When Marriage Meets Insecurity
I didn’t get married thinking my life would be a fairy tale. I knew tying the knot wouldn’t be a blissful end to a romantic movie, but rather a beginning to a life of new struggles and excitement, joys and difficult things. But I did hope marriage might end the ache in my heart for affirmation. I thought the security of a husband would erase the words “insecure” and “not enough” from my heart. It didn’t. I found that out pretty quickly.
Almost two days into our status as Mr. and Mrs. Nieves, I noticed I was doing this: I’d look at my husband and in a sweet voice, I’d ask, “Do you like me?” And he’d respond with any one of these variations: “Yes, of course,” or, “Absolutely,” or, “Definitely, sweetie.” It may have been cute if I only asked him once in a playful way, because it was obvious my husband was a pretty big fan of me. But I actually started asking him the same question each day—even two or three times a day.
Did this guy like me? Let’s take some inventory. He dated me for two-and-a-half years, proposed, vowed to love and cherish me, put two rings on my finger, and bought a house for us to live in. Yeah, you’d think he’s a little smitten.
And it hit me. I had insecurity bubbling in my heart and spilling into our new marriage almost as soon as I went from Miss to Mrs. It wasn’t that I was doubting my husband’s feelings for me. I know he loves me.
But in my heart, “Do you like me?” actually sounded a lot more like this:
- Are you glad I’m yours?
- Are you having fun with me?
- Am I being a good wife?
- Am I making you happy?
I wanted assurance. I wanted to be told again and again that I was wonderful, beautiful, amazing wife material. But I’m married. Shouldn’t I be assured of all that by now?
I wish I were. Because that would mean I’m free from the insecurity that’s eating up my soul. But the truth is, I’m still wrestling through heavy feelings of inadequacy and insecurity.
I bet you know how that feels. I’m pretty sure there are places in each of our hearts that ask:
- Do you like me?
- Am I good enough?
- Do I have what it takes?
- Do I matter?
Marriage Won’t Fix It
Marriage won’t heal your insecurities. Having a man who loves you won’t fix your broken body image. Being a wife won’t turn you into the confident woman you’ve always wanted to be. Having a boyfriend can’t fix your deep-down need to be loved and cherished.
Jesus is the One who heals and fixes our brokenness and turns us into the Christ-confident women He wants us to be.
But we forget that He’s the Healer, don’t we? We remember that we want to be valued and beautiful and full of worth, but we forget about the One who’s already given His perfect love to us. So we get caught longing for someone else’s love, striving and hoping that they’ll notice and see us, when instead we could be completely at rest in Him, the God who exults over us (Zeph. 3:17).
Carrying Our Insecurities to the Cross
Instead of striving, let’s lay our insecurities down at the foot of His cross.
Take your social anxiety, your fear of reaching out to others, and lay it before the One who removes fear from our hearts (2 Tim. 1:7; Rom. 8:15; Ps. 91:4-7).
Take the words “ugly” and “misfit,” and lay them before the Master Artist who has created you (Ps. 139:13–16).
Take your feelings of inadequacy and failure, and lay them before the strong One who takes our weakness and turns it into His power (Phil. 4:13; John 14:12; Isa. 43:2).
Take whatever insecurities you’ve got, and surrender them. But don’t stop there. Get intentional about protecting yourself from the lies that will inevitably come your way.
1. Know what the Word says about God’s love for you.
You can sing “What Makes You Beautiful” as much as you want, but One Direction won’t heal the gaping hole of insecurity in your heart. Cling to God’s promises of love on a day-by-day, moment-by-moment basis. Start here: Ephesians 3:17–19; Jeremiah 31:3; Hosea 2:19; Psalm 42:8; Romans 8:38–39.
2. “Comparison is the thief of joy.” ~Theodore Roosevelt
Jesus can set you free from the trap of comparison. Run to Him when you get caught. It’s okay to walk away from Instagram if it makes you feel like you’ll never measure up.
3. Open up. Tell a friend.
Does anyone know how much you struggle with insecurity? Have you ever told anyone? There’s power in telling a trusted Christian friend or counselor or teacher. Ask for prayer and counsel. Text them when you need encouragement.
A boyfriend or a husband won’t be your ticket to freedom from insecurity. Jesus Christ is the true source of confidence, security, and freedom.
I’m thankful that my marriage is already revealing the massive load of insecurity I’m carrying, because I know Christ is teaching me to take it to the cross. And I want to walk this road with you. How is God dealing with insecurity in your own heart?
Written by Samantha Nieves