Nothing compares to a sacred, God-ordained marriage where God is your first love and your husband is your second. It is a true blessing from above. And did you know that your marriage is your ministry? Being a Godly spouse is your God-given commission to give Him Glory as well as make you more like Him through the sanctification of the one-flesh union. Below I will share how I was taught this Truth by watching the actions of my husband towards me in the worst of times. And if anyone knows how much time, energy and effort goes into such a sacrifice, it is my husband!
My husband Aarron and I have had our fair share of troubles within our marriage. We have gone through everything from illnesses, troubles with friends and family, surgery for a sick toddler, no money, a teenage prodigal and the list goes on. With brutal honesty, I admit my own struggles from rage to perfectionism to anxiety with panic attacks, extreme weight gain because of self-hatred and on. In a nutshell, it’s been an exhausting battle for mental, emotional and spiritual freedom! Obviously, I am not yet made perfect this side of Heaven, but today I CAN write about the struggle since now I’m better equipped for the fight. Throughout my warfare to continually conquer the flesh, God has given me my spouse as a “safe place”. When I face the demons of the past that lead to emotions spiraling out of control, my husband has been by my side. When I communicate to him how I sometimes find myself in dark, hidden and “scary” tunnels of doom within, he is there to help. The Lord has enabled this man to love me back to life when I am at my worst!
When I would “have an episode” of anger, Aarron wouldn’t get mad but rather he’d say things like “Wow, it must be really loud in there for you.” Or “who in your life hurt you that bad to make your reaction be a 10, Babe?”. Most times, he would pray for me and minister to my heart by reminding me of Jesus’ love and how I have my value and worth in Christ REGARDLESS of what I think of myself or others have said.
But, you see, while caught in those “dark nights of the soul” I didn’t believe I deserved the Lord’s love nor my earthly husband’s. In retrospect, flailing out was the most accurate way I knew to express the pain I felt. When the enemy wants to bring up all the reasons I’m useless and uncared for, my man gives me much needed time alone to witness Jesus’ presence rush into my soul like a flood! Other times took longer for me to “come back to” (nursing term used while waiting for the unconscious person to become conscious again). Aarron would watch the children so that I could tantrum or have a good cry (or both) in solitude. If I was really in a bad way, meaning my unrelenting heart was hastily hardening, Aarron would come hold me and rock me while saying “come back to me!” God’s love through his warm embrace would comfort the hurt, so I’d come out of hiding deep inside myself. Elated to know I was once again ransomed from the pit, he would exclaim “Aaaahhh, I KNEW you were in there!”
Before you think “Well isn’t that just jolly and grand for you, Cristine because my husband has not been the one to lead me back to the Lord in my times of doubt and despair”, I challenge you to finish reading this blog. The reasons I share about the secret depths of my marriage is double fold. First off, I’m all about honesty, therefore I never want anyone to think I have it all together because surely, I do not. Why did the Great Physician Yahweh Raphe give me the gift of a caretaker for a husband? No clue. Maybe He knew that the rest of my life’s pilgrimage here would be too overwhelming for me without Him interjecting Aarron into it. And for clarity’s sake, Jesus alone is the One who mends my many wounds, but the tangible extension of His Spirit works through my other half. Empowered by the Spirit of the Living God, Aarron has fought the good fight of faith to nurse me back to spiritual health and mental well-being during each intense growing pain.
The encouragement here is this: whether it’s your husband or mom or best friend who has been your Kingdom co-laborer (as Paul tells Philippi of his dear Brothers and Sisters) someone(s) at some point will be your “faithful minister, fellow servant and the one wrestling in prayer for you that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.” Also, in the Book of Philippians, we are promised full recovery from our tattered souls in this verse: “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Without a doubt, trust my words when I say that the multiple hardships our marriage has faced only led us to a closer bond with each other and more so, with God. Colossians 4 shows Paul exhorting a Brother when he says “see to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord”. Burdened for other women who close themselves off to their husbands, I ask you to marinate on this verse from Colossians until you see your marriage as your ministry (a service of love) to one another.
In conclusion, I pray you open your heart to our Redeemer Who will repair the damage done by the enemy of your soul! Trusting Him as your remedy aids you in opening your heart to your spouse, too. My prayer is that you will cooperate with the Maker’s plan for marriage by remaining fully committed, devoted and in passionate pursuit of both relationships; keeping your marriage covenant with God and vows to each other. The Lord will always be my first Love, and oh how I thank Him for my number two!