Even after being with someone for ten years of my life, I learned, love still wasn’t enough.
I really didn’t know what to expect when I got married. All I knew was that I loved him, and that would be enough to get us through anything. With us both being saved, we knew that we needed to “court”, not have sex until marriage, be active in the church, get engaged, get married, have babies, and just live for the Lord (whatever that entailed). That was the sequence of Christian life (so I was taught), so the goal was to execute in that order. I was newly saved and still zealous, so I was a soldier when it came to executing such biblical order, and we did just that. I was very proud of our relationship and that we “did it the right way”, and I had high hopes and expectations for this relationship. Finally, I had a saved man, who loved the Lord, and loved me back.
My mother was never married, and I never saw my grandparents together because they divorced when their kids were young. His parents were exemplary… but I still needed time to get to know and learn from them. No one ever taught me otherwise how to exactly be in a marriage. I never saw an example. I How do you resolve conflict in a marriage? How do you deal with finances? What should you do to keep the peace in your marriage? How you navigate careers or lack thereof? How do you handle adultery? What does love look like THROUGH those things?….
Just pray about it.
That was the answer that seemed to slide off every spiritual counselor’s mouth like butter. “Read your bible and pray.” “God knows your heart.” “God will provide.” “God can fix your marriage.”
It started to get so cliche with me, and I was never satisfied with that answer. I was looking for more. NEEDED more. I started to feel like I was in adequate im my walk with the Lord. Nothing was being resolved in certain areas it seemed, so…. was I not reading enough? Was I not praying enough? What was I doing wrong? Why isn’t this praying thing working for me?
Then, when “God” doesn’t do any of those things the saints said….Then what? Then where do you go? What do you do? Do you still even pray to God? What do you read? Is He even still listening?…
It took me a while to finally realize, for ME, God’s love for me, my love for Him, my love for my partner, nor my partner’s love for me was enough to keep a full blown marriage going. I had to learn the hard way, yet again, that no matter how much you love someone, and no matter how much they love you, there is so much more needed to make that relationship work.
Most of the time I was cheated on in my marriage, I never said anything. Not to friends. Not to family. I just kept it to myself and tried to work it out as best as I could.
I was embarrassed. I was hurt. I was ashamed.
I am a fairly private person, and to have people know that my saved, Christian musician husband cheated on me,.. I wanted none of that smoke. I wanted to protect him and I. The more it continued, the more quiet I kept. I didn’t want to hear any “I told you so’s”, “why are you still with him”, “you deserve better”, none of that.
Until about the last year of my marriage, what made me stay was my love for God. I loved God more than I loved my husband.
I thought that love would make things better. I thought loving Him and trying to do right by Him would somehow make things better… but it never did.
I loved God so much and trusted that my God, who is bigger than the universe, who created the universe, of course could do something as small as fix my marriage, right?
Well, I learned that although my faith was in the right place, it just doesn’t quite work like that. At least for me it didn’t. It was a nice thought though… and it kept me in the game for a solid decade, so, I wasn’t all wrong… but still… there was SO much more.
My love for God wasn’t misplaced, not even my love for (ex) husband was misplaced, but… my love for myself was misplaced… and THAT’s what I started fighting for in my marriage journey.
My love for him wasn’t enough….
I also needed to love me too.