The Biggest Lesson I’ve Learned in 7 Years of Marriage

January 24, 2017








I looked at the clock.  Seven o’clock on the dot.  It was time to start.  Our wedding director motioned for my bridal party to come and I stayed behind for just a few moments with my dad. 

It was time.           

                 
I had waited three and a half years for this moment.  This moment.  It would be the moment we looked back on in years to come as one of the most precious, sweetest moments of our lives.  Any second now and the doors would open, revealing us to one another for the first time as bride and groom. 

 
It was dream-like.  Not the wedding itself, though that was beautiful too. But the moments when we caught one another’s eyes and knew that from that evening on, we were different.  We were man and wife.  Joined together as one.  Now our own family unit. 



I remember a lot of tears during our ceremony.  Not from me (I had cried the hour leading up to the ceremony), but from Brian.  I had those beautiful sweet bride tears. You know, the ones that casually sneak down your check during a prayer.  But my guy?  Well, he was…feeling some things, we’ll say that.  During one of the prayers, I handed my tear stained handkerchief to him, the one my grandmother gave me to carry on our special day, and snuck it to him so no one would see him wiping his eyes. It was a moment I will never forget because it was just between the two of us.  Sweet.  Secret.  Loving.





That was seven years ago this week.  It seems like it was yesterday when I donned that white dress with lace and traces of pearls and he wore that silky black suit and cream vest.  We were mere youngins when we got married.  I was 22, he was 24.  We knew everything and nothing all at the same time.  


What we thought we knew when we got married and what we actually learned after being married were worlds apart.  Sacrifice looks a lot different to me now.  The tests and trials that love can endure look stronger to me now.  Who God is and what His plans are for marriage are more clear to me now than they were that day I walked down that aisle covered in red rose petals.


I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons in the seven years we’ve been married.  But there is one lesson that I come back to over and over again.  It’s helped me in times of trouble and brokenness.  It’s helped me to see my husband not only as the man I love, but as God’s son.  It is a lesson I want to pass on to my daughters in future years when they take on this holy covenant of marriage.



Remember who the real enemy is.



I know.  It's not some romantic idea is it?  But it's a cold hard truth I have needed to remember time and time again.  Remember who the real enemy is.  And friend, the real enemy is not your spouse.  It’s not your children.  It’s not the bills piled up on the counter.  It’s not even the person you see in the mirror every day, wishing things were different.  The real enemy is Satan and he’s simply waiting for his invitation to wreak havoc on your household.


You see, God loves marriageGod loves sex and intimacy. He loves forgiveness and acceptance. He loves praise and support.  He created all those things!  (Genesis 2) But often times those are the hardest things to find in a marriage.  I find myself wondering why marriage in itself can be so difficult at times.  Why can’t it just be easy?  It’s because we try to connect two worlds together that were never supposed to equal to one another. 



God’s original design of marriage and the world’s view of marriage were never designed to be the same.  But often we try to make them the same.  And when we try to take something God designed and fit into a box marked with worldly standards, guess who shows up?  Satan.  The real enemy.



The thief approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy; I came to give life with joy and abundance.”

John 10:10 (THE VOICE)



When there is discourse in a household who serves the Lord?  Satan eats it up.

When there is resentment that builds and issues that go unresolved?  Satan revels in it.

When a wife withholds her love from her husband because he didn’t do something the way she asked him to?  Satan rejoices.

When a spouse uses pornography as a means for intimacy instead of their partner?  Satan just devours it. 

When husbands and wives undermine one another’s parenting and fights ensue in front of children?  Satan celebrates.


Oh how he loves it.  If he can make his way into your home, into the strongholds of your marriage, he can and will create a life of chaos, bitterness, and utter destruction. 


And if you don’t think you are on his radar, sweet friend, let me speak this truth to you today.   You absolutely are.  Satan will get you wherever he can get you.  Your finances.  Your sex life.  Your past.  Your children.  Your family relationships.  Your secret sin.  Your career.  Your unfulfilled dreams.  Your calling. 


There is no area off limits to him and if he sees a way in, he’ll surely take it. 



A godly marriage full of love, spiritual discernment and forgiveness, is a legitimate threat to the enemy. 



If you think I’m writing this from a place of expertise or some moral high horse, let me tell you, I’m not.  I’m writing from a place of experience.  A place of sadness.  A place of hope. A place of realization that we too had let Satan into our home and slowly but steadily, it was destroying us. 


We were blissfully unaware of the small attacks from him.  The attacks that seemed like nothing, but spiraled into everything.  And now, we’re fighting back.  Remember who your real enemy is. 


It is not your spouse.  Oh, it may look that way at times.  It may masquerade as money issues, parenting woes or intimacy struggles.  Please understand, these things are serious and often times we do need help in these areas from counselors, pastors and other professionals.  But in themselves, they are not the enemy.  It goes so much deeper than that.  It is the source in which they come from that we need to be made aware of.  We are in a battle and we must fight for our marriages.


{Let me also add here, I’m not saying if abuse is present in a marriage you should stay (or some other heavy issues I’ve not listed).  Not at all.  This post isn't about reasons to stay in a marriage or reasons not too.}


I recently watched a message from Lisa Bevere in which she stated her biggest regret in life was that she didn’t love her husband more fearlessly.  A lot of their marriage, though she loved him deeply, she had kept him at a safe distance from her heart.  Always afraid that being hurt and abandoned was just around the corner.  She said looking back she wished she would have been braver in loving him.  She would have encouraged him more, given more of herself emotionally to him, and not been so afraid to truly love him and be loved in return.  I don’t want to have the same regret.  Do you?


Listen, marriage is hard.  Some days it’s really hard.  Some days it’s desperately hard.  And some days you wonder how you ever lived a day without one another.  It’s beautiful.  It’s messy.  It forces us to confront the best and worst parts of ourselves. 


It is two sinners that have vowed to take on one another’s brokenness.  To take on sickness and financial stress. To take on past hurts and family trials.  To accept each other’s faults.  To celebrate each other’s victories, both big and small. 





It is entrusting the darkest parts of yourself to someone else.  It is believing every day that change can happen.  That God works in marriages because He believes in them so much.  I believe God designed marriage and gave it to us as one of the greatest means to glorify Him. 


Remember who the real enemy is, but also remember who The Victor is.  Satan sets out to destroy marriages while God works to redeem them.  Satan wants to divide where God brings together.  Satan enforces pride and bitterness.  God offers grace and forgiveness. 



When you’re on the brink of destruction and you think you can’t fight one more day.  That you can’t even look at your spouse without feeling hurt or bitterness or anger.  I want you to dig your heels in the sand as deep as you can and I want you to suit up and fight.  Fight the real enemy.  Fight for redemption.  Fight for forgiveness.  Fight for love to win.  

2 comments :

  1. Oh my friend! What beautiful truth you've shared here. Your words ring true to one who has been there and still see the need to fight. It was probably about 7 years in when I came to that realisation too and now going on our 14th, we know we need to stay aware of Satan's attacks. Very often we simply need to remember that we're on the same team.
    I'm so glad that you are fighting together, for better or worse. Happy anniversary, my friend.
    Hugs and blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you friend! You're so right. We have to remember we're on the same team!

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