I have been going through an incredible devotional. Like. BOOM. Hits me where it matters every morning. It is called “Wife after God” by Unveiled Wife. When I saw that Wifessionals and Cheers Ya’ll were hosting a link up for the women who went through this book in January, I knew I wanted to join in. This book has helped me to be a better wife! Why wouldn’t I promote it?!
Each day the author leaves the reader with a take-home message or, as she calls it, a “status update.” The one that really stuck with me was day 8:
“I am a wife and I find my worthiness in God alone”
I had to read through the whole chapter before I started to understand what that means. In the last sentences she writes, “However, if you seek your worthiness in God, being fulfilled completely, then you are able to unconditionally love your husband regardless…” (this is the part that got me) “…of whether he fulfills you or fails you, thus mirroring God’s love story.”
I had an amazing upbringing and never wanted for anything emotionally or physically (except maybe one of those Barbie big girl jeeps…). When I got married, it never once dawned on me that life wouldn’t necessarily be like that anymore. That maybe I would have a tighter than tight budget or that my husband would come home for work exhausted and frustrated some days, rather then lovey-dovey.
For the first six months of our marriage Connor did not find a lot of grace from me. It wasn’t “okay” for him to get tired and frustrated (like all humans do) because I took everything super personal. Any attitude that was less than loving and joyful made me angry. How could he not pursue me right now?! Why doesn’t he just get over it and be happy?! I needed him to be happy because that was how I understood love. If my husband was happy 24/7 then I knew he loved me. When he wasn’t happy, I was bitter, angry, and full of blame for what he was doing wrong.
Like all of us, my husband is human. That means he is flawed and imperfect and will never be able to step into the shoes I had doomed him to in our marriage. But. It also means that he is purposefully created, hand-picked for me by God, and worthy. He is ultimately (and always) worthy of grace, worthy of love and worthy of forgiveness…regardless of any of his feelings, actions, or behaviors.
That was SO hard for me to realize. Maybe it wasn’t as overwhelming for all of you married women out there, but OH MY GOSH I still struggle not to judge and treat my husband based on my feelings and needs or on his reactions.
When I look to my husband to be the sole validation of my own worth, (which I did in the first months of marriage) I become stunted in my ability to receive and give love like I should. The grace I give becomes conditional on how loved I feel that day. My husband does love me very much and he shows me that in many many ways…but I am a bottomless pit of need and there is no way any human could ever fill me up for any amount of time. So, a lot of the time, my sweet husband would get the short end of the stick in our marriage. For example, if he had a hard day and needed some compassion from his wife, chances are he wasn’t going to find any here, because his attitude defined my attitude. He was frustrated – I was frustrated.
BUTbutbutbutbut. Like the devotional said this morning…”if you seek your worthiness in God, being fulfilled completely, then you are able to unconditionally love your husband regardless of whether he fulfills you or fails you…” That is redemption right there. Victory for all marriages. Though I cannot fill my husband’s every need and he cannot fill mine – there is no sorrow or disappointment in that!! Our victory comes when we love our spouses regardless of circumstance, like Jesus loves us.
When I look to Christ first to pursue and love me first, then I can fully love and give grace to my husband. The design of it is kind of magnificent. Marriage is the bonding of two souls – when “two become one” – but that unity cannot truly be attained and fulfilled without Christ at the center.
“…thus mirroring God’s love story.” Have you thought of your marriage as mirroring God’s love story with us? I had, but not in depth enough for it to mean much to me. Since Unveiled Wife tells this story so beautifully I’ll let her words speak here:
“Anguish gripped his heart, yet he walked. Blood dripped from raw wounds, yet he carried on. There was no rescue plan. This man knew that he would experience death, but only after the shock of agony pierced his flesh. Still, he walked on, headed towards the place where he would breathe his last. His motivation was you.
Jesus Christ was sacrificed for you and for all mankind. He endured harsh treatment that led to death on the cross, providing people redemption from sin and the only way to be reconciled to God. He made that walk in humiliation regardless of whether or not anyone accepts Him as Lord and Savior. He didn’t do it because you deserve it or because you earned it. There is only one way He could have endured that immense amount of pain: true, unconditional, selfless love.”
The same true, unconditional, selfless love that we vow to give to our husbands on our wedding day. Woah. I should unconditionally love my husband when he’s unconditionally loving me? No problem. But loving him selflessly when he’s cranky? Not my pride-filled cup of tea. But I’m trying to change. I really am. It is stinking hard to do, but giving unending unconditional grace and love makes marriage a beautiful, peaceful, and POWERFUL place to be. That is what I desire for my marriage: beauty, peace, and power in Christ.
“I am a wife and I find my worthiness in God alone”
The whole devotional is incredible. I recommend it VERY highly. Enjoy!!