Friday, November 4, 2016

Humble Yourselves (Marriage)

Last night I started thinking about marriage...and my husband.  When I even write "my husband" I smile.  He's my best friend.  He's my other half.  He's a safe place God gave me on earth.

We've been married going on 23 years.  We have spent more years with each other, than without each other.  Those years haven't always been easy.  We have had our trials...actually, I should say lessons.  It seems like during the hardest times we have been taught the most.

God has schooled us many times and we HAVE to laugh at how truly thick headed we have been during some periods of our lives.

I've also found that the longer we've been married the more we are asked for relationship advice.  What?!! (Laughing)

This always startles me a bit, since we are far from perfect....VERY VERY far (chuckle).

Last night I had been thinking about humbleness in regards to marriage.    This morning I had a talk with the kids.

Our children know from a very young age that Mommy and Daddy will always love them.  They also know two of the top things their parents take issue with.

*Not taking responsibility for your actions.
*Lying (which is another form of the above)

Ask our grown and married kids and they will tell you the same thing.

They will also tell you when a child comes and confesses, there is a lot of grace and mercy given.  Confessing is a rough thing to do...humbling ourselves can be painful.

Mirram-Webster definition of Humble
"Not thinking of yourself as better than other people." 

 "....for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...." Romans 3:23

 When talking to the children this morning, I talked about how being humble can also mean that we admit that we are human. We sin.  We fall short.  It means admitting we make mistakes like everyone else.

Humbleness can be very hard, like ripping off a super glued Band-Aid...especially when you're ticked off at your spouse (even rightly so).

That's where one of the biggest pieces of advice (I give to those seeking marital direction) comes in.

Humble yourself....

It goes like this.  You have an argument.  Your spouse is TOTALLY wrong.  You know this in your heart.  You are looking at the other person and thinking, "What in the world?" or maybe you even left the room.  Steam is coming from your head (and maybe tears from your eyes).

Humble yourself...
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
               “God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”
James 4:6         

This advice has made a huge difference in our marriage.

Here's where it gets painfully hard.

When you want to slam your door....
When you want to ask God who HE let you marry...
(This makes me chuckle and think of Adam in Genesis 3:12. "The woman YOU put here with me--" ~emphasis added)

When you are angrier or more hurt than you remember being...

you pray.

(Wait for it....)

You ask God to show you what your part in the argument was.  You ask God to show you what part was your fault.

Humble yourself...

It can be excruciating.  I can be painful.

It has also, in my life, been effective in making me realize my humanness....and my husband's.

I no longer feel validated (because he is at fault).  He no longer feels validated (because I am at fault).

I can hear the outrage by some as I type this.

"It was 100% my his/her fault!!!"
"Why in the world should I pray for God to show me MY fault in the argument when it was THEIR FAULT!!!"

Here's the thing.  It CAN be 99.9% the other persons fault.

They could have been the biggest jerk of the century.

Yet, when you pray this prayer... find that you could have responded more tenderly. find you escalated instead of talking it through. find  you may have said things right, but in a tone of voice that didn't help things.

It may be the littlest thing, but that .1% fault can usually be found.

Often I find I hold a lot more responsibility for an argument than that.

Sometimes (I know, total shock...chuckle) I find 99.9% is MY fault. (Not a fun thing to admit.  Shoot!)

When Thomas and I have learned to humble ourselves in this way, we have found that we recognize our humanness. We look with greater compassion on our spouse and realize they are human too. (That extra head they grew when they utter the complete insanity is just in your imagination.)

There are times I have apologized to my husband for the 1% and it has opened a door in my husband's heart..and his hurt.   We have been able to dig deeper to the root of the argument and pull out weeds that may have been there a long time.  He has felt my love and lack of condemnation.  It has opened his eyes to whatever the reality may be.    It has grown us.

There are time he has apologized to me for the 1% and reminded me of his love for me.  It reminded me that he is there with me for the long haul.  It has had me confess my insecurities or fear that may have had me start an argument that was primarily my doing.  It has made our marriage stronger.  It has made us stronger.

Humble yourself...

So that's it.  I've contemplated this post for awhile.  As with many, it's not necessarily written eloquently.  It's truth though.  It has brought a tenderness and understanding to our marriage that I wish for everyone.

Seriously, I have one amazing husband.  He denies this, but I know the truth...the big goofy, silly, passionate God loving truth.

He's a nut.  THAT is truth. Man, I love him!


Yes, I know their are exceptions when it comes to this advice.  Yes, I personally have had those I  am friends suffer in awful ways at the hands of their spouse....and I pray...and I try to be there...and I have walked with friends through reconciliation...and divorce.

The above though is for the fight.  It the fight FOR your marriage.  It's for the fight for forever.

"So God created mankind in his own image,

    in the image of God he created them;

    male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.
Genesis 1:27-28

Immanent Prayer Request:   
*Sarah currently has a virus and is pretty sick.  Can you please pray for her health and the health of baby Isabella?  

Our Prayer Requests:
*Please pray for our continued adoption journey.  Please pray protection over our family and the ever expanding number of children (here and across the world).  The master of lies loves to mess with anyone trying to follow God.
*Please pray for a financial way.  We have funds due soon with the adoption and many unusual expenses that happen...some only every five years.  They just happen to have happened all at once during back to back adoptions.  We are taking a deep breath and trusting God. 
*Please pray for our beautiful pregnant daughters  (one is a daughter-in-love, but I love her like one) and one precious extended family member who is expecting.  Our daughter Sarah is due any day and they have a lot of things they are trying to figure out. Please pray for discernment, direction, and blessing for Sarah and Ivan.   Please pray for all three of the babies and their health...and health of the mommies.
*Please pray we GLORIFY GOD in ALL THINGS.  This is the most important. 

Our Friends:
*PLEASE pray for a young teen named Alyssa.  She has brain cancer and has had many brain surgeries at this point.  They just found cancer at the base of her spine.  PLEASE pray for healing.  (She is the daughter of two friends from college.)  Please also pray for her family.
*Please pray for my husband's friend at work.  He lost his mother-in-law two weeks ago. (The Windom family)
*Please pray for my friend Elizabeth, as she they have found cancer on her foot.  Please also pray for insurance to approve this quickly!
*Please pray for K and G.  They have just lost their precious baby.

*God has answered our prayers and this last Monday we were able to complete another big step in our adoption.
*God answered the prayers for the deposit on Jael's wheelchair today.  It left me speechless and in tears.  

Know if I'm praying for you, I have not forgotten.  If I don't have your permission to put it here I won't in order to make sure it is only shared if you would like us to.

1 comment:

  1. Been married for 9 years and you are totally right! It is SO HARD to be humble before my husband but it does make all the difference.


In the joy of following our Heavenly Father, we sometimes choose to proceed with a whisper, a verse, or a downright matter how we follow Him, the momentum that follows is like nothing we've ever experienced before.

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