Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Day 28: Fear of Being a Bad Wife-The Problem Was Me

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.   It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.   Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." 
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

 DAY 28:  Fear of Being a Bad Wife
Start from the beginning of this 31 Day Writing Challenge:  31 Fears to Conquer Through Faith 
We were hopeless.  We were as close to divorce as I care to admit.  I was done.  I did not want to be married anymore. 
There were a lot of things going on with our marriage at this time...things that both he and I were guilty of and take complete ownership for...things that were destructive.  There were unhealthy patterns set up during our dating life of disrespect and lack of trust...patterns that carried into our marriage causing a lot of pain and hurt. 

But, in reflecting back, I've realized that much of the problem was me...my own insecurities...my own issues from my past...my own fears of being a bad wife.  I could go on and on about the psychology behind it all as well as the lies that I used to tell myself..."I'm not good enough for him."..."If I leave him first then I won't have to go through the pain of him leaving me."  "Maybe if I leave him, then he'll beg for me to come back and I'll know he really does love me." 

All lies.  All games.  All fears.  Nothing but insecurities...nothing but immaturity...nothing but the feelings of being unworthy...nothing but the lack of trust...nothing but the lack of identity...nothing but fear. 

1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 is obviously a very popular scripture read at weddings, so of course, I wanted it read at mine.  It's so beautiful, but if you don't know who you are...if you lack confidence...if you're insecure...if you feel unworthy...this verse can make you feel that you just don't meet any of the descriptions of love and make you live in fear that you are going to be a bad wife or even make you believe that you are a bad wife.

This is where I was for the first 8 years of our marriage.  Let's break it down...

"Love is patient."  I fell short.  I lost my patience all the time and got angry when he didn't do something I wanted him to do.  I had really high expectations for him but yet, I was able to do whatever...whenever.  

"Love is kind."  I fell short.  I was snippy and said so many things that didn't need to be said. 

"Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude."  I fell short.  I fell short.  I fell short.  I fell short.  I was jealous and didn't trust him at all.  I would say things that made me look like the better parent or the better spouse.  I looked down on him when he messed up and always made him feel that I could have done everything so much better.  During arguments, I always interrupted him when he was trying to talk, and I always thought that what I had to say was more important.
"Love does not demand its own way."  I fell short.  Um...I wore the pants all the time and even when something wasn't fair, I still demanded that I got my way. 
"Love is not irritable."  I fell short. (Does this actually apply for "that" time of the month too?  Really? Ok.)  Again...snippy.

"Love keeps no record of being wronged."  I fell short...BIG TIME!  I would throw things back in his face from when we were first dating.  Especially during an argument, I would drudge up things from the past that had nothing to do with the argument we were having just to make him look bad and take the focus off of me.

"Love does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out."  I fell short.  I would twist and turn every conversation or argument until I won even when I knew that he was right. 

"Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful..." I fell short.  I fell short.  I fell short.  I was always the first to give up.  I was always the first to lose faith in us as a couple and threaten divorce.  I felt hopeless and made him feel the same way. 

"Love endures through every circumstance."  I did do this.  Yay!  One thing.  I endured.  I endured the pain it took to admit my short-comings.  I endured the pain it took to face my flaws, my insecurities, my lack of worth, my fears. 

Even as I'm typing this, I'm realizing how horrible I must have been to live with.  Was I a bad wife?  Yes.  I can admit that now.  My husband was and is a saint to put up with me. 

I was the problem.  I can admit that too.  I was a struggling, insecure, and fearful woman.  Thank God for humbling me and allowing me to seek the help I needed for the sake of our marriage...for the sake of future blessings God had for us...for the sake of future kids God had for us. 

I am so grateful that my husband was so patient and gave me time to figure out who I was, and through lots of counseling and God's grace, I was able to find more of my identity...I was able to grow in confidence as a daughter of Christ...I was able to learn to love myself. Then, we were able to grow more as a couple. 

Do I still fall short today?  Do I still struggle with the fear of being a bad wife?  Yes.  Of course I do...I'm human.  But instead of this scripture making me feel condemned...instead of it making me feel like I'm a bad wife, it makes me feel that because I love God, because I love myself, I am now more capable of truly loving my husband.  I use this verse as a reminder of what love really looks like.  I hope you can see it too:

Is Patient.
Is Kind.
Is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
Is not demanding my own way.
Is not irritable.
Does not keep records of being wronged.
Does not rejoice about injustice.
Rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Never gives up.
Never loses faith.
Is always hopeful.
Endures through every circumstance.

Neither one of us is perfect.  Both of us make mistakes.  But we are a team.  We have come a long way together (over 14 years), and we still have a long way to go, but we are standing by each other through every circumstance...with LOVE!

I love that we can go from eating at San
Francisco's finest restaurant to...

eating veggie dogs and drinking beer at an Oakland A's Game
on our 10th Anniversary trip to California.
Are you ready to give up your fears of being a bad wife?  Are you ready to love God and love yourself so you can love your husband?

Father, I give my fear of being a bad wife to You today.  Thank You for saving me from myself and opening up my heart to what true love really is and how love is supposed to behave.  I confess that I will fall short as Your daughter, but thank You for Your grace and forgiveness.  I confess that I will continue to fall short as a wife, but thank You for giving my husband grace and forgiveness.  Help us to see each other through new lenses each day.  Help us to be patient and kind.  Help us to walk together through this life uplifting, encouraging and loving each other.  Lord, shine Your light into my fear of being a bad wife and help me to walk forward in faith for the plans you have for me and my husband to grow and to prosper.  Fill us each day with Your love.  In Jesus' name.  Amen. 

To my husband:  Thank you for your patience and unconditional love.  You are the most unbelievable man alive for putting up with me for so long.  I appreciate that you understand that no one is perfect and that life is about growth.  Because you gave me the space to grow, I am a better, more confident, less fearful, and more loving wife and human being!  Thank you!  I love you!

 To read our full marriage journey:  Never Give Up...Keep Trying


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