What a blessing it is to introduce to my new friend, Jillian Rogers from Plenty of Grace.
She describes herself as:
“I’m a Jesus loving wife and mama.
I wish I could tell you I’m a perfect Christian, but I’m most certainly not. Nor am I a perfect wife or mother. But I’m working on improving, and I’d love to share what I learn with you!”
That’s a lot of wisdom! It’s what we’re doing, isn’t it? Sharing Jesus and all the things we’re learning on this journey … praying that maybe we can help each other along the way.
So, sit back, relax and be blessed by Jillian’s wise marriage advice. Oh, and don’t forget to make her feel welcome in the comments and visit her at Plenty of Grace and on social media.
Many people talk about how happy their marriage is. How happy they are with their husband. That their husband is their absolute best friend. Which makes me feel like an awful wife.
If it weren’t for Jesus, I wouldn’t be married today.
That might sound a little harsh or a little cold. But it’s not meant to. Because really, the root of the problem isn’t my husband, it’s me. My stubbornness, my selfishness, my desires. And when I feel like I’ve been wronged, I don’t want to jump to forgive.
Dating was amazing, but after those wedding bells comes reality. Bills, debt. Children, extended family.
But I have long discovered that when I’m praying for my marriage, I tend to start by praying for my husband. Because, after all, he’s the one who messed up and needs Jesus, right?
“But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:15 (ESV)
This verse keeps me grounded in all relationships, but especially in my marriage. You see, I married an imperfect man. He makes mistakes, infuriates me, and some days (if I’m being honest) I’d like to choke him.
Then I have to wonder. Wonder how much I frustrate God. Because I keep making the same mistakes over and over. I’m imperfect. I never get it “right” the first time.
So if I can’t forgive my husband when he messes up, how is God supposed to forgive me when I mess up?
I have to forgive and to keep in mind I’m not perfect, either. And while I truly love Jesus, I still don’t get it right 100% of the time. So on those days I feel like my husband hurt me and forgiveness isn’t my first thought, I have to remember it is because of Jesus’ love and sacrifice that I am forgiven, and I have to extend that forgiveness to others.
“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,” Titus 2:4 (KJV)
This is obviously a snippet of the chapter but highlights the fact that women are to love their husbands. Love and respect them. And when we put our focus in the right place (on Jesus) everything else seems to be a little easier.
My Mom was always very open and honest with us. She wanted us to know, from an early age, that there’s more to marriage than feeling “in love”. That you love your spouse, but you don’t always feel in love with them. Each and every day you make the choice to love your husband and to stick to those vows regardless of how you feel.
This verse points to loving our husbands. Note what it doesn’t say: “to love their husbands when they’re getting it right” or “to love their husbands when they’re lovable and amazing” or “to love their husbands when they wash the dishes”.
It’s not a conditional statement. There’s no “if” your husband does this, “then” you do this. Nope. Plain and simple, it says “to love their husbands”.
We have to know Jesus, and understand His love for us to truly love others. Because of God’s love for me, I know what unconditional love truly is. To love past the flaws and mistakes, to love past the hurt, to simply love. Just because.
My husband and I are not BFFs.
I know people say this a lot, especially wives. And I understand the point behind it: your husband is the person closest to you. The one person you tell everything to, the one person you rely on more than anyone else.
Listening to Dr. Randy Carlson on the radio once, I heard him mention wives needing friends other than their husbands to help fulfill emotional needs. He was, of course, talking about another female, Christian woman. His reasoning was that some women (AHEM, ME!) have more emotional needs than their husband knows what to do with.
My husband, quite frankly, is the most logical, least emotional person I know.
So, I have to rely on other women to help me with those emotions I deal with. Being a deeply scarred person, I have times when I just need an outlet. Or even just to ask, “I feel this way, is this normal?” To my husband, most feelings aren’t normal. But to another woman, she can see the reasoning behind it and offer counsel and/or prayer.
So I am thankful that God placed women in my life to help me on those days when my husband just doesn’t get it. Because, ladies, we need friends.
When I depend on my husband to meet all my needs, I end up feeling empty and lacking.
God did not give us our spouses so they could fulfill our every need. It was not His design that our husband be our sole source of happiness, provision, and love. He intentionally left us wanting more than our spouse can give, and there’s a reason for that: He wants us to fill that void with Him.
The closer we get to God, the further away we leave our own emotions and selfish desires. We do more what God wants, and less what satisfies the flesh. And what’s so amazing about this relationship with Jesus is that the closer we are to Him, the closer we can be to others.
Following the example of Jesus means we put the needs of others ahead of our own. It means that instead of doing what pleases ourselves, or our spouses, or anyone else around us, we find out what pleases Him, then do it (Ephesians 5 is great for this).
When we get closer to God and seek His face more than anything, everything else falls into place. I cannot think of another relationship that, when you put your focus and drive into it, strengthens all other relationships. It’s simply amazing.
Saying Jesus is the reason I’m married isn’t a negative statement about my husband.
In fact, saying Jesus is the reason I’m still married is an attribute to His love, mercy, and grace.
Through Jesus, I am able to reconcile my relationships with others. Because of Jesus loving me, He forgives me. And gave me a model for love and forgiveness. I’m also able to remember that I am not perfect, and I cannot be married to a perfect person when I myself make mistakes.
One of my favorite songs says, “Jesus at the center of it all”. And that’s right where I want Jesus to be.
Jillian Rogers is a stay at home wife and mommy, with 2 sons and one on the way. Her greatest desire is to serve Jesus with all her heart, and somehow help and encourage others along the way. She’s currently blogging at plentyofgrace.com, where she shares inspiration for growing in grace, finding faith and learning love. You can also follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.
Don’t forget to leave your prayer requests…
and pray over the list left by our friends.
I’m always looking for stories that will encourage and inspire readers to live in faith, stay faithful in hope, and find joy in loving Jesus and others. If you’re interested in sharing your story here at Counting My Blessings – check out my Contributor Guidelines page.
Remember – I always enjoy hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts in the comments below.
And if this article blessed or helped you today — would you share it with someone? Maybe a friend, family member, coworker, or through the links below…;