This is the conclusion to a six-part series entitled "Draw Me a Map that Leads Me Back to You." I know everyone's marriage is different and there may have been spots in our story that had you nodding your head, "Yes, I understand," and at other times perhaps you couldn't relate at all, which is just fine. The purpose in writing this series has not been to give "5 steps" to a better marriage but instead to show the beauty of turning our mistakes, anger and errors over to God's grace. All of our marriages are different, but the Designer of marriage is the same, and He has promised to faithfully lead us. My understanding of what that looks like, truly changed, stretched and grew over that season, but I can say that it is so very true.
God created marriage to be a beautiful, life-giving gift; not only to ourselves but also to our children. Marriage was created to be a safe place where love and joy can flourish and grow. But just like anything in life, the enemy and our brokenness can take the beauty that God created and turn it into a thing of pain, harm and destruction. I pray that I have at least pointed you to the "better way," our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ who moves through the Holy Spirit in the dailiness of life. He loves you, He loves your spouse and He is The Way for the two of you to move together in grace and beauty. He understands the dirtiness and the dankness of it all, but that doesn't prevent Him from desiring to redeem it all; He doesn't do it without us though and that is the mystery of His ways.
So as I said at the start, I have come to realize that I have married the perfect man for me. He completes me, strengthens me and challenges me everyday. When I got out of the way, the Lord managed to recapture his heart - largely through the ministry of Todd Hunter (which is why I keep sharing about his ministry). Not only that but I learned to let my husband lead, even when he wasn't where I thought he should be. The results have been phenomenal. I never considered my husband a "leader" but now I realize that perhaps my big personality was getting in the way. He sees things that I don't see, he desires to protect me, and he is often wise beyond my current understanding of a situation. He has "stepped up" or maybe I finally cleared out of the way. There were many times on this journey where I would cry and cry and be angry at God. "Didn't He see what was happening to me? Didn't He know what a big mistake He had allowed me to make marrying this man?" But when I finally quieted down and listened to His plan, I had my eyes opened to the biggest surprise of my life: I had indeed married the perfect man. He knows how to lead and he has done a phenomenal job. He loves me well and he loves our children well. I almost stomped out one of the most precious gifts I have ever been given because I had chosen to live under lies, fear, disillusionment and disappointment. I thank my husband and my God for fighting for my heart and opening my eyes to all that I have been given. I have been blessed beyond measure.
Finally, I want to leave you with two thoughts:
Titus 2:4 says,
Teach the young women to love their husbands, to love their children.
Our society often makes us believe that love is based on emotions and feelings and when those things disappear you should leave. Scripture presents a different view and in fact teaches us that we need to be taught to love our husbands and our children. If you are struggling in your marriage, I pray that you will have the humility to ask for help and look to God and others to teach you how to love your husband.
Song of Songs 2:15 says,
Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.
Even though I realize that I have married the perfect man for me, it by no means we have a conflict-free marriage. However, we've both come to the point where we choose to trust each others' hearts instead of the hurt and pain from a moment. When conflict does arrive we deal with it until we can understand each other. We no longer let pain, unforgiveness, bitterness and disappointment have opportunity to take root in our hearts. As I've reflected on our journey I've realized how so many little things began to grow into much bigger problems and before I knew it, I was standing at a gap looking at my husband and realizing I no longer knew how to love him nor allow him to love me. But I also realize that the path back to each others' hearts was full of just as many seemingly small and insignificant decisions. My conclusion is that the best way back to your spouse's heart is to hook into the Holy Spirit and follow His leading in the dailiness of life; He is the One who knows the way back and He will lead you there.
P.S. Did you enjoy this series? If yes, please share it with friends and family (e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Google plus, Pintrest...). The entire series is available at this link: Draw Me a Map that Leads Me Back to You. Thank you!
Photos by Melanie Guest Photography