Acknowledge “He” Isn’t Perfect… and You Aren’t Either (+MMM Linkup)
Oh our wedding day! Everything was so perfect – our future was so hopeful and bright, our expectations somewhat naive but beautiful, and our spirits were high. I remember being so happy and in-love and excited. If someone had told me it wouldn’t always be this way on that day, I probably would’ve scoffed and blown them off. Of course now, two and a half years later, while I am more in love with my husband than ever before, we’ve had our fair share of arguments and troubles.
June is a prime wedding month. Adam and I’ve been collecting save-the-date cards and wedding invitations. I’ve been reminiscing about my own wedding planning days.
I remember reading every book on marriage I could get my hands on. I remember turning to Google for answers on wedding ceremony formats, questions you should ask your fiance before marriage, what you should do on your honeymoon, how to adjust to living with your new spouse, and even what wedding night sex for a [insert Christian girl] was supposed to be like. I desperately wanted to know how to plan the perfect economical wedding and the perfect marriage.
In case you’re in the wedding-planning-pre-marriage stage, NEWS FLASH! You cannot plan the perfect marriage! Your wedding day signals the start of something beautiful and God-ordained, but it also signals the start of a whole new level of spiritual warfare. Satan will do anything and everything to plant doubts, sow seeds of disorder, and disrupt your intimacy with each other and God once you’re married. This is why every marriage needs to be founded on prayer, anchored to God, and centered around Christ.
If you’re already married, perhaps you’re like me. I find myself wondering what I would tell my pre-wedding self about marriage if I could. What lessons have I learned from being married?
In the upcoming weeks, I’ll share with you some of the lessons I’ve learned about marriage using the alphabet as a guide.
- If you aren’t married yet, but you will be soon, I hope and pray that you will be able to take some of this advice to heart as you go into this wonderful and exciting, and sometimes scary, new journey with your husband to be.
- If you are married, I hope and pray you’ll be able to share some of your own marriage life experiences and lessons learned with us younger “newlywed” brides and brides-to-be.
A – Acknowledge “He” Isn’t Perfect… and You Aren’t Either
This is probably one of the biggest lessons you can learn in marriage. Your husband will inevitably screw up, as will you. If you’re like me, sometimes you might screw up multiple times in one day.
This past week has been particularly trying for Adam and I. I’ve been feeling physically, emotionally, and spiritually drained – a breeding ground for miscommunication. [Insert ironic joke here since I was a communications major in college.]
Something I need to remind myself of frequently (and I’ve been forgetting this past week) is: “My husband deserves my respect when he makes a mistake, even if I don’t feel like giving it to him.”
[For you husbands reading this, you could just tweak the words: “My wife deserves my love when she makes a mistake, even when I don’t feel like giving it to her.”]
Acknowledging your spouse isn’t perfect is the first step to forgiveness and conflict resolution. Forgiveness isn’t always easy. Sometimes your heart won’t feel very forgiving. I often ask Adam (and not always politely) to give me space because I need to think, I don’t want to hurt him, and I’m not in a forgiving mood. But I always forgive him because I love and respect him as my husband. Withholding my forgiveness is not only immature, but it’s incredibly disrespectful to Adam and displeasing to God.
No one is perfect. This is why the perfect Son of God, Jesus came to take our place and suffer the punishment we deserved – death – so that we could be reconciled to and be in intimate relationship with the perfect triune God. It’s hard to believe one simple withholding of forgiveness is deserving of death, but the Bible says all sin leads to death. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Acknowledging you aren’t perfect either is crucial to marriage. Just because I graduated with a degree in communications doesn’t mean I’m an expert in communications of all kinds – especially marital. Sometimes, I need to get off my high horse and stop thinking I’m so much “better” than Adam because of dot, dot, dot. This is pride. The flip side is also true – self-deprecation is just another form of pride.
- Inflated self: Someone who thinks more highly of him/herself than he/she should attempts to do God’s job – doing what he/she cannot really do.
- Deflated self: Someone who thinks so low of him/herself won’t even try to do what he/she really should and can do because they’re afraid of failure.
Both forms of pride are incredibly damaging to a marriage. I’m guilty of both in the past week. A few nights ago, I was so convinced Adam was in the wrong and I was right because of how I was feeling. But I was letting my emotions dictate my reasoning, and failed to see my own imperfections and contributions to the miscommunication which led to distance, disruption, and disharmony. Then just yesterday, I was beating down on myself because I was feeling like a failure and my husband said something that made me snap out of it: “Stop talking down to the woman I love.”
You’ve been equipped to forgive your husband and love all of him, even in his imperfections, because God has already forgiven you and demonstrated His incredible mercy through His Son, Jesus. You’ve been equipped to truly humble yourself because of the grace God has already extended you through the loving sacrifice of Jesus, something you are unable and never could be able to do for yourself.
I’ll leave you with this verse to meditate on this week:
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14
Your Turn? Have you been in a situation with your spouse where you demonstrated a inflated sense of self or deflated sense of self? How did that affect your conflict resolution? How has your marriage benefited from the daily mercies of God? How does acknowledging your spouse isn’t perfect and you aren’t perfect help your marriage?
Becoming His Eve will be hosting Marriage Moments Mondays every other Monday. Marriage Moments Mondays is an opportunity for me to share a marriage thought, quote, encouragement, or idea and for you to link up your blog posts. Links are open from Monday at midnight MDT to 11:58PM on the following Sunday.
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