I have learned a lot through this process of my marriage struggles. But nothing like in the last week or so. I had a very set idea of what a marriage should and should not be. That would have continued indefinitely if not for the interference of the Holy Spirit.
In my last post I talked about being a backslider. And I honestly thought I had come back. But it wasn’t until this last week that I actually broke. See, I had assumed that if I came back, that was enough. I had overlooked the need for breaking and repentance. I needed God to not just forgive me but to begin the process of changing me again. I had to, under survival necessity, accept the fact that I was more than wrong in some areas, I was damaged.
I’ve been crushed by what’s happened with my wife and looking back on my own actions and failures. I can’t explain the depths of despair that I’ve experienced. It was constant and crushing and completely selfish. See, I had been used to getting my own way for so long, it’s all that mattered. My life, my needs, my ministry ideas.
But then something changed. I realized that I didn’t have peace because my wife was absent and as a Christian, that should never be the case. My peace depends on Him, not another person. Somehow in my meandering, I had given up the seat on the throne of my heart to someone other than Christ. When I saw that, I began experiencing peace for the first time in what had seemed a very long time.
I wanted her back, badly, and yes, it hurt. I wanted her back. I wanted normalcy. I wanted lots of things. Not that wanting someone back is necessarily bad but as a Christian husband it should never be first, myself should never be first.
My first job is to love her as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. If she needs time and space, then I should practice self-sacrifice and give her that. I do not want to at all, believe me. Jesus didn’t especially want the cross either. I saw that this had not been true in me for a very long time and that hurts. As a leader its not about acquiescence it’s about laying your life down for others. I lost sight of that to be honest. I want in my flesh to have everything conform to my wants, needs and desires. A Godly relationship could not be more opposite. What does she need, how can I meet that need? Am I in intercession for her, selflessly? Am I doing the same for my children?
The other issue that I’ve seen is sanctifying love. Have I sanctified her by my example? Is she more like Christ because of who I am or less? I know I have failed here beyond all contestation. As a strong leader and compassionate husband and father, this should have been foremost in my mind as the Head of the family.
I’ve not seen any of these things. I’ve been very confused and lost to be honest. The fall was hard and severe. All that I can do now is serve, try and lead by example and pray.