I am thrilled to be a part of the blogging team for The Christian Woman. I’m a 50-year-old wife and mother of two daughters, 13 and 9. I’m one of those trendy women who chose to have children later in life. OK, actually, God shoved me off the proverbial diving board and into pregnancy at age 36, where I had no choice but to hit the water and become a mother–which I have loved. Then, at 40, we actually chose to have a second child, and after getting pregnant, I remember sitting on the bottom of our stairs when no one was in the house, and blurting out, “WHAT WAS I THINKING?” But of course, our second daughter has been as wonderful and loved as the first. A few years ago, some similarly-aged friends (who also had kids late in life) asked my husband what he planned to do after the kids were out of the house, and without missing a beat, he replied, “Die.”
Before taking on the career of motherhood, I was a writer and editor of two different trade magazines, and also had a romance column in three mid-sized city newspapers. It was actually a fictional column with a cliffhanger at the end of each episode, kind of like Harlequin Romance meets Days of Our Lives. The story line was very clean and appropriate–a kiss was the extent of the excitement–but I managed to choose the wrong venue. The three newspapers were distributed in a predominantly Mormon area, and a number of Mormon women apparently thought that the content in the column would surely end up in the gutter, so they called the newspaper and threatened to march on the newspaper if they didn’t pull the column. I actually thought that a march on the newspaper would be great press and advertising, but the editor didn’t, and so ended my dreams of being the Erma Bombeck of serialized romance syndication. Incidentally, during that period of time, I actually wrote to Erma about trying to get such a column into syndication, and she was ever so kind to write back and encourage me. (If you’re too young to know about the wonderful humorist Erma Bombeck, skip to the next paragraph.)
That was in my late twenties, and since then, God has called me to write for His purposes. He has given me a passion to write about marriage, because mine has been anything but easy. In fact, a few years ago, our twenty-year marriage hit a brick wall, and I, for one, was blindsided. I began to realize that something was wrong, but after about five months of trying to fix it, I woke up to realize that I had a bitter husband who felt I had disrespected him for years, and taken him and his love for granted. He became increasingly distant, like an astronaut who was floating away from the mother ship, his lifeline severed by…himself.
Since then, we have waged an uphill battle to try to stay together, but the “D” word has been bantered between us so many times that the “M” word has become nearly archaic. Through these two painful years, God has been ever so faithful, and He has showed me many of the things I have done in the past that have dishonored my husband. Many times the Lord woke me in the middle of the night to pray for my husband, and it was at those times that I felt a clear sense that a spiritual battle was raging over us, and Satan knew we were right on the edge of the cliff, and he wanted desperately to push us over.
The devil has not succeeded, and we are still together, but we have a lot of “undoing” to do. There is still a lot of hurt, distance, distrust and defensiveness, but God has shown me in many ways that He is with us and will lead us through, if we will only trust, and look to Him.
I believe the Lord has called me to write about this odyssey, and the truths that I have learned, even while we are still in the foxhole, so to speak. Christian marriages are crumbling at an astounding rate, and I would be willing to bet that the women in these marriages are a lot like I was when at first we hit the wall–absolutely sure that their husbands are the problem. Now, nearly two years later and wiser, I know that I have been a large part of our marriage’s crash.
When we married, I was NOT an Ephesians 5 woman. In fact, I had chosen a specific scripture to be read in our wedding, and certainly not Ephesians 5:22-33. NEVER!!! I knew that scripture well, and I avoided it like the plague. But guess what the Lord did? He made sure it was read in our wedding anyway.
On that special day, I remember standing next to Robin (my husband) before our friends and family, and as our good friend Bob began to read the scripture I’d designated for him (or so I thought), out came the words, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord…and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband.” As Bob began to read those verses, my mouth dropped open. When I asked Bob later why he hadn’t read the scripture I’d given him, he said he’d lost it, and chose this scripture. I was annoyed at the time, thinking he could have chosen any other scripture but that one. However, it was more than 21 years later that I realized the Lord Jesus had had a hand in that, knowing that I would need to hear those words in my wedding; knowing that respect for my husband would not come easily to me; and that ultimately, it would nearly destroy my marriage.
In future blogs, I will talk about some of the lessons I have learned. I hope that, if you’re in the middle of a painful marriage and are seriously considering letting go…please, hold on, even if it’s only by a thread. God is faithful, and you will not be disappointed.
“In Thee they trusted, and were not disappointed.” Psalm 22:5b