I often wonder when I am sitting in church surrounded by so many couples, if other marriages have struggled. Sometimes it feels as if mine is the only one.
And yet, I know that although on the outside, it may seem that other families have it all together, I know behind closed doors, they too struggle to love each other, forgive, and maintain peace in the daily struggles of life.
I love my husband deeply and believe that we are meant to be together. In fact, one of our songs is even titled “Meant to Be Together” by Neil McCoy.
Like a hammer and a nail, socks and shoes, we go hand in hand like the rhythm and blues…
They often say opposites attract, and as far as our personalities are concerned, that couldn’t be truer. It’s actually what attracted me to my husband. And it’s also what tends to pull us apart.
He is confident and secure, bold and opinionated, and makes decisions easily. I am a people-pleaser with a tendency to be insecure, indecisive and afraid to take risks.
We have been married for 20 years and our love has continued to grow closer every year. My husband is my best friend. We have four kids and when we have a chance to get away alone together, we have a blast.
But often times, the stress of life and our differences has caused us to really have to work hard to come to a place of reconciliation.
Marriage has refined me. It has peeled back the layers of selfishness, pride and self-righteousness that I never knew I had. It has brought me to a place of hurt I never knew existed.
A place where the only thing I could do was hold onto the Lord. And in this process of stretching, I have learned that there is hope in Christ to change.
I have changed. We both have changed.
I find it so amazing that the people whom we love the most challenge our character the most. God has a way of using them to stretch us. I never knew how deep my selfishness could be until I was married. I never knew the level of my impatience until I had children. I’ve had to really work on both and I still feel like I have a long way to go.
We are human. We are frayed. We are sinners. We don’t always love the way we should. Our pride separates and divides us.
But the good news is there is hope!
I want my home to be a place of refuge—a three-fold cord of strength that’s not easily broken—a family that can withstand the overpowering onslaughts of life because together, we are stronger.
As we each look to God for our personal growth and strength, we, in turn, grow closer to each other. Click To Tweet
We were not meant to be alone. We were meant to do life together and be unified.
When conflict stretches my character to its limits, I must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to weed out my selfishness and pride in order to spill out love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control.
Through the hard times, I learn to hold onto Jesus for the strength to get through. These are the times when I learn to trust God. These are the times I am sanctified.
I realize that the power to live out this love comes directly from God and not from anything I can muster up from within myself.
How are you being stretched by conflict in your life? Has this stretching sanctified you and helped you to become more like Christ?
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. (NLT)