Five Words That Changed My Marriage {Part Two}

marriagechange5As I mentioned in Part One of this series (did you miss it? Find it here), my husband and I grew up together. We know each other about as good as anyone can. And yet, we still went through a time in our relationship where we found ourselves far apart. Unfortunately, we didn’t catch this problem until I had deeply and effectively barricaded myself from him and the rest of the world. I became an expert in plastic reality; a vendor of a fake genuine. I stormed ahead unaware until my husband finally stopped me in my tracks when he asked, “Just let me love you.”

Unaware of what was going on inside my heart, boundaries were cemented into place that helped me keep everyone at an arm’s length and maintain an extremely shallow existence.  I was ‘fine’ until I wasn’t, and then I blew up. I lashed out and attacked those closest to me whenever I felt as though the fine lines defining my box of seclusion had been breached. I was frustrated with the pattern I saw in myself but I didn’t know how to change it. Have you been here? As I mentioned in Part 1, our time in the Desert was not defined by discord; we were both still fully committed to our marriage and each other and working hard to fix it. What we weren’t doing was hurting us more, however. We didn’t know how to give and receive love freely, with no strings attached. We both craved a love free of inhibitions and agendas – a love we were both unsure how to give.

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It was only when I realized that I was, in the most basic terms, rejecting offered love, that I began to see the light. Then my dilemma wasn’t trying to figure out what my problem was, as much as I struggled to find out why. Why did I feel the need to protect myself from those that offered me love? Part of the answer lies in a deep need to control my environment, and, in many ways, everyone else’s. We’ll cover that another time…. But for our purposes here, we’ll stick to the other reason: I had gotten out of practice.

marriagechange3Just like if you don’t use it, you lose it, I had gotten so caught up with life that I had stopped practicing how to give and receive love. And so I had gotten bad at it. I could go through the motions, but under the surface I had become hardened and independent, and my husband knew it, and it hurt him. No one wants to be thrown artificial love like a plastic bone to a dog. We all crave genuine, uninhibited, intimate, all-seeing, all-forgiving love. I couldn’t receive it so I couldn’t give it… which meant we were both starving in a relationship that’s only problem was an inability to offer and inspire real love.

Once this was uncovered, I knew where I had to turn. I’ve known my whole life that there is no other entity on earth that can satisfy my soul’s craving for love and intimacy like my Savior. Somewhere in the busyness of crazy every day life, I had lost that closeness in my relationship with the Lord. I had put myself at arm’s length with Him, too – and it had begun a spiral down to the Desert we now found ourselves in. Fixable? Absolutely. Avoidable? Oh yes.

marriagechange11I now know how to keep myself far, far away from the edge of that cliff to self-seclusion. Although I still look for love and completion in my marriage, first and foremost I need to be filled by my Savior. If there is a need in my heart it isn’t that my relationship with my husband isn’t good enough, it’s that I’m not receiving the love that God has offered to me. He is more than enough to satisfy all of my needs and keep me on the rock of His salvation, regardless of the ups and downs relationships will inevitably take.

 

No marriage is perfect, and ours certainly has a lot of growing to do, but we have been blessed to learn this valuable lesson early on. I need to open my heart to give and receive real, honest, raw love. And in order to do that I need to be constantly immersed in the love and truth God offers to me. I was created with a deep need for honesty and acceptance in vulnerability and intimacy, and you were too. Let’s try to find our confidence in Christ and not look for our relationships with others to be our primary source of affirmation. I hope this is helpful to you! Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

❤ Jasmine

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9 thoughts on “Five Words That Changed My Marriage {Part Two}

  1. I’m sitting here in tears as I read this as I see myself so clearly in this. Praise God your seeing things early in your marriage. I have been married almost 17 years and hanging on by a thread if even that. This touched me as I can relate in my own life. I have let hurts of my marriage deterriate my walk with God as I feel beaten down and honestly just tired of going round the same mountain over and over again….So happy to see God use you in a powerful way! Thank you for posting this blog. God is going to use you in a mighty way!

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    • Thank you, Veronica, for the feedback and encouragement. I am so glad this has impacted you; my heart aches for you but I know that God’s grace and strength are there for you in every capacity. You will be in my prayers. 💗

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  2. Beautiful! I’m so thankful you are willing to share all this. I think it’s important as Christians to be a little more transparent in our marital struggles because otherwise how do we ever have hope? We need to know that you can love your spouse through a rough patch. We need to know that divorce is a lie from the devil. Thank you for sharing!

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  3. This sounds like me completely. I brought some major insecurities into our marriage, and we are finally breaking free of them together. I love this series! Great thoughts and powerful message 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think sometimes I struggle with receiving love. I know I have that problem actually. I am not a very trusting person because of my childhood. My husband feels it and it hurts him. Sometimes I reject God’s love too. I shut him completely out when my sister was murdered. Thank you for the reminder to bury myself deep into God’s love so I can love others around me.

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  5. I love and appreciate your transparency. Receiving love and giving it are key components. Glad you are moving in the right direction. Blessings to you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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