I wish someone would have told me that my relationship with God is not the same as my relationship with my husband. I also wish that someone would have mentioned that my relationship with God is not the same as my husband’s.
I have been told that my relationship with my husband should be like my relationship with God. And I have been told that marriage is an example of God’s love. I have been told many things about marriage, both from christians and non-christians alike but no one ever told me that they weren’t the same.
I guess that’s because it should be a no brainer right? Well common sense should lead to yes. But… it’s not always the case, and full disclosure, it wasn’t for me. My husband and I have definitely had those newlywed struggles. You know, the awkward ones, where you’re trying to learn how to live with another human, handle your conflict, and learn foreign love languages just to be able to adequately express your love to one another. The first year of marriage is awkward to say the least. Here we are almost 8 months in and I feel like not only has our relationship with each other been rather awkward, but in this time, so has my relationship with Jesus. It’s like I had to learn how to love Him all over again.
I’m about to be pretty transparent with you, but mostly because I feel like transparency is the only way to gain any credibility as a writer. I could sit here and tell you this or that, but without sharing the WHY or HOW I know this, you’d catch yourself thinking “what does this fool know?” Right? Truthfully, I don’t really know much. All I know is that my relationship with Jesus truly got awkward when I started spending more intimate time with my husband and less with Him.
We all know that the best ways to stay close to God are to pray and to read His word. And He tells us in scripture “but when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:6, ESV). It is so simple to let my husband be the spiritual leader in the home, rely on him for saying our prayers, tithing, making sure we attend church, volunteer, and serve our community. He is the man of the house and it’s easy for me to just let him take the lead most of the time. He’s a faithful man. He puts God first in all he does. I mean, he works at our church. It makes sense most of the time.
But my husband’s faith is not MY faith. My husband’s relationship with Jesus is not MY relationship with Jesus. And our marriage, though we are ONE, is NOT the same as my walk with God. That is still on me. It’s very real for me to forget this from time to time and I am sure I am not the only spouse who has done this. I’ve had to learn to reconnect with my Savior. The one who died on the cross to save a wretch like me. I had to learn how to spend time with Jesus ON PURPOSE. Philippians 2:12 says “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” ESV. I needed to work on my own walk of faith with Christ, apart from my husband. I had to set aside time for me to be alone with Him, read His word, spend time studying, praying, and just intimate time alone with the Lord.
Praying together, attending church together, serving together… these are all incredible and intimate ways to spend time both with the Lord and with your spouse. But this does not and should not take the place of your time alone with God. You need to work on your walk with the Lord just you and Him, and then as a trio, Jesus, you, and your spouse. My husband and I are still learning this little dance. We still stumble and step on each other’s toes. We forget who is leading from time to time and need to pause and try again. But every time we waiver, God remains patient and kind. He understands and forgives and He allows us to stumble through the awkwardness so we can learn how to elegantly dance through this life with Him. I only wish I’d known this a little sooner.