In a conversation I had with a friend a month or so ago, my friend mentioned something about a significant other – a mate – for me and quickly clarified that mate would be a husband. I startled at the statement and replied that as much as I would like the opportunity to prove to myself and to others that I’m not a failure and that I can make a marriage work, I do not sense that God is going to bless me with another marriage of my own. He hasn’t given any indication that marriage is in His plan for me. My friend replied with the truth that even though I don’t feel as if God’s going to give me another chance at marriage, I don’t know God’s plans for my future. If my friend had come right out and slapped me across the face I wouldn’t have been more shocked than I was at that moment.
Had I really limited God because I didn’t feel worthy of another husband? Had I really allowed the feelings of inadequacy and failure to penetrate and fester in the deepest part of my heart and mind? Was it even possible that God would consider me worthy of another marriage?
My friend probably had no idea the impact his words had on me at that moment, but I was sure to let him know after a few hours of stewing in my own self pity that what he had said turned my rare jovial mood melancholy. I cried for the loss, I cried for the restrictions I’d placed on God…for the first time in a long time, I cried. And I began to look at things from a different perspective.
Since my last divorce four years ago, I’ve been using Christ’s love for the church as an outline, a mirror, for what a perfect husband would be for me someday, which isn’t wrong it’s just not complete. When I turned that mirror around and looked at myself in it, I didn’t like what I saw. I saw that I have a lot of work to do in order to be the perfect bride for the man God has chosen for me. I saw that if I continued to look backwards, I would always be stuck.
Marriage is a two-sided coin. Both sides are different but have the same goal, and it takes the effort of both sides to make the coin complete. Mistakes were made on both sides in both of my marriages. My first marriage was good in that I had a godly husband. It breaks my heart still today that we were both too young and immature to appreciate what we had and the effort it would take to build a strong marriage. All of the elements were there, the mistake we made was not understanding that without God at the center of our lives and our marriage, we would never make it. And we didn’t.
My second marriage was built on some truth, but mostly not. I spent a lot of years praying for my husband to change when, in reality, I was the one who needed to change. I needed a closer walk with Christ, and I needed to guard that walk with the Armor of God in Ephesians 6, but I didn’t do that. I continued to try to be what I thought a wife should be…a cook, a housekeeper, a worker, a support system for my husband, a servant (makes me cringe even as I type it), and I was miserable. All of these things are good when they are done in love with the right attitude, but my primary focus wasn’t on God where it should have been so it’s really no wonder that I didn’t give my husband proper respect either.
I’ve spent a good portion of my adult years looking at what I did wrong, then looking at what others did wrong, then eventually, looking at what I didn’t have and trying to fix that. I’ve been looking backwards, and I’ve been stuck where I am. I don’t want to be stuck anymore, so I’m choosing to work towards where I want to be. As I mentioned to my friend, I would like the opportunity to prove that I’m not a failure and that I can be part of a successful marriage relationship. While I don’t know if God has marriage in mind for me, I also don’t know that he doesn’t. If He chooses to grant me another oportunity for marriage, I’ll be grateful. If He doesn’t, then I’ll be grateful. While I’m waiting for God’s answer to my current situation, I will work towards building my relationship with Christ, so I can be the bride he requires me to be for a husband.