There we sat, opposite of each other – days of frustration standing between us like a brick wall blocking each of our views of the other. We’ve all experienced these times with our spouse. The type when you aren’t really fighting, more so annoyed, lacking the ability to put your finger on what it is that’s causing you grief. This causes you to inadvertently take it out on each other creating irritation in your relationship through sharply spoken words, careless gestures, and lack of conversation…
Yep, it was one of those times for us, and after days, and getting tired of being dissatisfied – I finally allowed my eyes to connect with his, and as I did an unsought concession took place in me as the phrase, ‘He’s not my battle,’ settled across my brain feeling as smooth as silk on fingertips. That was all it took, one quick moment, and one simple gesture of taking in the blue eyes that I love, the ones that have a way of speaking, ‘Everything is going to be ok,’ without uttering a word – and that brick wall of frustration between us crashed to the ground.
Have you ever found yourself in the midst of a struggle in your marriage, and poof! Out of nowhere realized, ‘This struggle we are facing – has nothing to do with us?’ This was one of those moments as I sat there looking at him enlightened that the grievances we had with each other in this instance had nothing to do with us, and everything to do with something I alone was facing.
Mark 10:8 (KJV), ‘and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one.’
Two Become One…
Just like that…we say our vows, and we are no longer two rather we become one. That line – ‘two become one’ – is a phrase little girls learn from an early age. They inspire us from childhood to work intentionally processing every detail in mind as we set up our Barbie’s staging our very own wedding day. We have them in our brain for YEARS before we actually enter into that beautiful union of husband and wife, yet, no matter the length of time we know them, our understanding of their depth is likened more so to, zero.
I’m not sure what was wrong with me specifically, when I made that vow, but somehow, I believed speaking those words possessed some sort of power that would transcend all of heaven and physically bind us together as one. I never imagined they would require conscious decisions day in and day out to intentionally be the ‘one’ we are called to be. Even after uttering those words before the God of the Universe…our natural instinct is still to experience life separately.
Wouldn’t it be great if we were granted a window into the mind of our spouse or were given a means to experience their emotions? It would be so helpful! But it’s just not there so here we find ourselves experiencing life – the loss of friendship, struggle at work, rejection by others, heartache, trials, etc. individually making it entirely possible that our spouse can have no idea of the pain we are enduring – unless we choose to tell them.
In the instance I’m explaining to you, my husband had no idea I was so pained. Rather than telling him what was going on, I chose to deal with my emotions the way most of us do – I grabbed a brick in my mind and started building an invisible wall to protect myself from further hurt. The problem however, is that doing so…laying that brick drew a line between my husband and I as I pushed against our one-flesh union.
The thing about walls…
Looking back in history we learn that walls have always been used as a means to protect. Cities had walls built purposely to shield inhabitants from enemy attack. Today, we no longer erect walls around our cities, or homes for that matter, but we do still build them internally as a type of fortress whether they have spiritual purpose or are intended for isolation. Spiritual walls, are necessary, walls of isolation are destructive.
What I was building in my mind without realizing it was one of isolation. My intentions were right I was hurting, I wanted protection. Yet the wall that took shape around me was missing part of me – my husband – the flesh I am one with. I didn’t give him the opportunity to know that this frustration I had, had nothing to do with him, instead I left him to wonder if he had done something wrong which allowed a sort of resentment to muster inside of him. That resentment initiated a spiral effect moving away from personal frustration in me, and morphing into a marital frustration in us.
Many of us do this same thing. Life happens, and we start laying those bricks – creating the same problem I describe here. There we work building our wall without the help of our husband, the man called to be the leader of our home, the one charged to protect, the gift we’ve been given to share life with, the one who is there to help us, the man we are united with that stands to encourage us. It’s foolish the way we attempt to live life separated from them, yet, it happens in marriages all the time, and it’s by no mistake. Maintaining open communications with our husband is a constant battle as the enemy of our marriage wants nothing but to tear those lines apart erecting walls between us to destroy the image our marriage paints to the world in its portrayal of Jesus’ love for the Church.
Encouragement for today…
I wonder if you find yourself in a similar place today? You’ve got stress in your marriage – and you’re not sure why? Self-reflection is good for the soul, and now is the perfect time to take inventory on what’s going on in your life, your marriage, your home. Consider for a moment, have you unwittingly forced yourself into isolation? Are you unintentionally distancing yourself from the man you are united with as one? If you answered yes to either of these questions – now is the time, you cannot wait a moment longer. Look at him, reach for his hand and force those walls that have formed around you to crumble to the ground.
I realize for some, what I’m asking you to do feels impossible, those walls that stand around you, have been there for a long – long time…it isn’t too late…it may be hard, but it’s nothing that God himself can’t fix, in fact He longs to fix broken things. He yearns to make something new of it, something better, something that will bring Him glory.
Our husband, is not our battle, and today is the day to rid your mind of that thought by asking God to renew that one flesh union. Ask him to make you the team he desires you to be, and in doing so realize that this decision to ask for his help – is you choosing that good part, the part that won’t be taken from you. Your marriage is worth fighting for – but your battle my sweet sister, is not against your husband. Choose to honor your vow today – Choose Jesus.
You are the fixer of all things broken. You’re the master of everything. You created marriage as a beautiful picture, purposed to show your love for the church to this world you’ve placed us in.
I thank you for my husband. I thank you for the love that’s drawn us together, but right now I seek your forgiveness. I don’t feel the love that initially brought us together, and I need your help undoing what I’ve done.
I’m not acting like the one flesh I know you’ve made us to be. Please help me get past my hurt, and let my husband in. Help me to remember that just because I feel something, doesn’t mean that he does, and help me to explain my feelings and allow him to be the leader of our home that you’ve called him to be.
Thank you for being available. Thank you for hearing this prayer, and thank you for helping our marriage to transform into what you’ve purposed it to be.
In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Luke 10:42 “But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
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