Confessions of a Failed Husband
I entered my marriage full of excitement, passion and love. However, after three short years my marriage had been reduced to routine, predictability and mediocrity. I was placing more time and energy into my career, hobbies and entertainment than my marriage and it ultimately almost cost me a divorce. The sad part was that most of our married friends and my colleagues at work were on the exact same path. Marriages that started out strong and exciting slowly drifted toward resentment and isolation. As a result, after three short years, my wife and I separated and a divorce was on our horizon.
One of the primary reasons I failed is because I entered marriage a selfish person. It took me years to figure out that marriage included sacrifice and putting the needs of my spouse above my own. Marriage is not giving 50-50 but more like giving 100-100. Both partners need to give all they have to the other person in a truly altruistic way.
I also fell into the trap of conditional love. If my wife took actions that I deemed pleasing, I’d “reward” her with love, affection and time together. If she displeased me, I would act cold, aloof and spend my time on TV, sports or with the guys. I thought marriage was a give and take transaction; I only had to give when I received something for myself. I wonder how many divorces start this way?
However, the biggest reason my marriage almost ended in divorce was that we left something at the alter on our wedding day. When we went to our reception dinner and left for the honeymoon, it was not in the limousine. When we got to our new apartment (a tiny 800 square footer that we were so proud of) it was not there either. The thing we forgot to bring with us is God’s grace.
God’s grace is the ultimate wedding gift, freely given through the blood of Christ. It is the marriage gift that gives us the power to override our self-absorbed egos, our self-determined conditions and our preconceived notions. When we bring God’s grace into our marriage and make Christ our focus, God’s grace will provide a secure love, a significant purpose and a strong hope in the lives of both spouses and the entire marriage.
Luckily, during our separation period, I did some serious self-reflection and praying and ultimately we found God’s grace and made Christ the focus of our relationship. Since that time, God’s grace has continued to shine in our marriage and strengthen our relationship. My wife and I just celebrated 16 years of marriage and we now face the world together, united with God’s glory and grace on our side and in our hearts. The best part is that finding grace in our marriage ultimately led to grace entering into our parenting as well.
I challenge you to learn from my mistakes; don’t settle for mediocrity and resentment. Let God’s grace shine in your marriage and enrich your lives and relationship together.
Dr. Tim Kimmel’s new book, Grace Filled Marriage covers this topic in-depth and will give you a detailed plan to bring God’s grace into your marriage, I highly recommend you pick up a copy for yourself and for any married couple you know.
Written by Lance Jacobs
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