As my husband and I sat down to our weekly bible study-to work on the 'Loving Your Husband' or in my husband's case, "Loving Your Wife' bible study-I was left wondering if this study was really for me. After all, I was the one always sacrificing in my marriage, the one always lifting the extra finger, and the one going the extra mile. Why should I be asked to re-evaluate my role in this marriage? Why wasn't I learning how to change my husband? To make him a better mate?
But as each week passed, I soon learned that the thorn in my own eye was jeopardizing the marriage I so desperately wanted. I had to put forth an effort to see myself in a new light. I had to learn to see what needed to be changed and accept the things that didn't and I had to learn to take responsibility for my own actions and stop trying to change my husband. This was not an easy task for me as I grew up having a very low self-esteem and self-worth.
It took nine long years (after meeting my husband) to build up the confidence to accept the fact that my flaws and imperfections were part of being human and that they didn't make me an unworthy person. And now I was being asked to not just accept my flaws but to re-evaluate them so that I could learn from them and in the process learn why I did what I did. I thought I'd quit before I ever finished the study, but as each week passed, I left with a new sense of freedom. I left feeling good about myself, the things I learned about myself, and the things I knew I needed to change. Each week left me wondering if I had done my best, if I could've done better, or if I was pointing fingers to make myself look better.
It wasn't always easy. In fact, there were times I couldn't believe the guilt signals God gave me. You know them, don't you? That feeling deep within you that makes you aware of your wrongs, the signals that nudge you to accept responsibility and apologize-even when you don't want to?
As time passed, I could see how God took my life's path and redirected it in such a way that He lead me to my husband-who in turn, through his uncertainty of Christ, drew me closer to God. For you see, my husband grew up knowing about God and His Word, but he never really had a relationship with God. I, on the other hand, thought I always had a relationship with God, but soon realized that conversations alone weren't enough, I needed to get to know Him through His Word-the Bible.
Doing the 'Loving Your Husband' and 'Loving Your Wife' bible study changed our marriage forever. Instead of always pointing fingers and finding fault in one another, we began to look at how we each played a role in our arguments. We learned to take a step back and re-evaluate the roles we played, and then return with a clearer understanding of how we may have hurt each other. We relearned the importance of making time for each other, going on "date night," and doing little things to show we care. And we learned that allowing God into our marriage was not only a spiritual requirement, but the medicine to heal all hurts. Allowing God into our marriage meant our marriage would be built upon a firm foundation-not shaky ground. And it meant that our paths would forever intertwine.
By the time the bible study was over, I had fallen in love with my husband all over again. Its deep studies, meditations, prayers, and devotionals reminded me of all the good within my husband. Taking the thorns out of my own eyes wasn't easy. There were many things I wish I never knew things about myself, but in the end, the things I learned were the things I believe helped save my marriage.
If you haven't attended a bible study geared towards building a better relationship with your spouse, I encourage you to take a step of faith and sign up for one today. It can be the difference between loving your husband and simply living with the man you're married to, as a roommate.
Loving Your Husband Book
Loving Your Wife Book