning new ways to love and care for one another. Thank you for the encouragement today.

  2. Thank you, Dena. Satan is launching a full blown attack on the marriage and family. We must stand firm in His word.

  3. Cheryl, he is. Thank you for your comments. We definitely need to fight! And Victoria, we are, too. I appreciate your kind words and pray your husband and you have many more years of growing together towards the Lord and one another! 🙂

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