How to Marry to Love God More

photo by Hoffer Photography

I saw a lovely little sentiment floating around the internet recently that said:

“Marry someone who makes you fall in love with God every single day.”

At first glance, that seems like a perfectly appropriate single Christian girl power sentiment to share on social media. But sorry (not sorry), I’m calling BS.

Do you know what makes me fall in love with God more every single day? Recognizing that my loving husband, smart, talented, and spiritually mature as he is… will continually disappoint me.

In my first year or two of marriage, I remember hitting a wall of frustration when I realized that my husband was not living up to the picture I had imagined for my marriage. I wanted him to connect with me on a regular basis, plan incredible romantic excursions, and ask me pointed questions. I started to feel like I was being gypped, like I deserved more. As I brooded over these things I realized I had real needs, and they were not being met.

As I dug deeper into that sense of unfairness, while I was certainly identifying areas he (we) could work on (and I needed to voice them), God gently reminded me of this. The guy I married? He is just a guy. Even though God proved He was at work in amazing ways in our dating relationship, that does not mean my marriage is always going to feel supernaturally easy. Marrying Nick was not a cure-all drug for my insecurities and need to be loved. There are some ways in which I can rightfully ask for more from my husband, but there are others that are just simply beyond him.

My best relationship advice for you is always be willing to examine and adjust your expectations.

If I am feeling a general lack of love in my life, the appropriate place to turn first is to my relationship with God. Expecting Nick to always be the one to build me up and tell me who I am is an unfair weight to place on his shoulders. Above all else, I need to walk in the identity and confidence that I am a child of God, and because of that, I am wholly loved, to the core of my being. Nothing anyone else can say or do will ever add to or subtract from that – not even my husband.

What I would say to you is: If you want to fall in love with God every day, praise him for the weaknesses in your marriage because in them, you get to experience more of Christ. Marry someone who is an imperfect human, who screws up a lot, in order that you might extend the grace of God to each other all the more. In the midst of your brokenness and flaws, you will experience His love continually.

How you expect your (future) spouse to make you love God more? How does being in a relationship teach you about God’s love?

What We Think We Are Promised

img src: Phae, Creative Commons
img src: Phaedra, Creative Commons

We all have plans for our lives – specific ways we think they should go.

We imagine that because we are good people who make the right choices, we will somehow be rewarded. Or for those of us who believe in God, we think because our faith is strong and we trust Him unwaveringly, He will give us the deepest desires of our hearts. This is true especially for those big milestone things: the dream job, the perfect spouse, or a happy, healthy family. Sometimes things seem to work out that way, but quite often they do not.

Continue reading What We Think We Are Promised

We All Want to be Known

Flickr_Amanky_walkonthebeach

Falling in love can be terrifying.

When Nick and I were dating and our relationship was becoming more serious, my doubts battled my love for him in a serious way. We were talking about marriage only a few months into our relationship, because we had been friends for over two years and had already dated once before.

As I thought about the future, of committing the rest of my life to one person, it almost made me want to hyperventilating. Almost every long-term relationship I had been in before had crashed and burned badly. After years of investment, they ended with glaringly obvious lists of each other’s flaws and all the ways we would never work. Those break ups made me wonder if I would ever find someone who loved me for who actually I was instead of some other version they had fabricated in their minds. I did not want to repeat that process ever again, and the thought of it exhausted me.

These doubts would creep out from my soul in the midst of conversations with Nick as each month passed. I would slowly begin to panic and tell him, “You don’t really know me.”

Continue reading We All Want to be Known