For the longest time, I’ve thought that marriage, having a best friend and partner, would be filling.
I’ve thought that being married would mean I’d naturally be full of the Spirit and super aware of the gospel in all of marital events and circumstances. But this is not the case.
If anything marriage has been draining. And when I’m drained, I tend to count my good deeds and measure myself against my husband.
I mean look at how much I’m doing. Look at all these dishes I’ve done, and I’ve done them every day this week. Look at how clean the apartment is.
Then I begin to think, I deserve to have this time to read or write. I deserve a new pair of boots for all my good work. Then, I begin to think I have a right to things, most often being my time.
Why do I think my husband will fill me up? Why do I think I have the right to certain things?
And again, this may be an instance of our culture framing our mindset toward marriage. We, I, have forgotten about humility, counting others’ needs as more significant than my own. And it’s a great problem of pride.
And in this third video study from Francis and Lisa Chan, they talk about how Jesus was used, taken advantage of. But he continued to have a soft heart towards others. He didn’t try to “win” anything. He was filled up by God, not his friends. Even his best friend.
In marriage, I’ve allowed my husband to take God’s place. I look to my husband for fulfillment and direction. I count on my husband to meet my needs, but the reality is that he may never fully meet those needs. Yes, he can do his best, and I shouldn’t discredit him for that. But God is truly the source.
And in marriage, I’ve continued to pursue vigilant-wife status rather than pursue Christ-likeness. I’ve become more of a mother than a partner who gives grace, who counts my husband’s needs as more significant than my own.
Maybe it all boils down to an issue of trust. I don’t trust that God or my husband will meet my needs, so I serve myself and I begrudgingly serve others. I need to recenter my life around God, an adjustment always in the making.
I also need to reflect on how I’m feeling when I serve my husband. Do I feel angry when he doesn’t help me with something? Should I just ask for help? Do I trust that he will help me? Do I feel like I’m helping him?
Why do I want to feel appreciated and praised so badly? The answer: another great problem of pride.