Drifting in marriage happens, but my marriage never drifts into anything of value.
And without the daily maintenance of texts of scripture and the Holy Spirit, my drifting will always leave me with a sense of frustration and emptiness. Frustration because I don’t understand how I got “here” again; emptiness because the pursuit of my agenda always leaves me wanting more.
God designed men and women differently and I am grateful for that. And though I am not out to stereotype us guys, there are certain tendencies that I see in us that are generally true.
For example, I tend to see a problem and want to fix it. And I have had to learn some awkward lessons with my wife when she tells me something that is going on and I immediately jump in with three potential solutions, all of which will remedy the trouble at hand. The real issue, though, was that my wife just needed someone to listen to her. Oops. Read that one wrong. I have learned some helpful lessons from that.
Why is it my spiritual growth seems so confusing or ambiguous at times? Is it because God enjoys being mysterious, like playing a game of Marco Polo, where I blindly wander and shout out, “God, what are you doing in my life?” and hoping He says something like, “You’re getting warm!”
Photo by Maja Petric on Unsplash
The problem is not on God’s end though it seems easier to just ascribe blame. The issue is that I am viewing God’s growth plan for me through the wrong lens – my own. If the primary way of instructing believers is His word, which it is, then it would be to my great advantage to take the time to figure it out so that I can see the bigger picture of how God desires to grow me.
I recently returned from a church missions trip to Guatemala.
Epic adventures. Lovely people.
We went for a week, were busy from dawn through late evening, bonded as a team, and saw that the gospel is very much alive…everywhere. One of the most impacting takeaways for me, and I would suspect for our team, was the modifying, shaping, tearing down, and rebuilding of perspective.
Why does it seem like finding God’s will is so difficult for me at times?
It reminds me of the scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It’s Indy against the Nazis as both are seeking the Holy Grail, the legendary cup that is believed to grant eternal life. They end up in a cavern where the cup is guarded by an old knight. Donovan, the bad dude, has a gun on Indy and wants to drink from the grail first. The problem is that there is a table full of cups…and only one is the Holy Grail.
Change is a funny thing sometimes.
Take losing weight, for example. As I eased into my late forties and now early fifties, I began to notice that my metabolism seemed to be coming to a screeching halt.
Why is it so difficult for me to make things right with my wife? I cannot tell you the number of times that I have replayed a situation or conversation in my mind, only to be both judge and jury and be found “innocent.” As a guy, I have this very unbiblical perception that being a “good husband” means to be shown right in all that I do or to never show weakness.
The very fact that I think this way at times only serves making things right that much harder.
We live in a culture that celebrates the “in only 20 minutes a day, you can have a body that looks like this!” mentality. In lives that just seem to get busier and busier, it makes sense on the surface that if I am going to change in an area, I want a process that is going to give maximum benefits through minimal resources or time.
The problem is that it simply does not work. And yet I seem to think that “maybe this one will be different, maybe this will one will actually take.” And like a mountain, I cannot climb it in “20 easy steps.” It is a step-by-step, day-by-day discipline.
If you have read any of my past blog posts about marriage, you would know that 99.5% of them are aimed at and written for husbands. And that is because, in my own experience, if there are problems in a marriage, there is a very high probability that the husband is leading counter to the vision of Jesus pursuing His church.
But to you ladies out there reading this, if you will stick with me, I might be able to offer you some helpful suggestions in providing for your man what he will immensely value.
We all experience seasons of life where we just feel “down.” Discouraged. Disheartened. Sometimes I find myself there because of a specific circumstance; other times I really could not tell you specifically why I feel the way I do. It is like wandering in a spiritual desert at times and I am not sure where the “exit” is.
My emotions wreak havoc and I find myself turning very introspective. The glass-half-full turns into the glass-half-empty and I start to view my world through a lens that does not take me anywhere profitable.