After the honeymoon, it all changed. Fun exited the home, and I asked, “What happened? Is this all there is to marriage? What’s a wife’s joy journey?” I questioned God and myself. I knew that with God nothing is impossible, but I didn’t see my disappointment turning into joy.
Friend, have you been there?
We see our friends’ social media posts filled with smiles and joyous activities with their husbands. We wonder why our marriages are so different. There aren’t many smiles. We ask ourselves, “What’s wrong with me? Is marriage just about settling into a routine?”
From the world’s eyes, we look like the ideal couple. But he’s focused on work and not on me. I’m focused on my work and the kids. It feels like I do all the work. He just comes home and plops down in front of the television.
From the moment I get home to bedtime, I’m cooking, tending to the kids, cleaning, and washing the clothes.
I’m tired … I feel so alone in this marriage. Is this what the marriage promise is all about? The promise of life-long romance? The promise of completing each other?
“Thousands of couples have never experienced what God designed marriage to provide. They live isolated independent lives.”[i]
In the next few weeks, let’s walk together as we explore the marriage promise.
We’ll adjust our focus to see how God sees us. We’ll catch glimpses of how God sees His image-bearers, our husbands. My prayer is that as we adjust our focus, the unexpected will happen. We’ll see our husbands as God sees them, and we may discover the Joy Path.
Isolation dissolves when we see our husbands through God’s eyes.Tweet
First, we will unwrap the marriage package and lift out our expectations. We will take small steps that will empower us to give those expectations to God and allow Him to transform them into inspiration as He places them into the marriage package and rewraps it with love.
Are you ready to surrender your expectations to God? I struggle with surrendering my expectations, and I’ll admit it, I sometimes take them back from God. He’s a gentle God and waits for me to surrender that coveted expectation. He’s waiting for you, too. I’ll walk you through this with practical tips you can use today. I’m praying for you, and I’ll include a prayer at the end of each post.
You can do this. You can discover a wife’s joy journey!
Speaking of prayer, after surrendering our expectations, we’ll need to pause and pray the way Esther prayed, the way Jesus prayed, focused on God. Instead of praying, “God change him,” we’ll pause to ask God to bless our husbands. We’ll learn to use the Scriptures as the foundation for our prayers. As you pray for your husband in this way, you will be blessed.
Prayer causes us to focus on God and His great love. As we fiercely focus on our marriages, we will be reminded that we are two sinners stumbling from time to time on this walk through life. When we gaze upon God’s promises, we will discover opportunities to dwell on our blessings and the beauty in our marriages. You will discover opportunities to partner with your husband.
We’ll look at the blessings our husbands bring to our marriages and how God has worked in our marriages. Our trust in God and our husbands will grow.
Listing the Blessings
Together, we might create a list of how God has worked in our marriages and another list of how our husbands have worked to make our marriages full and satisfying. I think that you will be surprised when your lists continue to grow.
Creating those lists will cause you to slow down and reflect upon your blessings. I know that I get caught up in the busyness of my to-do lists and need to pause to examine my time tyrants. I’ll share some of the tips that I have learned throughout the years (51) to prioritize my daily activities to flip my priorities upside down so that I have the energy and time to devote to my marriage. I think that you will be surprised at the small steps that produce big results.
As we slowly stroll through our marriages, we will have time to listen attentively to our husbands. We’ll study our husbands, their words, and their nonverbal communications to understand their hearts in a deeper way. Watch for an exclusive link for tips on lovingly listening on my website.
Listening well helps us to understand well and to forgive well. Don’t be discouraged. This is a hard lesson, but a necessary one.
Forgiveness is God’s story, and it’s our story. We all sin, and the punishment for sin is eternal separation from God. But God loves you and me so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the price we owe for that sin. Jesus took your sins, my sins, and the world’s sins upon Himself on the cross. He died on that cross, but on the third day, He rose from the dead. He laid His life down for us so that we could spend eternity with Him. God freely forgives, and we are called to freely forgive. A heavy burden will be lifted from your shoulders as you step into forgiveness.
True forgiveness frees both the offender and the offended.Tweet
When we forgive, we are able to lavish love onto our husbands. Together, we will make intentional decisions to express our love for our husbands with our words and actions. Be aware … as you think of ways to show your love, your husband will respond. A loving text might turn into a loving conversation.
Seeds of love grow sweet fruit.
Praise Flows From Love
As we express our love, we’ll find ourselves praising our husbands. We praise our children, our friends, and God. When was the last time you praised your husband? “What’s there to praise?” you ask. You’ll be surprised as we work through this.
You’ll find that your praise will grow and cause you to want to give your husband your best.
Praise Leads to Generous Giving and Service
We will discover the joy of generously giving all to our husbands. It can become your passion.
As you give yourself to your husband, you will find yourself serving him. Jesus savored serving. In fact, He came to serve (Matthew 10:45). We’ll examine what splendid service looks like and how we can apply it to our marriages. I pray that you will learn to savor serving your husband splendidly.
Savoring splendid service leads to reverent respect.Tweet
Respecting the role that our husbands have been given by God leads us to work together for one goal, one mission—to glorify God with one voice (Romans 15:5-6). I hope that you will gain a new understanding of respect and be inspired to join your God-given gifts with your husband’s gifts in this high calling.
As the two of you use your gifts to glorify God, you will discover joy. As you journey with others through these posts, I hope that you will ditch your disappointment along the road and begin a joyful journey with your husband.
Let’s step onto the Joy Path. Think about it, the second ingredient of the fruit of the Spirit is joy (Galatians 5:22). Joy is important to God. Joy is more than happiness. It is a deep joy even when things aren’t going so well. It is the joy that is set before us, eternity with God, face-to-face with Jesus.
We began with the question, “Is this all that there is to marriage?” I hope that your question will change to “God, how can I honor You and my husband in this gift of marriage that You have blessed me with?”
From distressingly disappointed to rejoicing on the Joy Path, you are making a difference, and your story honors God.
Let’s get started, but first, let’s pause to pray.
A Pause to Pray
Our Loving Father, You know this dear reader. You know her heart, her struggles, her dreams, her disappointments, and her love for You. Use this journey o bless her marriage and bring honor to You. May she grow deeper in love with You and with her husband. Give her the strength and courage to take steps that will lead her to Your Joy Path. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.
[i] Grooters Productions Moody, “The Biblical Picture of Marriage,” The 5 Love Languages®, May 16, 2018, https://5lldev.grooters.us/2018/06/the-biblical-picture-of-marriage/.