Love is Patient, Love is Kind, love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
I don’t know about you, but absolutely LOVE the idea that before I was even born God knew who my husband would be. He knitted us both to the specific needs and desires of our hearts and went into such great detail that He even made sure my husband loved Harry Potter. However brilliant this may be, the idea that a spouse is particularly designed for each of us can sometimes be misleading. If they are so perfectly designed then why does he leave his socks on the floor even though he knows I hate it? This mentality also makes it hard for us to let things go, and for women especially it makes it difficult for us to not be offended by passive comments or actions.
The other day Clay’s ankle began throbbing on our walk to the pool. I headed back for the car and only 2 minutes later pulled up beside him. I got out of the car and instead of hearing the thank you I expected I was met with a ‘It took you long enough’. In my frustration I went silent and stayed that way until he asked me the token question, ‘What’s wrong?’. And instead of giving a generic “nothing” I made sure to let him know how I felt, which included me expressing to him that I felt lately that nothing I did was good enough. I had gotten the car hadn’t I? Wasn’t that enough?
When we are met with a lackluster response from our spouse it feels like a sharp knife to the heart. Whether mundane or extravagant we expect praise; but if I’m honest I’ll admit I’m are FAR from praise worthy. I am as far from perfect as my husband is, and just because I say ‘thank you’ often and pick up his dirty laundry off the floor does not qualify me as better. Nor does the lackluster response disqualify me as being enough for my husband. We often gauge the quality of our worth off of our spouse, and we use their actions and words as an affirmation of whether or not we are enough.
Allowing circumstance to identify your value in marriage is a difficulty
many most all husbands and wives face. These circumstances manifest in any number of ways. Perhaps your husband struggles with porn and you feel worthless because he seeks that urge from something else. Or maybe your wife spends all her time on her phone which causes you to feel like you’re not worth her time at all. It is hard to combat those feelings, especially when they appear as attacks directly on your marriage. But when we choose to base our self worth on how we are treated by our spouse, we will emphatically always come up short.
Yes, God chose us for our spouse, I prayed for YEARS to have the husband I do. But God did not promise me perfection. In 1 Corinthians 13:4 (you know the verse) Paul writes of love and what love is, but unlike many think, he isn’t referring to the love in marriage but rather the perfect love of Christ. So, why do we search for self worth and gauge whether we are enough on the response and actions of our imperfect spouse? We cannot continue to expect a flawless love from our flawed husband or wife. If we are living our life in Christ, then as a spouse we need to relieve our husband or wife of that burden to be perfect, because they aren’t. Instead, we should be gauging our worth on how Christ sees his beloved. Flawless, beautiful, unashamed. Christ will never tell you that you aren’t enough. You are enough, and he even died to prove it to you.
Marriage will never be without struggle, nor will the battle against yourself and your spouses words to feel as though you are enough. Failure happens, your spouse will let you down, and you will let your spouse down. Because that is what happens when 2 imperfect people unite in marriage. But remember that your failures, your mistakes, his actions and his words are covered by the blood of Christ, because to Him you will ALWAYS be enough.