When “For Better or Worse” Shows its Worse Side

I can still remember being sequestered in the “Bride’s Room” of our church just moments before the organist began to play for the early arrivals. As I sat in front of an oversized gilded mirror trying not to wrinkle my dress, I daydreamed about the man who would become my husband by day’s end. He was everything I had ever hoped for: handsome, smart, ambitious, and strong. And most important, he had a deeply intimate relationship with Jesus.

My delicate white gown fit snugly around my upper frame and a flowing satin train trailed behind. A veil rested on a nearby table, ready to be positioned on my head. My bouquet of white roses stood at attention, waiting to be placed in my hands. The most important people in my life gathered in the sanctuary to witness the “I do’s.”

Yes, this was a good day.

As I stared at my reflection, my heart so full of hope and promise, an unwelcome thought interrupted my musing.

Doesn’t every woman feel this way on her wedding day? What could go so terribly wrong that such a high percentage of marriages end in divorce? Am I fooling myself? Am I that much different from the thousands who have walked the aisle before me?

I decided right then and there that I would do everything in my power to make my marriage a success. It didn’t take long for me to discover that the words “in my power” were a problem.

“My power” was not enough.

 

Fairy tales end with the words, “And they lived happily ever after.” But if we could read the Epilogue to those rides off into the sunset, we’d most likely find

daily struggles

potentially divisive decisions

angry arguments sprinkled throughout.

Fairy tales stop short of telling us about tension over whose turn it is to wash the dishes, pay the bills, or put the kids to bed. They leave out the part about stress over holidays with in-laws, frequency of intimacy, and who gets to spend what when. [tweetherder]We naively repeat the words “for better or for worse,” and then are shocked when the first hint of “worse” rears its ugly head.[/tweetherder]

Since that day in the Bride room, I have spent many hours praying for my husband. I don’t have a big bad story of how God took our terrible tumultuous marriage and miraculously transformed it into a storybook romance filled with white knight rescues, relentless romance, and rides into the sunset as we left all danger and darkness behind.

Even though we’ve had our share of both tumult and romance, our relationship is no fairy tale. Our marriage reads more like a daily journal, one page after another, one day after another. Eleven thousand, six hundred, and eighty at the time of this writing.

Some entries are smudged with tears, others are dog-eared as favorites. Some pages of our story are marred by unsuccessful erasures that wouldn’t quite rub away the words said; others are finger-worn by reading of precious events time and time again.

For most couples, life is just daily. However, the accumulation of small struggles can nibble like termites to undermine the foundation of what appears to be a healthy structure just as surely as an earthshaking rumble of sudden disaster.

And while my marriage has not miraculously come back from the brink of disaster, I have held the hands of women who have experienced exactly that. Some of them have been you.

Beth, whose husband was addicted to pornography, but because of her intercession he sought out help and deliverance.

Jona, whose husband filed for divorce, but because of her intercession, fell in love with her all over again.

Patty, whose husband was consumed with work and financial gain, but because of her intercession, turned his heart back toward home.

Miriam, whose husband was bound by pain from past abuse, but because of her intercession, experienced the freedom of healing and forgiveness.

I have held their hands. I have heard their cries. I have joined in their prayers. I have witnessed their miracles.

And that is the backstory for why  I wrote Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe. 

Praying-for-husband-now-available Prayer-dare

4 Responses to When “For Better or Worse” Shows its Worse Side

  1. Rosalyn January 16, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

    We should train and equip (spiritual warfare) our young girls and boys of the realities (the enemy) facing marriage. God Bless!

  2. Susan January 16, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

    Oh Sharon, I love that you tell us how it is. Your words lift me. I have been married for 32 years and it took me a long time to figure out that God filled the place of “hero”. I had such high expectations for the man I married that he could never fulfill them and I was always unhappy. Plus it was unfair to him. Once I learned that God’s place was to fill the role and give my husband to Him every day, our relationship has been one of love and respect. God in His infinite ways!

    • Sharon January 25, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

      Thank you, Susan. Your comments were exactly what I needed to read today. My husband has been trying so hard to be my hero, but he always seems to fall short. My expectations should have been reserved for a supernatural God and not a natural man. Thanks for helping to change my perspective.

  3. Gloria January 16, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

    I’m intrigue by your commitment to marriage. I’m not married yet but I have started praying for my husband to be with your book, Praying for your Husband… I’m hoping I’m doing the right thing.
    Had a very painful and hurtful divorce seventeen years ago. I was left devasted by it, seemed that I couldn’t men, even Christain men. But by the grace of God I’ve overcomes some of my inferiors about men in general. This brother that I met in church have asked me to marry him four years ago. I said yes n we both used the same promise for marriage, problem is that he’s 22 year daughter and the X-wife won’t let him alone. They’re constantly, constantly bashing him for trying to move on with his new life. He’s been divorce ten years now. The X-wife wants to come back into his life, she even divorced her husband of now. I’m between a rock n a hard place, I pray for him constantly. I’m i doing the right thing by letting him go? To let him decide on his own? For the first time I’ve had feelings of security with a man. I’m been honest n faithful to him.

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