Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I do.

I, (name), take you (name), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.

Ahhhhhh...  That's the dream right there.  Isn't it?  A romantic kiss on the beach to "seal the deal" and we're off to live happily ever after... right?  I learned about 2 months into my marriage that "wedded bliss" was somewhat of a myth.  Not that people can't experience happiness in marriage (because trust me, we do), but the fairy tale- the "happily ever after"- that's what six-year-old girls start dreaming about (thankyouverymuch Disney). 

We think that growing up involves meeting "Mr. Right" and becoming "Mrs. Right" and riding off into the sunset.  What Disney fails to show you when they paint that picture of the prince and princess is that real life gets in the way of that happily ever after.  Bills start coming in. Kids are added to the equation.  The fairy tale starts to fade away into the reality that is life.  Then something happens- the enemy begins to whisper things in your ear.  You start to hear words of selfishness, vanity, the need for approval, the need for control.  You start to accept much of what you hear as truth and doubt sets in, altering your happily ever after.  Because we live in a fallen world, we are constantly surrounded by temptations and what I am starting to see is fewer and fewer couples fighting back.

As of today, I personally know of about ten couples who are struggling because the husbands have perpetually made the decision to give in to the temptation of pornography creating a whole additional set of issues for their already insecure wives.  I also know of several couples who are sufferring because the wives give in to their desire for control and have long forgotten their place in a marriage- creating husbands who resent them and feel no sense of respect or love.  I am surrounded by divorcing or divorced couples who have forgotten what it feels like to truly feel loved- who are creating a new low level of expectation for the up-and-coming generation of marriages yet to come- teaching them that when the going gets tough, and it's just too difficult to fight back, it's okay to give up and get going. 

This may offend, upset, or frustrate some readers, but I feel it is my God-given duty to speak out (I mean this is, after all, my bl-ah-g- my word vomit).  Starting today, I will be sharing with you what God has taught me in my 9 years of marriage.  This area of who I am now comes from so much of what God has brought us through together.  God has taught me so much and is still teaching me.  As I am walking through these figurative rooms, "cleaning out the crap", I am remembering some tough lessons and understanding more and more why I struggled with (and still struggle with) some things (like the desire to control my husband).  I want to help encourage others who may struggle while God continues to do a work in me and in my own marriage.  I have been politely silent for far too long but now I seek to honor God by speaking some much-needed truths over anyone who is willing to hear them. 


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