I married the most amazing, Godly man. Seriously, he is a dream. He is a wonderful leader for our family, he encourages me to keep my eyes on Jesus, and he inspires me with his steadfast faith. He is also the type of man who leaves me love notes, flowers, cute text throughout the day, and just generally shows me that he is always thinking of me. I don’t mean to brag, but he is basically everything a woman could ask for.
Which is how I knew something was wrong.
A couple of years into our marriage, I found myself becoming increasingly more angry and irritated with him, about little things. For example, if I didn’t get what I thought was enough attention from him, I would end up being very passive aggressive (which often turned into arguments). I wanted him to compliment me more, desire me more, love me more. I wanted him to want me more. Even though I knew how unreasonable that was, considering how much he was already giving me, I was craving more.
The realization hit me one day after we got in an argument about his attention always being elsewhere. I wanted him to fix the wounds in my heart. I wanted him to make all the hurt and pain go away. I wanted his love to be so big that I couldn’t feel anything else.
I wanted him to be my savior.
It’s an interesting thing because I know, in my mind, my husband cannot save me. I know who Jesus is and I know I can find my worth in Him alone. But I still find myself falling into the “fix me” trap with my husband.
And it always goes poorly.
Every time these lies creeps in, that he can fix, heal or save me, I expect him to behave in certain ways. He shouldn’t want to be with friends, he should want to be with me. He should want to talk about how I am doing and how I am feeling. He should be able to make me feel better when I’m down on myself.
When I have these expectations of him, he is doomed to fail, at least in my mind. There is no way he could live up to this all the time. No one could. I also set myself up for disappointment and feelings of rejection. He can’t cure and heal the deep-rooted pain in my heart. Even if he gave me all the time, attention, energy and love in the world, that’s not what I really need.
I really need my savior, I really need Jesus’ love.
I am reminded that the purpose of marriage is not to heal my wounds. It’s not even to make me feel happy or content (although this is a by-product of a good marriage). That’s not what God created marriage for. The purpose of marriage is to bring glory to God. Our marriage should be a symbol of Christ’s love. It should point people to Him.
Our marriage should mean two people loving each other to the best of their ability, but loving God even more. It should mean showing each other grace and forgiveness when we mess up, because Lord knows we will. It should NOT mean looking at each other with our wounds out and saying, “Here, fix it.”
Yes, we can be best friends and each other’s biggest support. We can root each other on, adventure through this life together, and create the life we want. But we cannot save each other.
Only God can do that.
The best part is that God is really, really good at what He does. He does it way better than our spouse, our friends, or our moms could. We were created to need Him. Our spouses are a bonus, but they aren’t the healer.
Now when I feel the thought come in, the thought that I want him to do more, say more, be more, I remember that my husband isn’t the answer. My husband is there to point me to the Lord, but the Lord is there to do the healing.