…Somewhere in the first year of our marriage, I began to seek God and ask Him how to be a good wife. I can honestly say that even though it took a very long time for things to change, that little decision was the start of everything changing.
When I prayed, God gave me 1 Peter 3:1-2
Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
I knew it was my task to be a witness to my husband. That, I could accept. The without words part was a little rougher for me. I had to live a life of purity and reverence, so that Eric might believe God’s Word?
I assure you, I was not up to that task. I was desperate, and often lonely. And so, so disappointed. This was supposed to be the best year of my life!
Now, I am so glad it wasn’t.
I am so glad that things were so bad I couldn’t handle them on my own.
I am glad for the pain. I am glad for the loneliness.
Because it drove me straight to Jesus. I hadn’t been hanging out with Him much for the few years before that.
So here I was, barely getting to know God again. Now it seemed like I had to become a totally different person, and frankly, it felt like too much work. Good thing for me, God has a habit of changing people.
I spent so much time begging God to fix my marriage and studying the Bible so I could figure out what to do, that I ended up growing closer to God than I had ever been.
I know that some of you are going through things I can’t even imagine. As ugly and dark as times were for me, we haven’t experienced anything near what some of you wives are going through.
Several of you have written to tell me that your husband is addicted to pornography.
Some of you are living with alcoholics or control freaks.
Some of you are living in the aftermath of an affair.
Your ugly places are so much deeper.
And I’m not in any way minimizing the pain that I went through, or the pain that some of you are currently going through. Just because your reality isn’t as bad as someone else’s doesn’t mean that your reality isn’t the worst pain you’ve ever experienced.
I just want to be sure that I don’t gloss over these things. I want to acknowledge those of you that are so deep in the pit you can’t even see the way out anymore.
Even though I haven’t been through as much as some of you, I had days where I felt like that. Days I spent browsing apartments online. Days where I stayed as long as I could at work because I just didn’t want to go home. Day after day when I cried in the shower and after my husband fell asleep at night because I was so without hope. I couldn’t imagine a way out.
I wish someone had told me back then, early on, that no matter what the situation was, I could choose to be a light. That even when we were in the pit, I had the light inside me.
So. My number one secret for a happy marriage?
Ask God. Then, obey.
He will give you a verse to cling to. He will show you little ways you can change. He will lead you places you never imagined. He might lead you to a church where your husband’s life will be forever changed, like He did me. He might direct you to a Bible study where you’ll meet an older, wiser woman with Godly advice for you, like He did me. He might lead you to just shut your mouth sometimes, like He did me.
If you ask Him to show you your spouse through His eyes, He will answer.
If you ask Him to show you where you are falling short, Oh boy, will He answer.
Everything in my marriage changed because, in a moment of desperation, I asked God to show me how to be a better wife. I opened up my Bible to 1Peter 3, and, boom, I had a mission. I had something to cling to when things didn’t get better right away.
Most of all, I had proof that God was listening and He was going to help me and that I could trust Him. That one little passage changed my life, guys.
Soon, every time I turned around, I was hearing a sermon on the radio or reading an article on marriage. Verses jumped out at me, and I was reminded that God’s Word is indeed a living, breathing thing. I was excited to wake up every morning and see what God had for me in His Word.
Eventually, my husband started noticing the change in me, and agreed to go with me to try to find a church for our family. He gave his life over to Jesus and we started growing, together. It was slow. Much slower than I wanted it to be.
But I can honestly say that here and now, we are completely different people than the ones that pledged our lives to one another nearly 14 years ago. I know, without a doubt, that if I hadn’t turned to the Bible that day, we would not be married today.
Take a few moments today, just you and God, and ask Him one thing you can do to help your marriage. And then, hold on.
It’s going to be one heck of a ride.