Finding God and Joy in My Perfect “Mismatched” 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, TLB

This scripture speaks loudly to me in the context of marriage. If only I could say I consistently lived by these principles. As a Christian married to a loving, caring man who is not a believer, I have lived a range of emotions that don’t always reflect Christ well.

I sit in the pews of church–alone. As communion starts, I fight back the feelings–the longings. I watch as couple, after couple, after couple and family, after family, after family, walk together toward the table. They wrap their arms around each other and pray before the table. They drink from the cup and they break the bread of communion, together.

(c) avphotolove.com

I ache.  I wish. I hope.  And, I think to myself, “If only . . . .” I take my eyes off Christ, and I think only of me. The jealousy and “if onlys” reflect what I want.  These feelings linger–sometimes barely there and other times more pronounced.  I think of what I don’t have, instead of the incredible gift that I do have–the incredible, loving, brilliant, hysterically funny man who God chose for me.

I need to fix my eyes on Christ. Because, more than my longing to stand before the communion table with my husband, I long for him to know Christ.  I long for him to know God’s grace and mercy.

And so, in the early morning hours as I wake, I roll over, wrap my arm around my love’s middle, hold him tight, and  pray. I pray for us–for the Holy Spirit’s presence in our life–and that we will be led together by the Holy Spirit.  I pray for my husband–that God will pursue him and prepare his heart.   And, I give thanks for the incredible gift of marriage–with all its mountain tops and valley floors and all the paths along the way.

When I seek Christ’s face,  I live the rich reality of my marriage with the man who loves me deeply, who makes me laugh, and who still calls me his bride some 23 years later. And I am at peace with God’s plan.

Instead of thinking,”If only. . .,” I breathe softly, “Amen.”


Note: In this story,  I hope to honor my marriage and show my deep love and devotion to my husband.  Perhaps those in Christian marriages will understand a little more about mismatched marriages, and know that our struggles are not so different.  And, perhaps by sharing my story, others in mismatched marriages will know that they are not alone.

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Posted on March 26, 2010, in Christianity, Faith, God, Grace, Hope, Joy, love, marriage and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Amen. This is a wonderful testimony and I know many will be ministered to by it….including me!

    This is what God is looking for…a sincere and humble heart.

    Blessings and breakthrough,

    Gladwell

  2. Although my husband is a believer, he often chooses to play frisbee golf with friends on Sunday morning rather than attend church with me and my son. I have had those same feelings of wishing he was with me in church, of thinking only of myself. Thanks for the reminder of where my focus needs to be – on Christ – in those times.

  3. What a chord strikes deep within me when I read this post. I have lived this experience so many times. I often cried during communion, feeling so sorry for myself. And you’re so right that what is truly important is that we pray for our spouse. My husband of eight years was not a believer until he was struck with Stage IV cancer, and the constant and faithful and tender ministrations of our priest and congregation led him to Christ. Now he is beside me every Sunday at church and Communion. Yet, even before this our marriage was rich and unique and much to be thankful for. Thank you for sharing your heart in such an eloquent piece. RBJ “Sounding the Soul”.

    • RBJ –
      Thank you for your kind words. And, thank you for sharing your own story of hope and grace. I hope that your husband is doing well and that the community that you are so fortunate to have surrounds you both during this time. –Godspeed, Elizabeth

  4. This is so honest & beautiful. I pray one day your husband will know Christ.

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