Battle Buddies: True Partnership in Marriage
I am a tad bit independent. Trust is hard for me. As a younger woman, I trusted myself and only a very select few. I seldom asked for help, and seldom accepted it. This flawed independent nature made the first few years of my marriage extra trying. But who am I kidding? It is probably still the toughest part of my journey with my husband.
I don’t believe that I am unique. Today, women are praised for being independent. If you’ve ever thought, “I can depend on no one but myself,” or “I better do that to get it done right,” welcome to TEAM INDEPENDENCE! In this team, much is accomplished, but it can sure get lonely.
Knowing that there is an independent streak in many of my Sisters in Christ does not surprise me – Eve was the first one to defy God’s rules. She loved God, but she trusted that voice of independence inside her head that said, “Trust yourself, trust your instincts, you know best.” You could say that from Eve SIN and an INDEPENDENT spirit were born. I know this is a major simplification of the original sin, but it’s not too far off. Sin is whatever separates us from God, and often, that is ourselves.
Many years ago, a young couple started their journey together. Yes, that would be my husband Jody and I. After only 15 months of marriage, we found ourselves about 1,300 miles from home and family support. Our understanding of marriage could be wrapped up in a brief 30-minute premarital counselling session, observing our parents and a quick read of the book - The Act of Marriage. We were both new college graduates and were blessed with full-time employment. I worked as a medical SLP; my husband was a helicopter pilot in the US Army. We made very little money, but together we managed to buy our first little house.
In the midst of a happy marriage, we welcomed our first baby boy into our home. Money and time were tight, but we were noses above water with the help of a sweet neighbor who watched our son for pennies! 😊 Fast forward 11 more months and, SURPRISE, baby #2, a precious little girl, entered the picture! Now with two babies and with my husband’s frequent deployments, I found it harder to keep afloat. I was exhausted.
In a moment of independence and mind-numbing fatigue, I quit my job without discussing it with my husband – my Battle Buddy. I treated the man I had vowed to honor with blatant disrespect (see https://wordwashedwife.com/blog/2017/6/18/and-baby-makes-3-no-4). My husband felt betrayed- he thought I jumped out of our trench at the first sign of the enemy. He was hurt and returned sin with sin. He responded unlovingly; silently telling my tired, hurting heart that he only loved me for my paycheck.
We were in a world of trouble with my independence and his lack of love and understanding. This situation shocked us and put our marriage in a temporary tail spin, but God was not surprised. He wisely warns couples about this very same pattern with His instruction to husbands and wives in the book of Ephesians. God tells husbands to love their wives and wives to give their husbands honor as the head of the family. In time, Jody and I forgave and forgot. God mended our hearts and in a very tangible way wove the truth of the Gospel into our marriage, that with God’s help we could forgive no matter the grievance.
If any of this resonates with you, my sweet friend and reader, turn the hurt and anger over to God. He will unburden your heart and enable you to forgive and love again!
“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself,
and the wife must respect her husband (Ephesians 5:33).”