HEATHER LINDSEY’S POST ON MARRIAGE IS IMPORTANT FOR ANYONE CONTEMPLATING ENDING THEIR MARRIAGE
As I was scrolling through social media, I came across a blog with these words, ” I don’t feel loved in my marriage so I am leaving it.”
My heart literally broke in two because I wondered how many people were reading this blog and forming an opinion of their marriage because at some point or another, you have felt that way in your marriage. I also wondered how many single people were reading the blog and forming an unrealisticidea of marriage. I’m currently writing a book on marriage so I figured I would share a snippet of a chapter because that blog literally lined up with what I was talking about in that chapter.
How many times has my husband felt unloved by me in the about 10 years we’ve been together?
Too many to count.
How many times have I felt unloved by my husband?
Too many to count.
Is my marriage headed towards divorce?
How many times has God felt unloved by you?
Too many times to count
How many times have you ran from Jesus?
Too many times to count.
As a believer, love the example of Jesus. He gives me perspective on every relationship, including my marriage. What happens when Jesus doesn’t feel loved by you? What if He just left you? What if He just quit on you? Does Jesus make you happy 100%? It’s impossible to make you happy all of the time because we are made up of this flesh, carnal nature. One minute we are living for Jesus and the next minute, we think about and want things that we know that we can’t have.
Listen to me – to everyone who is single or married and never forget this:
Just because you don’t at times feel loved in your marriage, it is not an excuse to leave it. The danger in leaving your marriage for someone who “loves” you better is that you may get more of what you think you need in order to be happy while compromising in another area. He may touch you more, clean up around the house and work a job but he may also be touching another woman. Your husband was a great leader, he just didn’t use words of affirmation. The next man will post about you all day and night and affirm you but that’s about it. He’s a terrible leader and spiritually, you have to lead the marriage because he gives you the control. Maybe your last husband had no job and your new boo is a lawyer. But instead of coming home to you he works and travels non-stop. Any free time he does have, he goes to the bar with his buddies. Pick your poison. Every marriage gets to work OUT their marriage to make it work. There’s GOING to be conflict along the way. The question before I do is, “Find out his issue and see if you can live with it for the rest of your life.” Because.. it may never change. But, I am talking to those of you who are currently married.
If our measuring stick for leaving your marriage is “I don’t feel loved” then it’s simply NOT good enough. Yes, you may be going through a tough time. Yes, your husband may not understand you, Yes you may be frustrated but do you remember your vows? “For Better or For Worse” will get tested. No HUMAN on this entire earth is going to be able to make you happy 100% of the time. The fight you’re fighting is a spiritual one, not a physical one. Your enemy is NOT your spouse, its the devil. Some of you are in marriages right now and it’s a pretty healthy marriage, you just have some areas where you’re not happy. You’ve grown WEARY. You constantly wait for him to “change” but he never does. So, then do you just leave? So, you have this good man but this man doesn’t meet up to the image of who you think he should be in your head?
Who told you that he has to be some other image?
Social media? Comparing your marriage to another marriage? Your family? A friend who recently divorced and bashes all marriages? Your messy single friends or that one single friend that would love to be married to your man?
Maybe it’s not your spouse? Maybe it’s you? Maybe you’re completely unlovable. Maybe you’re constantly psychoanalyzing him, trying to be his mama, maybe you treat him like trash and disrespect him. Maybe you nag and criticize him into a corner.
No, I cannot cheer you on for leaving.
Please hear my heart that I do understand cases where there’s divorce and it’s unwanted. Maybe your husband left you and ran off with some 18 year old. Maybe he cheated so many times or maybe he has physically abused you to the point where you are FORCED to leave. Now, I am not talking to those cases. That is called abandonment and it’s NEVER ok for him to treat you that way. I am specifically talking to men that actually come home to their wives, he works an honest job, goes to church and he is TRYING to be good to you. You may not see all of the effort that you want to see, but you see SOME of it.
Isn’t it crazy how we focus on what our spouse is doing but we don’t make them 100% happy? Kinda hypocritical right? (And, I’m talking to myself too)
How do I know that you may not be the most loveable person at times?
Because I was her.
I was the most complaining, “higher than thou” wife. My husband felt like nothing that he did was good enough for me. That nagging, complaining, discontent spirit from my single days showed its ugly face in my marriage.
So, what do I do when I don’t feel loved in my marriage?
Let me challenge you with this:
1 Corinthians 13:1-10 tells us:
“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”
Did you read verse 4? It says that Love is PATIENT.
What does patience mean?
The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset:
So, I’m supposed to love without getting upset? But HE troubled me. He made me suffer. He ignored me! He won’t get a job! He won’t touch me and he knows my love language is TOUCH. He really hurt me in the past. He cheated on me. YES, I forgive him and we moved on but I have a hard time being patient with him.
Love doesn’t demand it’s own way.
“You don’t LISTEN. I am more spiritual. I am better with money. I am a better leader. I have more schooling. Let’s do it THIS way.”
It’s it amazing that we are serving in the church, helping people and doing all of these things but we don’t love the person that we share a bed with? That is your first ministry. Your HOME ministry. You hate your own husband. How can we say that we really love Jesus but we hate the one we are ONE with?
I like 1 John 4:20, it says “If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?”
But Heather, my husband ain’t saved. He hasn’t cheated or anything but he won’t turn to Jesus. I want to leave!
1 Peter 3:1 tells us, “In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by your quiet and gentle spirit.”
I can tell you this. With every test of “love” I have passed, GOD HAS REWARDED ME. In those times where I wanted to leave my marriage or run – I STAYED and ENDURED and TRUSTED God to change ME and my spouse. (Guess that’s what happens when two alpha personalities marry!) AND I watched God grow our love, our ministry, and our life anoint us for our obedience. I have watched the Lord use my husband to reveal my heart and weaknesses. I have watched myself change and get better because of those tough times.
It takes NOTHING to quit on your marriage. Your marriage will force you to grow, mature, develop and CHANGE. If your marriage has grown apart, it’s because you let it. Don’t give satan an open door. Don’t let him in to destroy your marriage. Do your part, God will reward you!
If you’re fighting with your spouse now – text him right now and go get your marriage back. Don’t give the devil an open door into your life or marriage. Not now, not tomorrow or the next day.
I challenge you right now to write out 10 things that you love about your spouse. Starting, now. Focus on those things vs. what he isn’t doing.
I see God healing marriages right now. I see restoration in broken marriages right now. I see hope again.
In Jesus name.
Culled from heatherlindsey.com