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wives

Growth Journey Life Marriage

Loving broken.

September 1, 2017

A couple weeks ago, I was chopping veggies to cook supper while I was chatting with Ever. As we talked, one thing led to another then to another until we finally ended up in a conversation I didn’t at all expect. As Ever opened up and shared something from his past, I was shocked at what I was hearing. I was hurt he had not told me before. And I was broken. I started crying and it wasn’t from the onions. He had no idea by revealing this part of his story that it would affect me so and break me deep down.

I was crying.

I was upset.

I was without words.

And Ever had no idea what to say. He walked to the bedroom. I pulled out my phone and found Tamela Mann’s song “Take Me to the King” and just blasted it while tears poured down my face. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Ever pull the front door closed. In the moments I had with just me and God, I prayed. I asked God “why?” And I prayed. And I cried some more.

The words from the song seemed to express exactly how my broken heart felt.

Take me to the king
I don’t have much to bring
My heart is torn in pieces
It’s my offering
Take me to the king

As I prayed and listened and cried, I sat down at the table and found a letter from my husband…

“I’m sorry, truly. I never meant to hurt you. I hope you can forgive me…”

My decision to forgive had already been made but I was still broken. But as I read his words, I saw his brokenness as well. It was in that moment the Lord began to speak to my broken heart.

Will you love broken? You know the good, the bad, the ugly. Will you love broken? Because loving broken is the truest love. It’s saying even though you’ve failed, even though you have screwed up BIG, even though this hurts like hell, I will love you. Will you love broken?

I did.

My heart was shattered to pieces as I hung on that cross. I knew, truly KNEW every sin. The weight of it. The hell of it. The betrayal of it. My heart was crushed, broken as I watched my friends turn away, as I saw all those who would reject my gift, but I chose love. I chose to love broken.

And when you shouted in my face you hated me. I was broken at your words. Every time you turn away from me and think you know best, I am broken. But daughter, I love you broken.

Will you?

My husband and I come from as different pasts as night and day. I grew up in a Christian family and came to Jesus at a very young age. He did not and for years walked in the world. Our sins may look different in human eyes but let me tell you, they all nailed Jesus to the cross. They all broke Him. And He still chose to love broken.

Will you?

It’s no accident that as I prepared to write this blog, I received a message from a family member and again I was broken. I cried (still no onions involved.) I asked God “why?” And again the Lord asked “Will you love broken?” My temptation is to say NO!! But I want to grow in His love. And to do that it calls for loving broken. Because that is true love. Unconditional love. That’s loving like Jesus and y’all, I want to love like Jesus even if that means being broken over and over again so I can learn to chose a love bigger than myself. His love.

Will you love broken?

Will you chose to love broken when your husband leaves you shaken to the core? Or when your wife betrays you? When your children hurl the “I hate you’s” in your face? When your friends in ministry fall miserably into sin? When your dad never said he was proud of you? Will you choose to love broken when you feel your heart can’t be broken into any tinier pieces?

It’s not easy. But you know loving broken does something incredibly unexpected.

Loving broken restores.

Since Ever and I had that really hard conversation, I have seen the Lord to take us to another level of love and trust. Isn’t that just like God? To use the very thing that has broken us to restore us. Y’all, none of us are perfect. None of us have it all together. None are righteous on our own.

We need to experience the love of the Father God to restore us. He loved us broken until the point of death. Oh how broken He was, but still He chose to love. And by Him loving broken, He has restored us.

Now we have a choice. Will we love like Jesus did? A love that cost everything.

Will we love broken?

Marriage

Your Husband will Not be Jesus

March 15, 2017

Even though I’m now married, I find myself still clicking on the blog posts about “preparing for a husband” or “advice for single ladies”. You know the ones I mean. Now I click for a different reason. I click to see how accurate the information is that they are providing. I spent 30 years of my life clicking on those post trying to make sure I was doing everything just so to prepare for marriage, or to make it happen quicker, or to be ready. And I’ve come to one conclusion.

You’ll never be ready.

You could read 1200 of those articles/posts every day and you’ll still not be ready.

But I suppose if over the last 3 months of marriage (because you know three months makes you an expert lol!), if I had one piece of advice to give to single ladies hoping to be married one day, it would be this: your husband will not be Jesus.

I thought I had a pretty realistic expectation of marriage and of my husband but I had read one too many articles and one too many books that had put the role of husband next to God.

You know, he’ll lead you. He’ll give you grace when you fail. He’ll show mercy when you scream at him. He’ll always compliment your cooking. He’ll take notice when you clean the house. He’ll never say anything hurtful to you. He’ll always say you’re beautiful when you wake up with sleep in your eyes and smelly breath. He’ll lead you in study of the Word and always pray every night with you.

He will be Jesus to you.

Now please hear me loud and clear, husbands do have a huge responsibility to love their wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). But learning to do that does not happen overnight. It’s a process and a process in which your husband will fail at times. Your husband will not be perfect. Your husband will NOT be Jesus.

Your husband will need grace. And respect. And love.

Just like us, ladies, need those things.

Expecting your husband/future husband to woo you like Jesus is an unfair expectation and ultimately will only lead to disappointment. The only person who can show you an infallible, perfect love that truly fulfills is Jesus, not your husband.

If our hope is not firmly grounded on Him, we’ll be sorely disappointed when we realize that our husbands, well…are not Jesus. Our husbands can show us Jesus but they’ll never be Jesus.

I feel like in the church today we give these unfair expectations to women preparing for marriage. We read those verses of how husbands are called to love their wives like Christ loved the church but we forget to mention that husbands are human and even though this is their call, they will fail. Yes, they’ll get back up and try again but they will fail. It is our job to love them regardless.

So today, ladies, I’m telling you what you may or may not hear in church: your husband will fail you. He will not always love you just like you thought he would. He will get grumpy when he’s hungry. He will get mad. He will struggle to say I’m sorry when he’s wrong. He may not remember that you love fresh flowers.

But he may remember the M&M’s. He may spend hours fixing the car. He may tell you look beautiful when you feel like crap. He may go to pharmacy to get you medicine when he himself doesn’t feel well either. He may clean the back porch when you didn’t expect it. He may challenge and sharpen you in your faith. He may try really hard to show Jesus to you.

But he will never BE Jesus. So don’t expect him to be.

Pray for him. Love him. Give him to Jesus. But do not place on his shoulders a weight that no man, no matter how wonderful, can carry. Remember your worth is found in Jesus, the only one who will not fail you. And on the days, when you’re disappointed in your husband’s inability to meet all your fairy tale ideas that you might have been taught in church or in one of those sweet little Christian blogs, grab your husband’s hand and love him. It’s a process and you’ll learn together.

Photo by Joe Terranova