It is an incredible blessing from God, as we seek to glorify Him, and reflect His relationship with His bride, the Church.
But there are seasons of challenges, of refining through difficulties.
Temptations can creep in, and if we are not on our guard, we can allow sin to begin eating away at our marriage.
“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” (Song of Solomon 2:15)
When we sway our focus from serving Christ, and ministering to our families- even when we don’t “feel” like it- and focus on our selfish desires instead, we begin allowing “the little foxes” into the sacredness of our marriage.
For one young mama, this selfishness crept in, festered, turned into resentment and discontent, and led her astray from her marriage.
Through God’s grace, and her husband’s forgiveness, He is in the process of restoring their family, and ministering to her heart. Here is her story (anonymous by request):
“I was married at 21, had a baby a few months later, became a Christian a few months after that, and then went on to have 2 more babies in six years.
When my littlest one was about 18 months, discontentment crept into my life. We were “done having babies” and we had lived in the same house for a year and a half. (We had previously moved 4 other times in 4 years of marriage.)
I didn’t know how to function when we weren’t moving or having more kids. I was a stay-at- home mom and wasn’t feeling the whole “my children are my ministry” thing.
My husband, who loves the Lord and his family very much, was working 65-70 hrs/week. He had a great job but the hours were crazy, and he worked so hard to support us so I could stay home with our children.
What about me? What was the point of this marriage thing? I felt like I was raising the kids by myself. I didn’t want a roommate. I wanted a husband who was home at 5 pm everyday so I could make him dinner. I wanted him to play ball with his son and take his girls on dates. I wanted him to have weekends off like everyone else. I wanted “normalcy”.
During one of my husband’s business trips I asked a local guy I knew from high school to help me paint my bedroom. I wanted to suprise my husband when he got home with a remodeled bedroom.
I continued to talk with this guy after he helped me out; we were “just friends” after all. I told him about how “bad” life was and how I wished life was more “normal.” He listened to me, and told me I didn’t deserve that. He was giving me attention and I felt good again. After a month or so of this we knew we couldn’t continue seeing each other.
I was devastated and felt “stuck” in this life. I fell into depression for a month or so, as I clung to the worldly expectations of what marriage should be like. I went to a counselor once and realized that what I really needed was to get into the Bible more. I had continued going to church through all this, I knew it was the right thing to do. I had even tried telling the guy I was seeing that he should get saved!
Reading about Paul being imprisoned and still praising God as loudly as he could (Acts 16:25) was such an encouragement! If Paul didn’t get discouraged after being in jail, then I shouldn’t be discouraged with the amazing blessing my life has been, with a loving husband, three happy healthy children and an abundance of friends who are also a God-send.
Over the past two and a half years, God has really shown me that contentment doesn’t come from our circumstances, but from His work in our heart. Knowing Christ will allow us to live in any circumstance.
“…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” (Philippians 4:11)
God also reminded me that I wasn’t alone putting the kids to bed each night my husband was out of town or working, but that He was with me. This has also taken a lot of the pressure off my husband as well; he knows that I am ok when he’s away.
God has finally delivered us from the chaotic job though. I still don’t know how I ever did what I did. But God has shown me how far the east is from the west, and that without the whole situation of my husband’s job, I never would have grown as close to the Lord as I am now.
The love and forgiveness my husband has shown me through all of this has been such a great witness to me as well. God can meet all of our needs that our human husband can’t. He will never leave us and can exceed ALL of our expectations.”
My heart aches for this young mama, and I rejoice at God’s transformation in her heart and marriage. I wish someone could have begun discipling her in her new faith, as she learned to be a child of God, as well as a new wife and mother.
It is so important to meet together, learning from wise, godly women how to be who Christ has created us to be, instead of seeking affirmation in the approval of others. Above all else, it is vital to put on our full armor of God. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Remember to flee from temptation, and avoid all appearance of evil. Guard your heart and your marriage. We need to be faithful in our work, and allow Him to work in our hearts, keeping us from bitterness or other sin. God will equip us to do His will, and is faithful during our temptation.
Later this month, we will “turn the tables,” talking about when your husband is unfaithful. Next week, for Father’s Day, we’ll get a glimpse into a guy’s heart, as he addresses fatherhood, infertility, and miscarriage. Subscribe in a feed reader or by email, so you can follow along. This is Part 8 in our Journey of Blessing Encouragment Series.
Feel free to leave your thoughts, questions, and prayer requests in the comments.