11 July 2016

Marriage is a Big, Fat, Ugly Mirror

"I was a much better parent before I had kids." Yes, SO TRUE! There is nothing like actually being a parent to show you how difficult raising a child can be. Parenting aside, I thought I was a much better person before I got married. I had no idea one person could have so many flaws... and I am talking about myself!

Marriage is a big, fat, ugly, intrusive mirror in your face at all times. Any flaws you didn't know you had will be instantly visible and thrown at you, and flaws you were already aware of will be amplified a million times. Single people - sounds like fun, right?

An unmarried person in a dating relationship can easily walk away if they feel uncomfortable after seeing a glimpse of their selfishness. In fact, they may blame it on the other person and not realize the problem was actually on their own end. But selfishness and flaws in a marriage immediately affect the other person and thus, have to be fixed.

In my case, my ugly marriage mirror showed me I have a bossy streak. I am a first born child with three younger siblings. Growing up, being a momma hen had its advantages and was even necessary at times, but being bossy and taking over situations unnecessarily in a marriage is not a good thing. If I hadn't seen how negatively it affected my husband, I would never have had to make a change and keep it in check. (More later on how birth order affects marriage, coming soon in a post series. Get excited!) I've had to learn how to tame my tongue and do my best to not hurt my husband with my words. Read more about that in this blog post. I saw that I was critical at times, which I had to fix in order to not push out my husband from helping alongside me. And I honestly never realized how lazy I can be at times until I saw how hardworking my husband is!

“If you want to be free to serve Jesus, there’s no question—stay single. Marriage takes a lot of time. But if you want to become more like Jesus, I can’t imagine any better thing to do than to get married. Being married forces you to face some character issues you’d never have to face otherwise.” - Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?

Even though it can be difficult seeing all of our imperfections thrown in our face so clearly, God uses marriage to grow us, shape us, and mold us to look more like Him.

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another" (Prov. 27:17, NIV).

I asked my husband what he thought of the ugly marriage mirror. He replied with this:

"I think I'm a better person since becoming married. When I was single I could carry on as I wanted, only thinking about me as my daily decisions mostly only affected me. As a married man, I am forced to deal with my selfishness, flaws, imperfections, shortcomings and insecurities. Living with someone who knows you more than anyone on the planet brings these things to the surface like nothing else can." - Lane Sebring, aka "Hubby"

So there you have it. We are both imperfect, flawed human beings. Once confronted with a clear image of ourselves that our spouses will not sugar coat, we are forced to continually work on ourselves. We both fail at this every day, multiple times a day when we try to fix this on our own. So we are forced to turn to God to help us become better spouses. It is not easy or fun seeing the flawed reflection of my sin nature, but I am thankful I have that big, fat, ugly mirror in my face to force me to become a better version of myself, one that day by day looks a bit more like Jesus.

What has your marriage mirror forced you to change that has helped you become a better person and improved spouse?

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for the post, Rachel! It has only been one year of marriage, so facing that mirror has been quite an eye-opener. One thing I have realized is that I am also a bossy firstborn, so I often find myself ordering Billy around without even thinking twice. Lessons learned from this have been 1) consider if I can do what I was going to ask him to do, 2) say please more often or affirm him first before making a request, 3) consider what he may want to do instead and yield my requests to his plans. Listing those things is easy, but actually remembering to do them has been hard...BUT I started reading The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian and one of the best things I have read so far is that best prayer we can say for our marriage is "Lord, change me." Saying those words can be so hard, but the results have been truly astonishing and God has given me the ability to be a better version of me for Billy because of it! :)


Blog Design by Get Polished