Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lie No. 21: I Have To Have A Husband To Be Happy

And similarly... My husband is supposed to make me happy.

This is something that I struggled with terribly as a teen and as a young adult in high school and college, and it is something that I am learning to change, but have probably never really dealt with entirely. I have a wonderful marriage, but could it have gotten off to an even better start if I had learned to rest in the Lord entirely, BEFORE I got married? Perhaps.

I praise the Lord every day that He listened to my prayers as a young woman in the years leading up to my marriage to Luke. I prayed so intently that God would not allow me to date anyone but the man I was going to marry. I wanted so much to be able to share that sacred bond with one man and one man only, untainted by past experiences that would have taken precious pieces of my heart. But I definitely cannot say that my attitudes and actions mirrored those desires. Thankfully, though so painfully at the time, God cut every feeble attempt off at the root, never allowing even remote intimacy to develop in my life with anyone but Luke. And praise the Lord, He did the same for Luke in his life, reserving each of us entirely for the other.

There is no doubt in my mind that this marriage is ordained and blessed by God, but as I asked above, could it have been better? Could we each have been more grounded in our relationships with Christ before we attempted to love one another? Absolutely! Thankfully, God has blessed us abundantly in spite of our shortcomings, and we are in a position where we are able to encourage one another and grow together into deeper and more intimate relationships with our Savior. But those shortcomings have indeed produced obstacles in our marriage that add nothing but unnecessary turmoil at times.

As a young woman, I allowed my desire to be loved by a man outweigh my desire to be loved by my maker. I allowed my desire for audible praise and attention to outweigh my desire for the quiet acceptance of my heavenly father. I allowed my desire for physical touch to outweigh my desire for the intimate touch of Jesus. And those desires carried into my marriage. Now that I had acquired that love, praise, and physical touch of a man, I expected them to be perfect, to meet all those needs in the exact way I had always dreamed they would be met. And when he wasn't able to do that, as no man on earth would ever have been able to, I was met with disappointment.

What I failed to see, as we have all failed to see in every area of our lives, was that life is not designed to make me happy. Rather, I was designed to glorify God, and if I can do that with a husband, then God will provide one for me. If I can better serve him alone, then I will be alone. And within a marriage, the purpose is not to make one another happy but to serve and honor the Lord together.

"The Truth is that God has promised to give us everything we need, and if He knows a husband would make it possible for us to bring greater glory to Him, then He will provide a husband.

The Truth is that contentment is not found in having everything we think we want but in choosing to be satisfied with what God has already provided.

The Truth is that those who insist on having their own way often end up with unnecessary heartache, while those who wait on the Lord always get His best." p. 140

You know, I won't lie. There are certainly ways in which having a husband makes me "happy" as I had always hoped it would. It has been said by one of my pastors that money, people, and things can indeed make you "happy", but happy is not the goal; joy is the goal, and only the Lord can give you that. When Luke brings me flowers, it makes me happy, but then the flowers wilt, the moment is gone, and I am waiting for the next thing that will make me happy. Only when I learn to rest wholeheartedly in the Lord to provide me with EVERYTHING I need will I finally find true peace, joy, and contentment.

"This is what the Lord says: 'Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit."
Jeremiah 17:5-8

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