A while back I wrote a post about a difficult day in my marriage. Afterwards I wrote in the comments on that same post that I was originally leery of publishing it because I didn’t want anyone to get the impression that my husband was a big old meanie.
Later that day or maybe the next, I’m not sure, I received an email through my comment form from a very dear blogger, Grafted Branch, asking me if I had received my husband’s consent before publishing the post. I answered back assuring her that I had. She may never know how much I appreciated her concern and willingness to hold me accountable. We would all do well to be friends and to find friends that care that much about others.
If you are not familiar with Grafted Branch from Restoring the Years, I think it’s time you visited her blog to get to know her. She is a woman whose faith and obedience to the Word of God is an example to us all. I believe I fell in love with her the day I read her testimony. It was late at night, everyone else had already gone to bed and I could not contain my joy after reading of her conversion and baptism. I cried first, then I went upstairs and woke my husband to tell him all about it. He listened through half-asleep ears. He’s patient with me that way.
Anyway, I digress. This is supposed to be about my marriage not GB.
Her question brought up so many thoughts that I started this draft although I saved it with nothing more than a title and a few words. Then, a million things took precedence over finishing it and I nearly forgot what I planned to write.
Until today, that is.
Has anyone noticed that in Blogdom — the Christian Blogland — that many, many women write as though they have the perfect marriage, the perfect husband? They seem to experience no problems, no arguments, just sheer bliss on a daily basis? Does it make anyone else feel a bit inadequate?
Julian and I have been together nearly twenty three years, married for well over eighteen of those. The first eight years of our marriage were a mess. Neither of us knew the Lord, both were dragging a lifetime’s worth of baggage, hurt, and anger along for the ride. I can honestly say that if it were not for God’s unfathomable grace we would not be together today.
First he saved me, then my dear husband and then our marriage. I can only marvel at His ability to do what we found impossible. Maybe it’s because of those difficulties that I find it hard to shallow other’s marital perfection. I’d rather read about real life problems and how applying a Biblical principle solved them than read that perfect happiness was available and I somehow missed out on it.
Now I know that when it comes to blogging we need to always be mindful of the fact that what we write is permanent and public. I am in no way suggesting that Christian women should be out here on Internet venting their frustrations with the men they should be honoring. No, that’s not even close to what I’m saying.
So what am I saying?
I love my husband, over the years he has truly become a part of me. I can not imagine living without him by my side. He is hard working, intelligent, trustworthy and he puts his family first in almost every decision he makes. He is not perfect though, just perfect for me. God has used him to shape and mold me into His Son’s image. As He has used me to do the same with Julian.
I once read – and I so wish I could remember where – that maybe marriage was never meant to make us happy but holy. Now, that was a statement to which I could relate. A good marriage is made up of give-and-take, compromise and spiritual growth. Neither person always gets his/her way. It takes sacrifice to make a marriage work.
Our need for man’s approval is a very sad truth for many but nevertheless it is still a sin. The perfect marriage, or family, or home do not make us better Christians. I think when a Christian blogger makes marriage look easy for the sake of making themselves or their spouse seem like a better Christian it does a great disservice to others. Call me cynical if you must but I don’t believe anyone is always happy in any marriage.
Why pretend that our marriage was written by a Hollywood script writer or a Harlequin romance novelist? Wouldn’t it be better to be open and honest about some of our struggles? Maybe even to get advice from others who’ve “been there and grown through that?” We may even find out – that is, if we have honest, loving friends like GB – that we’re the one who needs to change.
To me it seems like a better use of a blog than to write posts that puff ourselves up and make us look like the perfect people we will NEVER be.