In this video, I share these 5 tips that helped transform my marriage.
- Make the claim.
- Love your wife for who she is, not what she does.
- Talk to your wife.
- Seek counseling.
When my wife and I got married back in 2000, the charge on our married from our pastor was that we would be “a couple of example”. We did not quite understand what that would mean back then, but boy do we understand now. We realize that we would have to go through some trials and tribulations that we necessarily didn’t want to go through. Not to blame my pastor for speaking what God had spoken over our lives, but I found out early, that we were going to need a whole lot of grace to see that prophecy come true. We were going to need some of that empowering grace.
For starters, I never had seen a “couple of example” before. Not up close. My parents divorced early in my life and as I was growing up, my grandparents always lived apart. Matter of fact, hardly any of my family members had been what I call “a couple of example”.
I had been married before, so had my bride to be, so neither one of us knew what that couple would really look like. The only thing we knew was that we both loved God, and each other for that fact. However, outside of love, we were totally walking by faith.
And by the term – walking by faith – I mean blindfolded, with the lights off and both hands over our eyes. There were times where we both wanted to call it quits… but God had other plans. We argued so much; we would have arguments about the way we argued. I would get so mad that I would go days without talking to my wife. And when we finally did talk, I would never actually listen to what she was saying, all I heard was that she wanted to change me, and I was not going to, because I did not have a problem with me.
I did not have a problem with me
But every now and then, I would sometimes get this feeling. That feeling that starts as a boil in your stomach and makes its way to your heart to burn. My skin temperature would rise as I would sit in the chair opposite my wife. Hearing audible words but not paying attention because I did not want to hear anything else that she had to say. All I heard was I had done something wrong, and she was going to use every breath she had, to tell me what I should have done differently. When my temperature reached that certain point, I would just start yelling and talking loud. Not caring about my wife’s feeling nor my children’s, why, because I was mad. And when I was mad, the whole house was a madhouse.
See, it did not matter that she had the right to be upset about what I had done wrong, all that mattered to me was the fact that all the things I had done right (in my eyes) didn’t seem to count for much at that time.
The feeling I was having was a mixture of anger and frustration. Anger stemming from my wife’s frustration. Also, frustrated that I was the cause of my wife’s anger. In her way, she wanted me to understand her hurt. Not only that but to understand WHY she was hurting.
See, my wife is a talker, and like most men, I am not. I would just shut down because I did not know how else to express to her that I didn’t want to talk about whatever we were fighting about. The crazy thing is, all my wife wanted, was a husband that would love her like she should be loved. That kind of “love like Christ so loved the church” love. To feel safe and secure as a wife and as a friend. The problem was, that since I’d never seen anybody (I mean nobody) show that type of love to their spouse, I did not think I could give her what she so wanted.
And you know what… I was right. In my power, I could never give something that was never in my possession. One day after my wife told me she was leaving for good, I had a moment. You know that moment when the problems of life seem so unbearable, you either feel like giving up or just giving in. I did both.In my power, I could never give something that was never in my possession. Click To Tweet
At first, I just gave up on the fact that I could ever give her what she wanted. We talked about how we were going to start the process of separation. How to split the furniture, children visitation, living arrangements, even, who was going to get the big screen TV. However, something started happening. The more we talk about breaking apart, the more I wanted us to stay together.
I told her that I would change, but she had heard that before. But, for me, this was different. I wanted to change for me, not just her. A friend of mine paid my way to go to a men’s encounter at the church he was attending. I thought I was going to work on me, but as I soon found out, it was not my works that were changing me, it was God’s grace.
I cried out to God and asked him to show me how to love my wife “like Christ so loved the church.” I mean I cried… like a baby. It was not a pretty sight. Let’s just say that I needed plenty of tissue, and I did not have any around.
I felt the love of God so rich that I could feel his arms around me. His spirit came down, and I could sense this equipping power all over me.
Afterward, I called my wife and told her about my experience. We started seeing a marriage counselor, and for the first time in our relationship, I felt this peace that passes all understanding, take over where normally I would feel like giving up or blowing up. What was it? Yep, you guess it, it was His empowering grace.
Question: What issues are your struggling with in your relationship?