by Gleniece Lytle
Romantic love is the most intensely blissful emotion our heavenly Father has given us.
When we are cherished and adored by our new husband, the man we’d dreamed about since childhood, we soar in giddy
happiness and flutter about our tasks with a silly grin.
Nothing can give us more pleasure than to be in love.
But how soon we fall from the heights of untested love the moment our husband finds fault with us or is unkind! The farthest desert isle is not far enough away to escape the sadness and betrayal that settles upon our heart.
Coming off the high of marital bliss, most of us are unprepared for the reality of how men mentally function and verbally express
We haven’t a clue of the self-sacrifice required of godly love.
We’re just plain shocked to discover marriage wasn’t what we thought it was.
Yes, the state of being married is a wake-up call for husbands and wives alike. We deeply affect each other emotionally, mentally, physically, and most importantly, spiritually, more than we know.
Why Marriage is One of the Biggest Keys to Spiritual Growth
Your specific husband and the true you
My husband is a fun-loving, risk taker and a no-problem optimist.
I’m a plan-first adventurer and a see-the-problem realist.
My husband converses with others with ease and his laugh is infectious.
Me? I’m animated at home, but a quiet soul elsewhere who’d rather edit my written words than speak them all jumbled up.
We’re opposites, yet these differences are what attracted us to each other in the first place.
In our starry state of “in love” oblivion, we hadn’t realized how annoying we could be to each other.
I didn’t know how much his sloppiness or non-conformist streak would drive me nuts, he didn’t know how my by-the-book, nit-picky personality would irk him later on.
It was no mistake
In our roughest marital seasons, we wives sometimes wonder why we married this guy in the first place, don’t we? We think, was this some kind of mistake?
But as Christians, we know God doesn’t make mistakes. We know He’s not a sadistic joker who enjoys putting two opposites together just to watch them squirm. He’s an infinitely wise creator who loves each and every one of us and wants us to grow in the likeness and love of His Son.
Without a husband who knows us intimately and sees our flaws daily, we wives might easily stay the same self-deceived women we were before marriage.
Husbands stretch us spiritually, causing us to see things about ourselves we didn’t know was there—anger, defiance, self-pity, or
pride. At first, we blame the man when these nasty attributes appear. After all, if he weren’t so difficult to live with we’d never do or say the things we do.
But if we had not married this man and had married an entirely different man, equally unsavory traits would have emerged from us: impatience, self-righteousness, laziness, or deceit.
How many of us have hidden an impulse buy, refused to listen to our husband’s point of view, or made a family decision without our husband’s rightful input? We all have, at some point.
Our carnal actions and reactions will emerge no matter who we marry.
When we accept this fact and confess to God the sins we pin on our husband; when we take responsibility for what comes out of us, that’s when true spiritual growth happens.
God’s perfect design
God didn’t haphazardly assign you a man. He custom-tailored your husband for you and you for him.
But it certainly doesn’t feel custom-tailored when you’re at a marital impasse of misunderstanding and different ways of thinking. It feels awkward and non-complementary.
But by pairing us up with a mate who doesn’t think like we do and doesn’t understand why we do things the way we do, God knew our sinful nature would come out so we’d have to deal with it honestly.
We’d no longer have any excuses.
If we had married someone similar to us, someone with the same personality quirks, problem-solving methods, and restaurant and movie preferences, where would the growing be? Where would patience build from? Why would we need to change? Would we even notice our faults at all?
This man we said “I Do” to changes us at our very core. He bursts our youthful perceptions. He forces us beyond the bounds of our comfort zone and into the wilds of trust and brings out our best love and our worst hatred.
Yikes! Hard to read, but true.
God paired us with a husband who makes us laugh and cry and sing and scream and melt and yes, a man who drives us mad.
God knew what we’d need in a man. He knew what would spur our spiritual growth and draw us closer to Him.
Marriage is the biggest opportunity for maturing our faith because we learn to hand over our anxiousness, disappointments, and daily frustrations to God and trust Him in everything.
“. . . bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” Colossians 3:13 (NKJV)
Each time you extend the hand of grace and overlook your husband’s faults, you realize how awesome and undeserved God’s grace is for you.
Being married to your uniquely-chosen husband, dear wife, is one of the keys to spiritual growth.
Yes, better than years spent at church or reading every marriage book ever could.
About the Author:
Gleniece Lytle has been married to the most exasperating and wonderful
man for 35 years. She is thankful for God’s wisdom that brought the
two of them together, so they could grow closer to the One who loves
Gleniece writes about contentment, loneliness, biblical truth, and
godly marriage on her blog, Desert Rain. She sends out a monthly newsletter called Abide & Blossom for the weary woman who yearns to abide in Christ despite the droughts of life.