Family! Marriage. Parenting.
It seems the closer the relationship the more complicated the living.
From the moment we walk down the aisle and say our “I dos” the challenges of balancing expectations and reality put stressors on the love we’ve just declared to our families and friends.
That’s why I’m thrilled to share this post with you by Melissa Gendreau. I’ve gotten to know Melissa, through her links here each week.
I love her purpose statement on her About Me Page – “The purpose of this site is to provide tips to improve your life and glorify God.”
That’s why we do what we do, isn’t it?
We share our stories to help each other and glorify God.
Thank you, Melissa, for sharing part of your story here with us.
Please make Melissa feel welcome through your comments and I know she’d love it if you would follow her on social media too.
The Reason I Don’t Need My Husband
I DON’T NEED MY HUSBAND!
At first glance that sounds like such a terrible statement. I love my husband. He truly is my favorite person on this Earth. He has been an amazing support through me getting a master’s degree and moving states twice because of my career. Marriage with to him is easy. He’s an amazing father and actually homeschools our kids.
And I thank God daily for bringing my husband into my life. I love him that much.
But. I don’t need my husband! Not anymore, anyway.
My husband and I met when I was nineteen. I was shy, anxious and struggled significantly with my self-worth. There had been a previous guy that hadn’t helped matters. And I had been unintentionally raised to believe my worth was dependent upon how others viewed me. The combination meant I was a mess.
I also was a pretty new Christian. I had been raised Catholic until my parents got divorced when I was thirteen. That put a bit of a kink in our church-going. My parents were damned to Hell according to a nun. My mom and I continued to go to church but it wasn’t necessarily with a joyful heart and there weren’t many options in small-town Iowa.
I was seventeen years old when I felt God’s presence for the first time and was saved. It was at a confirmation retreat walking up a hillside weaving through the stations of the cross. The woods were beautiful and God’s presence was palpable. And I also realized how little the Catholic church had taught me about a personal relationship with Jesus.
I felt like I was in limbo until I went to college. Faith in my family was viewed as very personal and private so I didn’t feel like I could talk about my experience. And truthfully I didn’t really know what my experience was.
So as a nineteen-year-old I still didn’t have much of a personal relationship with God. I didn’t understand His love for me or my worth through Him.
In the early years, I apologized often. For little to no reason. I felt constantly on edge that my husband (at the time boyfriend) was going to leave me. Although he gave me no rational reason to believe that to be true. It was a nagging feeling ever present. “Why does he love me?” “He’s going to find someone better.” “You’re not good enough for him.”
These thoughts continued throughout our five years of dating and engagement. I was hopeful that these feelings would go away once we were married. But they didn’t.
A BATTLE OF THE MIND AND SPIRIT
I first read /Captivating/ by John and Staci Eldredge as part of our premarital counseling. It as such a beautiful starting point for me but I struggled to allow it to be true. I had too many negative thoughts that would interfere.
There have been other wonderful books that helped me on my way to healing but none greater than the bible.
The word of God alone allowed me to combat all of the lies that I had learned to believe over the years. I love how verses that have been read countless time all of a sudden strike you in your core like never before.
But I was only able to be free of past wounds when I forgave people through prayer and asked God to release me of the pain. And it still took time. It was a prayer on repeat for a long time. Not because God wasn’t willing to take the pain but because I wasn’t fully ready to give it up.
While my view of myself wasn’t good or even beneficial, it was what I knew. Being released from perpetual self-doubt and stepping out with a sense of self-worth seemed uncomfortable. But it was so freeing when I allowed God to show me His truth. And it wasn’t as if I didn’t know these truths for other people, it was just hard to grasp myself.
And at times self-consciousness still creeps back in or I see myself shifting focus and the truth hits me all over again in the most beautiful way. God loves me and created me. I am His.
A SHIFT IN DEPENDENCE
My faith has grown deeper and more profound over the last few years. And with it I have come to a realization. No longer do I need my husband. I need God.
I was placing my husband in a role that he was never created to fill. He cannot read my mind or know my every need and desire. My husband is an amazing man but he can’t heal me.
I would be wounded deeply if I were to be without my husband. But I know now that I would survive. God would carry me through. My worth is not dependent upon my husband’s love. Don’t get me wrong. I love being loved by my husband. But his love does not give me worth.
I am His bride first!
And that realization has increased my relationship with God more. I no longer full pulled to put my husband first. Even though he never asked that of me. My first love is God and everything else in life is secondary. That is such an amazing truth to let sink in!
It also has deepened my relationship with my husband. I am more willing to be transparent and open with my him because I don’t have the worry that I’m going to be too much to handle or not good enough. There is no more nagging concern that he will leave me. So that allows me to genuinely love him because I want to and not because I worry it is necessary.
So recognizing my worth in God and putting Him first has transformed my experience of marriage. We have been married ten years this past May but I no longer need my husband; rather I have the joy of getting to share this life with him for as long as our Lord allows. That is a beautiful place to be in.
Melissa is a Christian mental health therapy, wife and mommy to two pretty neat kids. She enjoys sharing practical advice for others to become closer to God. When she is not working or writing, she enjoys movie night and homemade popcorn with her family. You can read more of Melissa’s articles on her site Humble Faith Family Wellness, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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