Today I’m excited to have a guest post from Scott Perkins of Choose to Trust. Scott has been one of my favorite bloggers, especially regarding his expertise on identity. I hope you’ll check out his book and blog this week! And be sure to comment and thank him for his amazing insight and giveaway to my Messy Marriage readers!
Marriage is certainly messy, right?
That reality is why I return to read this blog again and again. It helps me to remember that I am not the only one who does not have everything about marriage figured out.
And I certainly know something about making a mess of marriage.
For so many years after saying “I do,” my primary emotions when relating to my wife were frustration, anxiety, and anger. Even worse, I always found myself trying harder, believing that if I was a better husband (code word: biblical husband) then these feelings would go away.
In fact, the exact opposite happened. Until I reached a point of total emptiness and burned out.
None of us go into marriage understanding the extent to which it is difficult to be married to another person.
Why is marriage messy?
Why do we experience conflict, disappointment, insecurity, anxiety, etc. in relationship with this person to whom we promised to spend the rest of our lives?
Reading the first two verses in the New Testament book of James chapter four gives us a clue:
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.
Our conflict and disappointment comes in large part because our tendency is to use our marriage to feed our false sense of self. The false self is the covering we create when we pursue wholeness apart from God. This old nature is how we address shame and answer the lies that we believe about our self and God.
When we do not get what we want, when the doubts about our self are not answered sufficiently by our spouse, we get angry. We compare our spouse to others. Taken to the extreme, we begin to look for someone who will feed our false self.
The marriage relationship was designed by God to reveal the depths of our self-centeredness. But as with everything He puts in our lives, it is not for our shame, but so we will run to the unchanging Truth.
Instead of creating a false covering that needs constant input and affirmation . . .
Living more and more fully as your true self in Christ allows you to love without becoming empty and forgive without feeling like you have lost.
My (Scott’s) book Tree of Lies: Transforming Decisions, Behaviors, and Relationships By Gaining Perspective On Your Identity In Christ is available on Amazon – Tree of Lies and Barnes and Noble – Tree of Lies.
Check out Scott’s giveaway!
Please visit Tree of Lies Giveaway for a resource designed especially for readers of the Messy Marriage blog and to connect with Scott.
What are some ways you’ve sought to feed the “false self” in your life and marriage?
What do you think about Scott’s insights on identity and how we try to define it?
I (Beth) am gearing up for a new series that will involve as many of you as are willing. The series is called “sexual secrets” and will be based upon the sexual hang-ups and hurdles each of us faces in marriage. But I want this to be from each participant’s anonymous perspective—hence the “secrets.”
I have four questions I would like participants to answer, but since I will be keeping each person’s identity a secret you will be free to be as open as you would like without fear or embarrassment. I will be sharing one person’s secret each week for as long as I have participants.
Some of the “hang-ups and hurdles” I’m looking to highlight, but are not limited to, are:
- Past sexual abuse and its impact on your marriage.
- Sexual addictions, including but not limited to pornography addiction.
- The challenge of sex after an affair.
- Sexual identity issues in marriage.
- Sexual preferences and practices are in opposition.
- Growing up in a family with strict rules on sex.
- Being a man with a lower libido than your wife or vice versa.
- Feeling extremely inhibited or insecure in your body image.
- Dealing with sex with a chronic condition or debilitating disease.
- Past sexual promiscuity before marriage and its impact on you now.
- The impact of aging on your sexual relationship.
For more details, options and guidelines, click here. I hope you’ll consider helping me out with your stories! I’m certain that they will help others immensely! Thanks so much! 🙂
Joining with my friends at Giving Up on Perfect, Christian Blogger Community, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Coffee and Conversation, Coffee for Your Heart, Sitting Among Friends, Nanahood, Moments of Hope, Family, Friendship and Faith, DanceWithJesusFriday and LifeGivingLinkup.
Join our From Messes to Messages Linkup!
Add any links that are uplifting, helpful and encouraging to our spiritual lives, marriages and families! Be sure to add a link on your blog back to “From Messes to Messages” or Messy Marriage as well. For linkup guidelines/button, click here.