The Hard but Good Work of Being Sanctified by Marriage

Prior to marriage, I thought a spouse would always build me up and just make me feel good about myself. At times this is true. However, there are also moments where God is using my husband to teach me things about my own heart that I need to work on.

As much as I don’t like to admit I can be a pretty sensitive person. I don’t like hearing or accepting criticism. I tend to already be harsh on myself so when others point to something negative about me it can sting.

I especially become defensive when my husband makes a comment to me about something he has observed to be true. Yet, from my perspective, I perceive he is wrong.

For example the other night he made a comment that “I’m only happy when we do extravagant things”. At first, I was dumbfounded because I enjoy staying home and cuddling on the couch with a movie and pizza. However, I do love dressing up and going out for a nice dinner (which rarely, like once a year happens).

I don’t think my desire to go out is unreasonable. I’m female, I like the anticipation of a special night. Plus it’s fun to take my time getting ready and to have my husband’s undivided attention. Plus as a new mom, I need to get out of the house.

However, perhaps in his eyes, I place too much value in going out and spending money. Whereas, in my mind, I’m happy saving money and staying home. Either way, it doesn’t matter who is right.

The point I’m making is instead of reacting defensively what if I took his critique of my behaviour and analyzed it from a place of humility. A goal I have this year is to become less defensive and more open to change.

Less pride and more humility

I hope I don’t come off as a spoiled brat to my husband, but what if sometimes I do? Are there areas in my heart I need to work on? Can I accept his insight from a place of humility instead of pride and insisting he’s misinformed? Yes.

I am not perfect, neither is he.  Yet there is a lesson I can glean from this interaction.

In reality, my response shows the state of my heart. A closed heart would insist I’m fine, I have no areas to improve. An open heart would be willing to listen to my husband and examine if there is truth to his statement and what changes could be made.

I love my husband but sometimes his words can pierce my heart in a sensitive spot. I have a choice to make. I can either let his words draw us apart or together. It’s my choice.

I want to have a healthy marriage. I want to continue to grow as a person and become more like Christ. When situations like this arise instead of letting them weaken me I choose to let them be a tool to strengthen me.

Sometimes though I have to overlook comments that I know are untrue and remember what I know my husband thinks of me. There are times where I need to give him grace as he also does to me. (I just had a baby so he’s been putting up with a lot of hormones lately).

To clarify I’m not advocating to be a doormat or to be passive. Scripture should be the starting point to determine whether a comment is valid. If something you husband says directly goes against scripture hold him accountable. At that point, it’s not your opinion he’s against it’s God’s.

Instead, I’m asking that we show more humility towards our spouses. To consider we don’t have it all figured out.  Perhaps God has put this person in our life to help mould us into the person He desires us to be.

One final point, pray. Pray for yourself but also pray for your hubby. Pray that you would allow God to strengthen your marriage and make you both more like Christ.

The next time your spouse makes a comment that at first feels unloving before lashing back with a prideful response take a moment and humbly consider their words. Are they in line with scripture? Is this an area you need to work on? Will you let this interaction draw you apart or closer to your spouse?
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Being Married Young is Hard Newlywed Reflections~Month 9

To read the rest of this series click here: Newlywed Reflections

Blogging is a platform to share one’s story. Over the past 9 months, I’ve been sharing snippets from my experiences as a newlywed. Although there have been a lot of wonderful times, the last few months as I’ve shared have been hard. At times I find it difficult to stay positive and feel hopeful for the future. Maybe you’ve found yourself in a similar situation. It seems that for other people life is looking up, but for you, things almost seem to be getting worse.

Being Married Young is Hard

Over the last month, I’ve considered quitting school multiple times. I’ve worried about not graduating and not finding a job after I do. I’ve questioned whether university was the right choice. Whether I should have just done a two-year college program because I could have been working by now. Despite my doubts, I’m grateful for the privilege of my education and the knowledge, skills and life lessons I’ve gained along the way. At the moment though it’s not the easiest thing to handle. I’ve had some personal things come up and between trying to figure those out and stay on top of notes, assignments, readings, group projects and just attending class it’s been overwhelming. I’m constantly thinking about school and what I need to accomplish for my classes.

Honestly, I just feel like I’m in a season of being tested, refined and taught. It feels like God is showing me that I need to trust Him, that I need to depend on Him alone, that it’s okay to lament my sorrows and to be dead honest with Him.

No matter what I know that God is faithful. He has been faithful in the past and He will continue to be. I know that God is good. His mercies are new every morning. I know these things. Lately, I have been tested on how true they are to me. How much do I believe these things? I’m questioning why is this happening? I don’t want to give a Christian platitude. I don’t want the surface answer. Maybe sometimes we just have to sit in our sorrow.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Recently I have been reading 1 Samuel and learning SO much! One theme that has stood out from this book is that bad, unfair things happen to people who love God. Take for example David who was a man after God’s own heart. God specifically chose him as a young man to be the next King of Israel. Prior to that happening though he was relentlessly pursued by the current king. He lived in fear of his life and was constantly on the move. He suffered a lot, just take a look at some of the Psalms he wrote. Yet David never failed to stop living his life in a way that honoured and obeyed God. He was given an opportunity to kill his enemy but refused to because that man was God’s anointed. Overall David trusted that God in His timing would appoint David to be king. Reading 1 Samuel encourages me to remember that I’m not being punished, but sometimes we just go through more difficult seasons to learn a lesson before God unfolds a different season of life

David is also a great example that it’s okay to tell God your frustrations. If you’ve ever read Psalms a lot of passages express the frustration of one’s enemies and wanting God to provide vindication. The Psalms show that you don’t need to hold back how you’re feeling from God. Try reading some Psalms as you’re praying. God is not intimidated by our emotions. He loves us and wants us to draw near to Him in hard times. Often after I pray about a situation I can fall asleep with a peaceful mind, because I know God is greater than my situation

On the relational side, God is teaching me and Michael to support and encourage each other when we are feeling weak. He is using Michael to encourage me for sure. I’m grateful that he speaks truth into my life and makes me smile when I’m feeling sad. I feel so blessed to have a spouse to share these burdens with. He reminds me that we’re a team and we will get through this together.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t share the ways God has blessed us lately. The first example is a simple superficial one, but it meant a lot to me.  I haven’t bought eyeshadow in over two years. The last time I did it was with a gift card and it was an expensive brand. I hardly buy makeup over $10 when I have to. A few weeks ago I was presented with an almost new eyeshadow palette from a family member. This small gesture of kindness was so significant to me because it was a small luxury that I did not expect. Next, our landlord offered to help Mike with his car so that he can start driving it. I am so thankful for our landlord, he is so kind to us. God really blessed us with our apartment.

Yes, the past few months and even this week have been a lot to deal with. These events are part of life. They don’t take away from God’s sovereignty or His plans for our future. Going through difficult times allows one to fully appreciate the better seasons of life!


CLICK HERE TO READ: Newlywed Reflections Month 8~The Only Good Thing

When Young Marriage is Hard

Newlywed Reflections Month 10~ And Baby Makes 3

When Young Marriage is Hard


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Photo: Camille Marie Photography