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My husband and I have been married for 23 years.  Yes, we were just babies when we said I DO!

When we first met, I was a shy girl and really didn’t know who I was.  I was whatever he wanted me to be.  I loved him — and STILL DO — so I went along with whatever he wanted.   I was a kid.  I didn’t even know who I was or what I wanted back then.  He was a kid too, but he was a stronger kid than me (ha).

I remember him telling me when we were engaged, “When we marry, I want you to be active in church.”  Ha – boy did those words end up biting him in the bottom in the years that followed.   But the reason I am sharing all of this is to pose the question:  How do you grow up together, change, yet still remain as one?

That little girl who married is now a much more secure woman.  I have my own ideas, likes, and dislikes.

My husband likes to hunt.   I can’t imagine sitting in the woods … I’d be SO BORED!

He loves to travel.  I hate traveling for some reason.

He thrives when he is surrounded by people.  I love people, but I like privacy and love quiet time.

He loves watching the news.   I love listening to words that are TRUTH and words that build up and encourage.

He comes across a little harder than I do with discipline.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m no patsy — but I am really merciful.

He is all about business and even made me major in business when I went to college.  I HATE business and it is a miracle that I graduated with honors.  Seriously.

Yes, we definitely have our differences!

How does God use two different people with different desires?

Speaking as a grown woman, I can look back and see the many ways God has used our differences to bring healing in my life.  It wasn’t a beautiful type of healing that came from my husband’s mercy towards me.  Nooooo, it was quite the opposite.  He happily went about his life, but because of my own pain — I was forced to cry out to the Lord.   Unknowingly, he has pushed me into the arms of God over and over again.   Don’t get me wrong, he is a great man.  It is just that we are DIFFERENT — just like every couple.  Two DIFFERENT people are merged together to make ONE.   Is the process of becoming one always pretty?  NO.

Wives … if you hear yourself saying things like:  “God, he is so disconnected!  All he wants to do is …..!   Why won’t he do ………?   He needs to be …….!”  Warning!   Warning!  It is time to step back and look at the plank in your own eye.

Matthew 7:4
How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?

I think marriage is like placing two sharp and prickly rocks next to one another in a very active stream.   The stream beats them together so much that the prickly places are eventually worn down.

IF we are surrendered to the Lord and are willing —  we can become smoother too.

It is much easier when we are smooth.  Things don’t get hung by our barbs when there are no barbs.  Right?

My friend Debbie shared some great advice on a blog post I wrote the other day.  She said, I see and hear so many Christian women who are domineering in their marriage relationship. I read a book by Dr. Emmerich. He wrote about the man needing respect and the woman needing love and security. I began to look for things I respected about my husband and started telling him. They seem to need to hear it. After a time I noticed that he was more loving towards me. It was amazing."

God does call us to respect our husbands and He calls our husbands to love us.

Does it mean we have to humble ourselves sometimes even when we might not FEEL like building up our husbands?   YES!

Debbie saw God’s faithfulness when she encouraged her husband.

I believe it is God’s desire to use our spouses to expose our weaknesses so that we can truly see our need for Him in our lives.

If there are areas in your marriage that need healing, I pray you will ask God to show you the condition of your own heart.   May you and I continue to seek His Face and allow the prickly places to be sanded down by His love.

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