Hello, friends! My name is Rachel Nordgren and I blog about simplicity, Jesus, life and marriage over at Our Yellow Door...and I'm really, really humbled to be here today. You see, I don't have marriage figured out. My husband and I just passed our one year anniversary, and (straight up honesty here) it's been one of the most difficult years of my life. Beautiful, amazing, incredible...but difficult.
You see, my husband and I are sinners.
We're both stubborn and strong-willed to boot, so...you know, that's a recipe for success.
I walked into marriage with a mile long list of what I expected my husband to be and do. Some of those things were based in Scripture - I wanted him to be rooted in the Word, a man of prayer, and to treat me with love and respect. On the other hand, some of those things were wildly unrealistic - I wanted him to make me breakfast in bed every Saturday, write me tons of gushy love notes, and plan Pinterest-perfect date nights every week.
Many of the miserable days in our marriage have been rooted in me not giving my husband grace when he doesn't measure up to those expectations. I've fought and fussed with him because I've felt like I need to "stand up for myself" and demand the kind of attention I think I deserve.
You see, I wasn't trusting that my husband's intentions towards me were good (even if his actions weren't always spot on), and I wasn't trusting that God would take care of me and our relationship. I believed the lie that grumbling - not grace - would produce the kind of marriage that I wanted.
Remember? I'm stubborn...and Italian, too, which means I'm stubborn AND emotional. It took me over a year into marriage to finally and fully realize something I should have known since Day 1 - God loves me. He loves my husband. He loves marriage. He can be trusted. I can lay down my expectations because my God knows what I need. I don't need to stick up for myself because my God will protect me.
When the Bible tells me to be like Christ, I have to take it seriously. Christ wasn't always treated fairly (um, hello...the Cross?) and He was accustomed to sorrow. BUT - He trusted and obeyed God with His very life. God didn't let Him down...even when all hope seemed lost. He won't let me down, either.
Six Practical Ways to Trust God With Your Spouse
1. Pray | In whatever situation you're facing, you need Jesus to walk with you through it. Talk to Him. Pour out the "bitter wine of your heart" like Hannah did in I Samuel. He can handle it. He wants to handle it. Furthermore, praying for your spouse aligns your heart towards them with God's heart towards them.
2. Pray Some More | When you're tempted to text or call your mom, sister, or friend when your husband gets on your nerves or disappoints you, take it to God first. Talk it over with Him before you talk it over with anyone else.
3. Read Proverbs | That book will give you a kick in the pants. There's a healthy assortment of verses about what a godly wife does not look like. The overwhelming message of Proverbs is that obeying God is the best choice.
4. Nag Not | "As a matter of fact, your incessant badgering and berating really makes me love you and want to do the things you're asking me to do." Said. No. Husband. EVER.
5. Give Grace Freely | I know...it can hurt. But you know what hurts more? Letting bitterness and resentment build up over days, weeks, or even months...slowing growing into a cancer that will destroy your marriage. Giving grace says, "I trust that God will accomplish what He wants to accomplish in your life, and I don't need to try and be Him."
6. Communicate Calmly | I fail at this quite spectacularly, quite often. But my marriage is in a much better place when I communicate what I'm upset about or what I need...without flying off the ever-loving handle and combusting into a fiery explosion of tears and anger. There's nothing wrong with communicating your needs, wants, and desires to your spouse (in fact, it's a really healthy thing!), but the way you communicate those things can make a big difference.
You're a peach for reading along! If I can encourage you in any way or pray for you, please don't hesitate to connect!
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Under Grace, Rachel
See more from the series HERE.