What I am about to write to you today may shock many of you. What I am about to write today is the most transparent I have ever been publicly. As you read these words of mine, I pray that you will see them for what they are; a sinner in need of a savior. I pray that as you read them you too will be drawn toward your God and King and lay open before Him what is buried deep within. Please, before you judge me, read to the end, and then say what you will. I come to confess and I pray that you will see I am just a simple woman who is laying open her heart before her King. So, here it goes.
I don't like my husband.
In fact, there are times when, no matter how hard I try, I don't even love him. We have been married for 21 years. We have raised two beautiful children together, we have walked some rocky paths together, and we have been on the brink of divorce more than once. And yet, I can honestly say that I don't always like my husband. Even after everything we have been through, there are still times when I wonder what would have happened if I would have never walked down that aisle.
October 29th, twenty one years ago I stood at the top of the church, staring down at the man I would soon vow to love, honor and obey for all the days of my life and I froze. I squeezed my dad's arm and said, "I can’t do this." My dad, being the realist and the one who forked over the money for this wedding turned to me and said, "It's too late for that, start walking." I wish I could tell you that by the end of the ceremony I was confident that he was the one for me, but I would be lying. In fact over the next five years we would battle through one of the rockiest marriages of all times. We fought, we cheated, we lied, we hurt, we did everything we could to make each other miserable. Then, one day, it broke. I walked out.
For the next six months I would go through some pretty tough trials of my own making. Even though that was probably one of the hardest parts of my life it was also the most joyous of them all. It was in the midst of all that that I found my soul mate. It was in the midst of all that mess that I finally found the One whom my soul loves.
Ever since I can remember all I have ever wanted was to be loved, to be wanted, and to be desired. But, if we are honest, isn't that what we all want? Don't we all go through this life searching for that one who will love us, accept us and desire us above all others? I believe God made us that way. I believe God made us with a desire to search for that because He knew He was the only One who could ever fulfill it. But yet, I searched and searched. I was like that old Johnny Lee song, "Searching for love in all the wrong places." What I did not realize was that man could never fill the emptiness inside me. I was always looking for a man to fulfill me, to love me enough to give himself for me. But no matter where I went or who I went with I was always left with an emptiness, a longing for more. Then I met Jesus Christ.
My heart was broken, and I saw how empty my life was without Him. On that day I gave my life, my heart, my mind, and my soul to the only man who ever loved me enough to give Himself for me. Do you see how much He loves you? Who one this earth, man or woman, is going to love you enough to suffer, die and descend into the depths of hell just so that He can be with you? I only know of One.
"The Lord has appeared of old to me saying, 'Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.'" Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV
My husband will never be able to satisfy the longing in my soul because only God was meant to fill that place. God doesn't make mistakes. Even though we question and may even doubt our choices, God is and always will be Sovereign. One thing I saw during that time was that I was expecting my husband to be God. I was looking for him to fill the emptiness of my heart. Man, no matter how great they are, will ever be able to fill the void that God alone was meant to fill.
As I began to read His word and He began to fill me with His love, my heart for my husband changed. Instead of looking to him to fulfill me, I now began to understand that he needed the same kind of love and acceptance that I did. He was just like me, a sinner in need of a Savior. My husband was never going to be enough for me, and I was never going to be enough for him. God designed us to be in relationship, to have families and to glorify Him. But no where does God say that our spouses are to replace Him.
"For your Maker is your Husband, the Lord of Hosts is His name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer." Isaiah 54:4 ESV
There is no substitute for God. The love I crave is not an earthly love, it is a heavenly love. My heart desires to be wanted and God wants me, more than anything else, He wants all of me. And He wants you too. Man may want to be in relationship with us, but they want for their own needs and desires. God wants to be in relationship with us not only for His own pleasure, but for our pleasure as well. I in Him and He in me, the hope of glory.
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her." Ephesians 5:25
Christ Jesus is the only Man who has ever loved you enough to give Himself completely for you. This has been a very hard saying for me to wrap head and heart around through the years, but it is truth and I pray that you can grasp it and accept it too. Because once we grasp the truth of this statement the more content and fulfilled we will be in our relationships, in our marriages.
I don't always like my husband, because let's face it, he is a sinner. But he doesn't always like me, because I too am a sinner. I can't love my husband because I am a selfish sinner who can't let go of me. But Christ loves him enough for me. In the end, I have Christ, and in Him I have all that I need. Amen.