Recently a comment caught my attention. First of all, because of the pain I was sensing in this person’s words, and second, because it got me to thinking about my own messy marriage journey. Here’s the comment to an article I posted about a spouse continually refusing to admit fault …
My wife has behaved this way for our entire marriage. Trying to explain it to her doesn’t help. I’m at a loss. Communication is key to solving problems, yet she quickly becomes emotional, defensive, angry, etc. whenever I try to workout misunderstandings. It’s as if I’m supposed to just suck it up and move on. —signed, Ataloss
What a despairing place to be … to be in the inconsolable darkness of a truly messy marriage, to feel as if you’ll never crawl out of the pain, to feel that you’re all alone and hopelessly trapped in a prison of emptiness and pain.
I get it. I do.
And I’m not so bold as to say that I’ll never return to that place in my lifetime. But I do know how I was able to find freedom and hope in the convergence of messiness and marriage.
|By Kt Ann|
I use the word convergence because we’re all at a crossroads in this messy life. We can choose to keep moving forward—allowing the fears and frustrations of our messy marriage or messy life to drive us into dangerous collisions or …
We can yield.
And it’s important to consider whom we are yielding to, and for me that is Christ, the One who is the true source of freedom and hope.
My marriage before yielding …
- I allowed the conflict between me and my husband to embitter my heart and marriage.
- I allowed the terrible hardships we faced to drive a wedge between us, repelling me from my partner.
- I believed the conflict and hardships were signs that I had married the wrong person.
- I believed that pain was the problem.
- I believed that my husband was the inflictor of that pain.
- Sometimes I even believed that God was the inflictor of that pain.
After yielding to Christ …
- I allow Christ to soften my heart and infuse me with grace when conflict arises.
- I allow Christ to open my eyes to the ways I need to change, while surrendering my spouse’s need for change to Christ.
- I believe that conflict and hardships are part of this messy life, because we are messy people.
- I believe that Christ came to redeem the messes my husband and I make—making them into something new and beautiful … in the yielding.
- I believe that pain is one miraculous way that Christ refines my heart and marriage everyday, and bonds me to my spouse, drawing me to my partner in ways I cannot fully understand.
What I’m saying is not easy to hear if you are in a dark place like this commenter. And it’s important to reach out for the help of a good, Christian counselor, if you feel this kind of despair.
But also realize that Christ is the One who waits for you to yield this mess to Him. He’s the only One who truly holds the key to your freedom.
[Jesus Speaking] “If you try to save your life, you will lose it. But if you give it up for me, you will surely find it.” Matthew 10:39 (CEV)
“We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:16 (NLT)