Dear family,

My husband and I believe in the biblical view of marriage, and that makes us one. One heart, one mind, one mission. So we would appreciate it if you wouldn’t try to separate what we’re fighting so hard to keep together.

No, you’re not trying to separate our marriage, you’re not rooting for our divorce, but you can help to drive a wedge between us nonetheless. How?

You can wait until you have me alone and point out all of my husband’s faults. You can whisper about him when he’s in the next room. Ask me why he said this, why he did that, didn’t he know better? You know . . . I didn’t even notice how rude and disrespectful that was! That could have been incredibly embarrassing or frustrating for me. That could have started a fight between us after you left. Good thing you brought it up.

You can scoff at the decisions we make together for our children, about what school they attend, what activities they enjoy, or how we discipline them. Surely it wasn’t my decision, right? He must have pushed for that one. We definitely haven’t spent half of their lives agonizing over every decision we’ve ever made on their behalf.

You can weigh in on our most difficult situations after my husband and I have already come to a resolution. We’ve talked about and argued over every detail for weeks. We’ve butted heads, nursed hurt feelings, then made a conscious decision to come back together and stand united as one. If you want to drive a wedge between us, tell me why my husband is all wrong. Point out the weaknesses in his argument, insist that his suggestions are ignorant, and then push hard for your way.

Even better, rally the entire family against him! We can all make the decision without him. Let’s completely ignore his desires or input and talk happily together about our decision in front of him. Because it’s all about family! Just not his.

God hasn’t called us to be competitors boxing in a ring, each of us sitting in our own corner while our childhood family decides our next move, then returning to the center to duke out opposing opinions. No. God has called us to be one, for a man to leave his father and mother to be joined to his wife.

I get it. I know you’re rooting for me. I’m your child, you love me, and you just want what’s best for me.

But here’s the problem: I’m no longer just a me. Thanks to the biblical definition of marriage, I’m a we. So please don’t just root for me. Root for us. Because if I’m the only one winning in our marriage thanks to your cheers and support, I’m still losing.

And frankly, we need all of the help we can get. When you live with someone, you see the worst parts of him. Teach me how to deliberately see the best instead, how to seek it out on even the hardest days. Help me to let go of the hurt that keeps us fighting against each other instead of for each other.

Encourage me to forgive. Show me how to do it without keeping a running list of his failures. Help me move forward from disappointment, hold onto hope, and love my spouse as myself. Teach me how to find common ground with him, how to work ourselves from opposite ends of the spectrum to strike a compromise and perfect balance in the middle. 

That’s what I need from you. That’s what we need from you.

I chose this man. I committed to becoming one with him, and it’s the hardest and most serious commitment I’ve ever made. Help us. Support us. We are your child now, one person, on one team. Please root for us.

Love,
Us

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