Thursday, February 6, 2014

Disappointment in Marriage (and a few suggestions)

What makes you the most disappointed in life?  ... How you look?  That you didn't attend college and now have a job that doesn't pay very much?  Your marriage (or rather, lack of it)?  Not being able to go on vacation this year because of various circumstances?  The loss of health?  ...

We all experience disappointment in life.  There are many times when the plans we have made do not work out and our day (or year) goes very differently than we had anticipated.

Sometimes how we look consumes us and makes us desire to look like that actress or have the life of that model or be in the films that actor has been in...or maybe we wish we could look more like one of our siblings who often receive attention from others over their appearance, or like a friend who has always been the "skinny one" or the one without acne.  Maybe it is a co-worker or boss that we find stunning and yet when we see ourselves in the mirror, all we notice is our faults, insecurities, and flaws.

"For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb.  I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made..."  Psalm 139: 13-14

Not attending college and being at the job you are at now might be disheartening because you don't make enough money.  What can you do to budget money as to feel secure with the financial decisions you make?  Check out a blog post I wrote entitled, "Keeping a Budget" found here.  It should be helpful.

Being married and feeling alone or like you are two single people living in the same house can be rough.  Really.  I have known a few people in this circumstance and it is sad to witness.  What are you to do when your spouse doesn't appear to care much or seems to choose work, hobbies, TV, spending time with friends, or the internet above spending time with you?  I would suggest first and foremost examining your own heart.

By examining your own heart, I mean, ask yourself, "Is what I am asking for reasonable or am I being demanding and trying to control the person?  Am I desiring intimacy and oneness in the relationship or do I simply want to control their every move so I can know where they are at all times and who they are spending time with?  Do I long for friendship and communication in the relationship or do I desire to gather info through our conversations to later hold against them?  Do I care to invest in this relationship for both I and my spouse's blessing and fulfillment or am I being needy and obsessive?  What boundaries can we set in our relationship that will enable growth, friendship, fulfillment, and affection and not cross the line from being genuine to being demanding?"

Whether you are a husband or wife, ponder your intentions and reasons for being upset.  Some couples (many actually) really do neglect their responsibility of living up to their God-given roles in marriage because of selfishness and not wanting to give up their rights...and others are willing to invest in the relationship but may have unresolved issues that they don't know how to address, deal with, or communicate to you and it hinders them from moving forward in the relationship.  For example, if a man feels overwhelmed by having to work so much and when he gets home, pays little attention to you because he wants "me-time" to relax after a difficult day, he might be upset over having the carry the responsibility of providing for the family so he takes it out on the wife by rudeness, a bad attitude, ignoring her, or being short-tempered.  Seeking godly counsel would be very beneficial because it will offer the right perspective on the situation; if for anything, to enable you to deal with it and have the correct outlook that will prevent you from being overtaken with anger and loneliness.

Next, be open and honest with trusted godly friends about the lack of relationship in your marriage, the lack of intimacy, lack of communication, affection, and quality well as the way your spouse treats you and the reasons they give for not being there for you and making your marriage a relationship that they seek to maintain and build over time.  If you don't really have godly friends to speak to about the issues happening in your marriage, speak to a Pastor or Elder at church and ask for counsel or for them to direct you to an older, godly couple that can mentor you and give you Biblical wisdom and advice/insight from their history of being married, ways they have grown as a couple, and the wisdom they have gleaned through speaking to other couples about how they have invested in their marriage that led to a strengthened and more intimate relationship.

I am noticing more and more just how needed seeking godly counsel is and how important and crucial it is to be open and honest about our struggles, temptations, strongholds, and disappointments.  We not only need a support system, but also like-minded believers who will speak truth into our lives and call us out on ways we may be wrong or not attending to our God-given roles and responsibilities.  Genuine accountability works and I believe is a MAJOR step we must pursue and maintain because there are so many benefits to this and so many further issues we could have avoided if only we sought help and were honest to begin with.  It is freeing and beneficial to seek help from seasoned believers who know the word of God and can counsel you on issues you know little about (as evidenced by you not knowing what to do about your relationship).

A dear friend of mine and I like to say something to the effect of, "If you are a real Christian, God WILL have His way in your life; regardless if you kick and scream for a long time...God will prevail because He wants what is best for us and will do what is necessary to transform our lives, build our character, purge/refine/and sanctify us, and conform us more into the image of God's Son.  Change is might as well offer God a grateful heart of surrender for your own good, growth, and benefit and not wait until He has to break you to accomplish His will."

Not going on vacation like you had planned can be very disappointing.  I am learning that if God has a different plan for how we spend the day or week, let us joyfully accept it.  The Lord knows what He is doing.

If you are experiencing a loss of health, a change of diet, the pursuit of good quality vitamins, drinking plenty of water, resting as much as possible, and stopping your intake of sugar are good steps to take to be in better health.  Trust in the Lord's timing.  He has planned the date of your birth and the date of your death.  Your life in its entirety is in His precious hands.

"...and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them."  Psalm 139: 16

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