Nine p.m. and the bedroom door closes. He’s in one room. I’m in another.
Hard words and hard hearts. Help me soften, Lord.
When we marry, we become one flesh. One body. One heart. This is why the power we have to hurt and to love in marriage is so great. We are yoked. We are connected. The marriage vows we make to one another are the vows to love one another completely, sacrificially.
Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and “gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5: 25). Husbands are called “to love their own wives as their own bodies.”
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians continues, ” He who loves his own wife loves himself” (v.28), and wives are “to respect their husbands” (v. 33). We do this, choose to surrender to each other, when we marry, when we vow our love to one another, “because we are members of His body” (v. 30). And in this choice to marry we become no longer our own.
I am part of my husband. He is part of me.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh (v.31). Wills laid down, bodies surrendered. We do this because of our holy promise to each other–but mainly because first, above all, we are His.
When I don’t return to these truths, I can feel the disruption in my marriage. My husband and I both do. My husband and I both feel our union tearing a bit of our hearts when we disconnect. We are one flesh, not two.
And that is why, that night, when the doors of our hearts were shut against one another–in the moment when I refused to see how I was wounding my own flesh in my refusal to connect, to soften, to love my husband well, my heart disconnected itself not only from my husband, but from the Father, too.
The Holy Spirit has not left me; God never leaves. But I separate myself from God’s good plans for me–and for my marriage– when I choose to remain cold and hard and fight for my own way rather than surrendering to love, choosing Jesus’ will in my marriage, above my own.
This is not to say that if there is physical abuse within your marriage that you should just bear it and not seek help. Absolutely, sister, seek help. God gave us community to come alongside one another, help one another, in times of trial and distress.
But Jesus also did not intend for us to sever our own flesh, bring about division within our marriage when we push for only our own way. When we push for our own way, without regard for our husband’s heart, we tear apart what the Father yoked together. We bring division within our very selves. We are not whole.
No wonder fighting feels so crummy.
Is there a place where He is calling you to soften?
Is there a place in your marriage, where you are being challenged to surrender– to feel hearts united, as one flesh?