3 Truths that Anchored My Soul in Early Marriage

 

Today we are privileged to have a guest post from Ngina who blogs over at Intentional Today while I take some vacation time. {Thank you, Ngina!}

Whenever I visit Ngina’s site, I always feel like I resonate with so much of what she has to say and what she has been through in her marriage. I love her practical insights and I’m excited that she’s hosting Wedded Wednesday today!

 

Lake Garda Anchor view

Photo by David Blaikie

 

Written by Ngina Otiende~

 

When I was single, I heard that it was hypocritical for a married person to try and connect with God when they had unresolved issues with their spouse. Trying to make conversation with God when none was going on in your house was deceitful and phony.

So after our wedding, I truly believed that God would henceforth “see both of us or none of us.”

And of course like most newlyweds, we had a ton of adjustments to make, which provided a perfect hotbed of messiness.

When we hit bumps on the road (they were many and seemingly unending), my communication with God would come to a grinding halt. That also opened another can of worms. Since I never had those kinds of “communication issues” with God as a single person, I found myself blaming and resenting my husband for interfering with my spiritual life. I also felt that God was angry with me for not journaling, praying and fellowshipping with Him as I should.

So for the longest time in those early days, I had many issues on my plate, with no idea how to solve them, feeling that the very Person I could go to was “unavailable”—till I could sort myself out. It took a long time to begin to understand that I could go to God, right in middle of messiness.

 

3 things I learned . . .

 

1. I could tell the devil off.

 

When stormy times hit, the devil would jump in and pour a large cauldron of condemnation over my head. I would hear him repeat the lie that I already believed—that praying when going through a crisis in marriage was hypocritical.

God in His mercies began to show me that I had a bad case of guilt and condemnation going on. I needed to get free. I needed to renew my mind with the word of God whenever I began to feel helpless and fearful. I needed to take up God’s truth and stop giving the enemy a foothold in my heart and marriage. 

God assured me that He would never stop loving me, just because I fell short. He loved me anyway, through my sin, my conflicts, my infantile attitudes, my marriage adjustments. He had not left us to fend for ourselves, to return when we had grown up. He was right there with us.

 

2. God was interested in the condition of my heart.

 

After I learned to tell the devil off, I had to learn how to actually connect and pray in the midst of a storm in marriage. Because stormy times were the times when I felt least saved. The conflicts would ignite haywire emotions and reactions—anger, rage, disappointment, hurt, shock, etc.

So it could not be “business as usual” with God. It was more of a very wobbly hesitant and fearful walk to the holy of holies … And God didn’t seem to mind it.

He told me that He was after the condition of my heart, not the many things on my large plate.

Prayer time was a re-modeling session on the “Potters” wheel. Dealing with my anger, my pain and disappointment. I found that God would point out where I had gone wrong. He would call me back to trust, to faith in Him, to hope and belief.

 

3. Prayer time was for strength, not for show.

 

The more I got better acquainted with myself, the more I realized that I could not, by my own strength, choose the God-kind of commitment or the God-kind of love by myself.
I was too selfish, too willful, too proud, too egotistical, to eager to not turn the other cheek.

Thus I began to appreciate my times of fellowship with God even more. I began to see that it was not for others (to be seen as a “good Christian” – never mind the fact that our conflicts were private!).

Fellowship with God was for me.  

 

David, the shepherd king said, “I would have lost heart unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Ps 27:13)

 

When the things on earth were breaking down, that was the perfect time to seek heaven’s intervention. To search for a Rhema word to shore up my hysterical soul. To dig deeper and be changed from the inside as opposed to trying to fix everything else around me.

 

Question – Have you ever struggled to involve God when life or marriage feels hard?

 

Ngina

Ngina Otiende is a writer who loves helping others take charge of their lives. She’s passionate about intentional growth and relationships and wants to ignite the same passion in others. You can read her  Blog, find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

 

 

 

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Joining with NOBH, Works for Me Wednesday, To Love Honor and Vacuum, Whimsical Wednesday, Essential Fridays and T.G.I.F.

 

Now, it’s time for Wedded Wednesday!

WW rules:

Write in any way you feel inspired about marriage, parenthood or anything that reflects Christ’s redemption in your life.

