The Rich Reality of Marriage.

“Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.  Try always to be led along together by the Holy Spirit, and so be at peace with one another.”

–Ephesians 4:2-3

While change is difficult, marriage can amplify the difficulty. When two people come together to make decisions, two opinions, two approaches, two sets of feelings enter the conversation.

Often during my marriage–23 years and counting–I know my husband and I have failed to work together to make decisions.  One of us would just make a decision and bring the other along for the ride–cajoling, nudging, pushing, and even pulling at times.  Other times, we have thoughtfully walked through the decision-making process, together.

Sometimes, I want change for our life, but I feel held back because of where my husband is in his work or with his health or something else. I’ve thought, more often than I want to admit, “If it were all up to me, I would . . . .”  I feel frustrated or stuck. I feel helpless and impatient.

I let my selfishness suck up my energy and my vitality. Instead of appreciating the moments and the journey together, I waste my energy on wishes and hopes and desires that beckon me away from this life, this reality.

But, marriage is my “rich reality,” as Nora Gallagher calls it.  And, rather than live under the illusion of my readiness for change and my desire–I need to live in the truth of what marriage means. I need to see and appreciate the richness of the journey.  I need to live the story of our marriage that God has provided us.   I need the rich reality of this loving man that God has blessed me with.

Together, we need to be “led along together by the Holy Spirit” and to “be at peace.”  Ephesians 4: 2-3. We need to be led in this journey. So simple.  So much easier than nudging or pushing or pulling or cajoling.  I feel peace just at the thought of being led.

Godspeed, Elizabeth


Posted on March 24, 2010, in Christianity, Faith, Grace, love, marriage and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Every time I read your blog that “I’m not the only one” feelings hits me again! I have also been married for 23 years and have had similar experiences of making decisions on my own and almost dragging my husband along for the ride. We make decisions in such different ways that sometimes I just get too frustrated to try to come to a decision together. Thanks for reminding me of how it should be so that we can “be at peace.”

    • Linda – “I’m not the only one.” That feeling is part of the reason I write. So often we feel like we are the only ones who feel and see the world a certain way. So often we live in community, but we don’t open ourselves up and share our hearts. I started this blog because I knew I wasn’t the only one. Neither are you! –Godspeed, Elizabeth

      • Elizabeth, That was the theme of the retreat I mentioned in my one comment, where we read Desperate Women of the Bible. We all have a story to tell, and in the telling we find that we have had the same experiences as others. In that way, we don’t feel so alone.

  2. Hi Elizabeth,

    This one really drove a point home. Just this morning, I was thinking after a decision I had made without talking it over ‘completely’ with my husband. And a few days ago…the Lord rebuked me. Why because He told me that since it is Him who orchestrated our marriage, I should lean on Him for the clear direction on the decision I had made and not my own clever reasoning!

    I need to rest and find peace in all this.

    God bless and keep them coming….,


    • Gladwell – It is so “easy” to take things into our own hands. We need these constant reminders that God is present in our marriage, if we will just lean on Him and let Him lead us. Thanks for your encouragement –Godspeed, Elizabeth

  1. Pingback: Finding God and Joy in My Perfect “Mismatched” Marriage « From Mountain Tops

  2. Pingback: Finding God and Joy in My Perfectly “Mismatched” Marriage « From Mountain Tops

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