Everyone, especially women, adores love stories with the Happily Ever After Ending. They have this fairy tale idea that the Happy Ever After automatically begins right after the honeymoon.
We’ve all heard the saying “The Honeymoon’s Over.” That saying isn’t without cause. When the wedding planning, the ceremony and the honeymoon are over, it’s time to roll up the sleeves and WORK on the marriage. Sometimes I wonder – if brides put as much effort into planning their marriages as their weddings, would our divorce rate divebomb instead of skyrocket?
There’s a delusion that a girl’s loneliness, problems, and inner struggles will be solved IF she can just marry the prince.
Truth be told, issues will only be magnified by the marriage until they can be resolved. They aren’t resolved by the signing of the marriage license or by saying “I Do” through a misty, romantic lace veil. Marriage isn’t a band-aid to put over owies. Marriage is the union of two people committed to stay together to love one another, heal one another and help one another be transformed into a more Christ-like image.
A few days ago, I blogged about my husband. Young single women may have sighed and longed for a spiritual man such as my husband. Young brides may have been inwardly disappointed that their husbands aren’t quite like mine. Older women probably smiled knowingly, understanding what was written between the lines. Because, I didn’t tell you the whole story.
That isn’t the man I married.
I didn’t marry a perfect man. I married a man with a Perfect Savior and one who allowed trials, older believers and the Word of God to transform him into the man he is today.
Happily Ever Afters Just Don’t HAPPEN.
This isn’t to indicate that I was the perfect wife, that I upheld the marriage single-handedly and transformed my husband into the man he is today. We both had faults, we both were immature, we both needed to grow. But, we loved one another fiercely, we were committed, and we were best friends. I don’t want to sit and list all of his mistakes, they are as far as the east is from the west. I don’t want to talk about mine either, at this time. I just want to talk about my role as a HELPMEET during our formative, growing-up-together years.
1. I loved him. No matter what, I chose to love him. Titus 2:4
2. I prayed about each character issue, fault, or sin I thought I saw in him. I purposed to not say anything about the issue until I had prayed about it at least three times. That reduces the fleshly tendency to nag. It reduces irritability. It forces you to be humble before the Lord; as you begin to confess your husband’s faults, you get convicted about your own. Sometimes you begin to see the log in your own eye. Matthew 7:3
3. I purposed to be a helpmeet. In Genesis 2, Eve was created to be a “help-meet” to Adam. In the Hebrew it simply means “one who helps.” Are you willing to help with all areas of your husband’s life? We only think of helpmeet in terms of household chores and spiritual ministries. What about besetting sins? What about weaknesses? What about sins of omission? It is still your job to help. Remember the old-fashioned vows – for better and worse?
4. I submitted. This is not a word the world loves, but since the Lord uses it, we should understand it, love it and honor it. I learned to submit with a pure and loving heart, not just gritting my teeth and displaying outward physical obedience. I knew submission had to begin inwardly and I understood I was following the Lord as I followed my husband.
5. I trusted the LORD to continue the work He began in my husband. Philippians 1:6 Women sometimes think they can marry any man and make him into the man they want him to be. An older woman, Ann, once warned me, “You get what you marry.” It wasn’t my job to change him, it was the Lord’s.
The overall goal in our lives for our husbands has to be for their good and for the glory of the Lord, not for our own benefit. Do we want our husbands to grow so they can be intimate with the Lord, or so they don’t irritate us as much?
For our 20th anniversary, my husband planted a beautiful rose bush in our front yard so he could bring me red roses often. We learned to prune correctly to force, not hinder growth. To keep damage from spreading, we pinch off and pick up all leaves with fungus and bugs. We fertilize and water. Even when we do all these things and the roses bloom month after month, there are still the thorns. Because of the beauty of the flower, we continue to put diligent work into the bush, even though we often get scratched. Sometimes we bleed.
A beautiful rose just doesn’t happen. Neither does a marriage.
Read my husband’s story and why he’s glad he’s not
The Man She Married.
Norma Williams says
This is such a lovely, transparent post. In a world where selfishness and divorce are rampant (among Christians – I’m not even referring to unbelievers) it is refreshing to see a couple who refuse to accept excuses and insist on doing the work. I’ve just come through a divorce I neither wanted to agreed to but I am learning that there are still people who believe that God’s Word is bond. Thank you for sharing you life.
Norma, I am so very sorry for the pain you are suffering now. Two of my brothers went through divorces and the best I can describe it is going though surgery to have a limb removed without anethesia. It is a slow healing pain that leaves deep wounds, but one the Lord can heal through His precious Word and presence in your life. May you find your solace in your Abba Father’s lap. Climb into His lap in prayer and weep upon His shoulder.
I have several friends who have experienced the same situation and ended up divorced when they had a desire to save their marriage. The other pain that comes is from believers who don’t understand and assume you wanted it. May the Lord bring people your way to be by your side and be true encouragers.
Thank you for sharing your heartbreak with us. I know many who read this will stop and pray. Blessings to you, sister.
Thank you so much, Aunty Mindy, I always enjoy your blog but this one especially hit home to me being married and coming to the realization more every day that happily ever afters don't just happen.
Thank you for sharing this Mindy! I think all women young and old need to hear this message of truth!
I was actually wondering about you writing books too. 🙂 Let us know.
Lydia Celeste says
Thanks Aunty Mindy. I love your blog and especially appreciated this post.
Ruby, thank you so much for your encouragement. I find the same refreshment when I visit your blog, as well. I have started MANY books, the Lord hasn't given me permission to finish any of them. I write fiction, historical fiction, mommy humor, devotional thoughts, etc. Waiting on the Lord for His guidance. Unless the Lord builds the house, the labor is in vain. Blessings to you, sister.
Mindy,I am really enjoying your blog. This post is particularly good but I have read so much here. You've had a great trial but God has used it to give you insights. I also love your humourous posts. Glad I found you.RubyAre you writing a book? That would be great – sign me up.