  1. Enter in a permalink directly to your blog post and not the main URL to your blog.
  2. Be sure to include a link to Wedded Wednesday or add the WW button to your current blog post and/or sidebar.
  3. Visit and comment on at least one other person’s blog that’s linked up here.
  4. Please no offensive or inappropriate content or sexually explicit images!

Optional but encouraged:

  1. Consider setting up your Gravatar profile and Disqus Profile with a link to your blog … it makes it so much easier for all of us to find those of you who blog!
  2. If you have the time, visit those who visit your blog and comment at their place as well … sort of a “Say it forward.”

 

Come join our Wednesday Link-up!

  • Nan

    Oh I love the statement about praying being for strength, not for show! We need to turn to the Lord before we turn to our phone, facebook or our best friend! God is the Creator of marriage, and we can certainly turn to Him and trust Him to be faithful. Thanks for guest hosting today!

    • Amen Nan! It makes sense to turn to the Author of marriage first. He holds all the answers. Thanks for sharing

  • Tyson Cooper

    Beth, I’ve forgotten to mention this but I love the new look for Messy Marriage!

    Ngina, great job!

  • Ooo, I love the idea of telling off the devil. Thanks, Ngina!

    • Am glad you resonated Becky! It’s important to remember our marital challenges don’t need his spectator-ship or involvement! We need to cancel that invite (the one he gives himself!)

  • Right in the middle of our messiness…yes, Ngina, that’s where He waits for us!! Great tips in this post. I look forward to visiting your blog soon. Thanks for guesting and for hosting the link up. Blessings to you and your hubby!

    PS Beth — I LOVE the new look. Bright and airy. Great job and ENJOY your time off 🙂

    • That’s true Sheila, we don’t have to “clean up” to be accepted! He accepts us then cleans us up. He is a great God!

  • This is such a great post, Ngina! I, too, struggled with the balance of my personal spiritual walk and a joint spiritual walk when first married, and my husband & I are still trying to figure all of it out sometimes. I’ve noticed when I’m off with God, I’m off with Adam, particularly verbally and sexually. But vice verses works too -when I’m off with Adam, something is probably off in my relationship with God. I love being able to tell the Devil off – that his lies won’t have a place in my marriage. I love how you wrote prayer is for strength, not show. Often, I forget that – and don’t pray about marital issues because I feel they’re just connected to spiritual issues – which they probably are, but that doesn’t mean I can’t pray. Thanks for your words of encouragement and empowerment!

    • So glad you connected with these thoughts Hannah! I am always excited (in a am-not-alone- sort of way!) to read how others have overcome or are overcoming the same struggles I have walked/am walking through. It’s amazing the many things marriage teaches us – love what you said here “the balance of my personal spiritual walk and a joint spiritual walk”. It’s hard to imagine some of these things as a single girl!
      Amen to growth and His grace!

  • It’s interesting looking at the lies we bring into marriage. i believed the lie that “don’t let the sun go down when you’re angry” meant that both my husband and I had to stay up talking about the problem until we got it resolved.

    Not only did my husband not want to do this, but he wasn’t even angry most of the time – I was the angry one! It took me lots of years to realize that I was responsible for my own anger – and that I could get rid of that anger even if my husband didn’t feel like staying up late to visit.

    In fact, often it was better even to go to God rather than hash it all as He could point out the lies I was believing and the ways I wasn’t seeing life (and my husband) from a biblical perspective.

    • Barb, I can’t count the number of times I too have thought my husband was angry when he infact was not! But the worst part is when I insist on having a “discussion” about it! Talk about trying to beat a dead horse! 🙂

      I like what you’ve said about hashing it out with God first, opens our eyes and makes us wiser. 🙂

  • JosephPote

    “When I was single, I heard that it was hypocritical for a married person to try and connect with God when they had unresolved issues with their spouse. Trying to make conversation with God when none was going on in your house was deceitful and phony.”
    Oh, wow! What a burdensome myth to live under! Without running to God, regularly, I couldn’t possibly straighten out any relational issues, ever.
    It sometimes seems as though we spend half our adult lives learning to overcome false information taken in during childhood…
    So thankful that God showed you His real heart in this area, and that you are sharing with others.
    Thanks for posting!

  • Rachel Wojnarowski

    Thanks for linking up! Love your honest thoughts!