I’m a sensitive soul. This is a truth that both frustrates and guides me in life. It is my gift and my curse. As I near my 25th wedding anniversary, I ponder my struggle to enjoy marriage. The majority of my marriage I’ve subconsciously compared myself to many glowing brides or seasoned wives. I have often wondered why I wasn’t as happy and at peace as they seemed to be.
Nothing ruined my hot cup of coffee more than opening my Instagram App to see another glossy, esthetically pleasing couple basking in each other’s presence; his gaze of adoration, her smile of awe and contentment as she soaked in his gaze. Or, they might be twirling in the sunlight with dewdrops clinging to nearby grass blades or hanging willow branches. It was all too perfectly nauseatingly choreographed for me. Cynically, I imagined my cream curdling in said cup of coffee.
Thankfully, Jesus, grace and forgiveness has reached my heart over the years and I am genuinely happy for the glowing bride! I now accept the fact that some relationships are easier than others. I know this doesn’t mean they are more mature or more healed or more blessed than mine. I’ve learned to thank God for the marriage He has given me. In the process of growing in grace, understanding, and forgiveness I’ve learned abiding strength and continue to grow roots that hold me during storms. I now know Jesus to be Mighty God in my everyday life because of time spent struggling on my knees or in the trenches of raising littles and running a household.
In my years of quandary, I was made aware that it did little to no good to try to understand or find a reason for why I found my marriage so difficult. Maybe it was important to know that I was too self absorbed or that my husband really did treat me badly, but it was the wrong thing to concentrate on and gave no answers. I was constantly trying to make excuses or explain my point of view to my husband or my girlfriends. I found myself loving my husband and others superficially depending on how kind I felt I was being treated or understood. If I felt beat up emotionally, I would live wounded and offended until the silent anger either dissipated or exploded into words that never should’ve been said aloud. I compared my marriage to marriages that were worse than mine as a way to make me realize how good I actually had it. Even this was superficial and not at all profitable for growth. As we know, comparison to others always kills joy in experiencing your own reality.
At a particularly hard time in my marriage, I stumbled on 1 Peter chapter three. At first glance I dismissed it as not being relevant to me because it spoke of the unbelieving husband. However, after giving it some thought, I decided if this was a clear direction given to women for help with an unbelieving husband, why couldn’t it also help women with a husband that was a believer? If I practiced 1 Peter 3 what could it possibly do that would harm my husband?
Because the work of the Holy Spirit is powerful and the truths we’ve heard or read over the years become memorized parroted quotes and sometimes distorted messages, I urge you to study this chapter anew for yourself. Read and study all the parts of it that give an action or say how to be, rather than the how not to be’s. If you really want a revival for your marriage read and apply 1 Peter and 2 Peter.
Peter’s first claim was that women could win their husbands by their behavior without words. That stumped me greatly for quite a long time. If I had advanced my education past high school, I would have been an English major. Words were and are one of my main go-to’s. How not to talk had never been on my radar. Conversation fed my soul. When my husband and I were dating, the way he talked to me & lavished me with affectionate words and compliments spoke deeply to my need for security and confidence. Words were everything to me.
I Peter 3:1 KJV – Likewise ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives.
Win my husband by my behavior? How? Without words, I didn’t even know how to behave. Verses 4-6 were filled with solid answers I’m still dissecting and discovering.
Bio: Shilah lives by a lake in Washington state where she enjoys the nearby mountains and her garden. She writes thoughts about life and lessons learned. She is passionate about the marriage relationship and tries to be relatable and honest about less than perfect parts of her own marriage while seeking to draw attention to Jesus and what He does for all of us in our broken places. She has a blog you can find here: shilahs.blogspot.com or on Instagram @delight40.