Friday, July 30, 2010

God's gift of marriage

Sir Knight and I do not always see eye to eye.  We have been married for 22 years and we have managed to avoid numerous pits waiting to devour our marriage and our children's future.  I have often questioned the wisdom of  a Holy God who could possibly expect any person to live out their covenant with another person.  I have spent sleepless nights calling out to God to mend my broken heart and "fix" my husband.  I have railed against my inability to make my life into the "perfect" christian witness.  I have failed as a wife.

Because God has not let either Sir Knight or I walk away from our commitment, we have reaped the blessings of perseverance.  We see each other not as we are, but as we want to be.  We know each others weaknesses and are merciful with one another.  God has given us eyes to see that marriage is not about giddy, happy feelings, but about becoming more Christ-like in our relationships and attitudes.  He has walked us through selfishness, jealousy and spite.  He has brought both of us to the point of brokenness and then mended our hearts - together - as one heart.

Still, we are two people.  I have come to find out that men and women speak a different language.  Not that one is right and the other wrong - they are both right, because God himself designed them - but they are different.  When my husband attacks a problem head on, I often end up with my heart shattered, tears streaming down my face, wondering why my husband has no idea why I am broken and bleeding.  Sir Knight, on the other hand gets frustrated with my reaction and is left feeling like a failure as a husband, father and man because he can't be who he thinks I want him to be.

Over the years, we have learned to speak more gently with one another.  We are better at letting each other know that we may be upset but we still love one another.  There are still times that we are like oil and water, but we are learning how oil and water can compliment each other, especially mixed with other ingredients.  We are figuring out that we can be better together than we could ever be independently.

This past week, Sir Knight and I were having a hard time understanding each other.  He said one thing, I heard another.  I said one thing, he heard something else entirely.  And then it hit me.  One of God's greatest purposes for  marriage is making us more like His son.  As Jesus hung on the cross, dying for the sins of the world, the Pharisees and Roman soldiers mocked and scorned him.  Rather than lash out and fight back with words of hatred, Jesus lifted his eyes toward heaven and said, "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do".  What an epiphany!  As husbands and wives, that is how we should approach one another.  We speak a different language.  Rather than getting angry and demanding our rights we should see our spouses as God sees us, as sinful beings who don't realize how our actions and words affect the other person.  When we sin and wound God, He forgives us, because we don't know what we are doing.  When my husband hurts me or says unkind things, I need to pray that God forgive him, because he doesn't know what his words do to me.  Sir Knight, too, could pray to ask God to forgive me, because I don't know how my words or lack of respect wound him.

God is teaching me, through my marriage, to become more like His son.  I praise Him for the man He gave to be my priest, prophet, provider and protector.  I praise Him that through my and my husbands human weakness and sin, He is transforming both of us into the image of His son.  I praise God for Sir Knight.


  1. You know what I like about your blog, Enola? I like many things, but especially your ability to see the silver lining in every situation. I don't have that ability, which could explain why I am no longer married. LOL

    NoCal Gal

  2. Thank you for sharing this. My husband and I will celebrate our 30th anniversary on Monday. We have been through a lot and continue to go through a lot, persevere. I am so thankful that God brought us together and has kept us together. I have wanted to give up many times, but my wonderful husband said we would NEVER do to our children what our parents did to us...D! I am so thankful for him and how God has used him to help me persevere and I now desire to truly be together until death parts us or Christ returns!

  3. Amen! to another beautiful post.
    Thank you.

  4. I stumbled across this blog by reading Patrice Lewis' "Rural Revolution." You have portrayed marriage in such a beautiful way. I've only been married for three years, and reading posts like this give me a great perspective on what to work toward. Thank you!

  5. Excellent post, Enola. We just celebrated 20 years together and had our marriage blessed and vows renewed by our priest. After 20 years, we have learned the ins and outs of each others personalities. When to push, when to back off, when to concede, how to relate. Basically, we have learned to accept each others different personalities and since we are made as a man and woman to be compatible, it is to compliment each other with each of our strengths and weaknesses. We need to recognize that we are different and learn how to communicate and be tender to each other even though we may look and and perceive the same event completely differently. Trust me, the first 10 years were tough but teachable. These last 2-5 years have truly allowed us to hone our song and dance together. I'm looking forward to the next 20- it will only get better!

  6. You know, I love your point of view. It keeps me going.

    I could use your advice on something, though.

    I love my husband very much. He is a good and loving man. The problem is that he thinks my opinion is just a little short of worthless. More than once, I've given up in tears and given him his way-- usually to the detriment of our family. Most of the time it's only been money, but there have been a few occasions where what hung in the balance was people.

    I want to honor him-- but does that mean I have to do what he says in silence even when I know he's wrong, and that the consequences are going to be serious??