I'm back from my non-internet weekend and it went pretty well. I didn't cheat one time, and I got lots of reading done with the free time I had. The reading was nothing short of me-changing and it pretty much messed me up. In a good way. Kind of.
The book? It is Radical by David Platt. It is all kinds of amazing and eye opening and humbling and I could just go on and on. It has completely (and I do mean completely) changed the way I see both my relationship with God and my relationship with the world, and I'm only halfway through with it! I am realizing that I have been so, so wrong in how I view what being a Christian should be, at least for ME, and now I'm wondering how to actually put what I'm reading into practice, which is always where I tend to disconnect with a great truth.
NOT THIS TIME, I am praying. I can't this time.
So anyway, there's that. There WILL be more on this book later, I'm sure. :)
I got a couple of private emails and comments about my relationship rut so I wanted to try and clarify a bit without too many details, if possible. Let me start by saying that it is referring to my relationship with my husband, so there are more layers to this problem than what's on the surface. This is a covenant relationship and that is different. More complicated. Spiritual, even.
I also want to say that he is honestly a good man who is not being unfaithful or abusive in any way. That needs to be clear. I also need to say I truly do love him and that my vows were not only to my husband but to God, so I have to find a way to hold up my end of this covenant in a Biblical way. I'm finding more and more during my studies on this subject that my flesh/emotional responses are OFTEN the opposite of what God would have me do, so I am trying very hard to follow God right now, regardless of how weak and pathetic it makes me look or feel.
It all kinda comes down to this: If my desires/needs/dreams are not being addressed in the ways I'd like them to be (or addressed at all) but my bringing this up to my husband only brings increasing strife and pressure on our marriage (no matter how delicately I try to broach the subject) what more can I do?
Of course, I should also add that the problems don't lie only with my husband, God knows I am a freaking mess, but being that I am only one half of the problem means that I can't accomplish true peace/unity if the other half won't cooperate. Additionally, the more I try to bring the issues to the surface (and believe me, I HAVE tried for years) the more distress I place onto my marriage, and I'm convinced if I don't drop things that I may very well lose my marriage. I can truly see the damage being done.
So, I guess the better way to say it isn't that I'm totally GIVING UP those desires/needs/dreams, but giving them over to God. I have to be willing for those desires/needs/dreams to come second to my marriage vows. I don't see any other way, at least right now. Any other option (leaving him, being a nag, sowing more strife, ect) would be a sin on my part.
Trust me when I say that this is one of the hardest exercises in sacrifice I have ever gone through! I want to stand up and scream "WHAT ABOUT ME?!?!" It all just seems so unfair. However, I am starting to see that often what seems unfair to us humans is sometimes just simply God's way of refining us. And you know what? If giving up these things ultimately brings me closer to God and His will for my life, even if it temporarily makes my life harder, well, it will be worth it.
After all, being a Christian should mean it isn't all about me getting MY will in this life anymore, but HIS will being accomplished through me and my circumstances WHATEVER they may be, and wow is this teaching me that it is much harder in practice than it is in theory!
No, this is not perfect or even close to ideal. No one knows this more than I do, believe me. I'm trying to let go of perfect and just focus on God, trusting that He has my back on this one.
So, there's a bit more explanation for you. I know it's vague and I HATE when blogs do that but in this case I have to do it this way out of respect to my husband. I also know that some of you may disagree with what I'm doing or why I'm doing it, but I truly feel that I'm doing what God is asking of me during this season.
Updates on the other 'ruts' will be coming soon!