Today our second guest blogger takes the stage! Heathahlee of Butterfly Genes has graciously agreed to share with us, and let me tell you, this post is downright convicting! Heathahlee is another blog-friend who has been there from the very, very beginning. She was commenting on the blog even before MHR and she jumped on the MHR bandwagon from the very first week! She is insanely multi-talented, in addition to writing, she has music in her heart and loves to serve the Lord with that gift (check out this post to see what I'm talking about), and she has an adorable Etsy shop here! To read about the origins of her blog name, click here! Enough prattling from me, I give you Heathahlee:
The Battle We Face
I recently read the book, "Every Woman's Battle." It is about the battle in our minds and our emotions. How often do we compare our husbands to someone else? Another woman's husband...a co-worker...a family friend. We start innocently enough...
"I wish MY husband would send me flowers for no reason like Mandi's does. He's so romantic! I wonder what else he does for her?"
"Dave is such a good dad to his kids! Kylie is so lucky to have a husband like him. I wish my husband took more time with our kids."
"Why won't my husband pick up his dirty underwear off the floor??? I have asked him to a jillion times! I'm sure Mike does...his wife brags all the time how neat he is."
What we've done is opened our hearts to someone who has no business being there. That's dangerous territory. We must, as 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, "...take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." If we don't do this, we are setting ourselves up for misery at best, and the ruination of lives at worst.
"What?" You may say..."I'm not having an affair! Good grief! How can these innocent complaints be anything CLOSE to an affair?" Well, they may not start out that way, but if you don't do what that verse says and nip it, nip it, nip it! you open more and more doors, until your heart is so hurt by what you've allowed yourself to believe (your husband isn't good enough to you, someone else would meet your emotional needs better, it's God's will for you to be happy, etc, etc.) that you are open to the very thing you said you'd never do. It's a slippery slope, and one that could be avoided if we would just "take captive every thought".
I know marriage is hard. I am married to my best friend...my soul-mate. We are so very close. I love him more than I ever thought I could love someone. But you know what? I've had to battle with this very subject. I have had to learn to take those thoughts captive. Even in my strong marriage the temptation is there to compare my husband with others. I can imagine how much easier it is when you are in a marriage where your husband is emotionally distant.
So, what are we supposed to do?
Matthew 22:37-38 says "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment."
As Shannon Ethridge says in "Every Woman's Battle," "While avoiding unhealthy emotional connections and relationships is important, it's not enough to guarantee success in keeping our hearts guarded against compromise. The secret to ultimate emotional satisfaction is to pursue a mad, passionate love relationship with the One who made our hearts, the One how purifies our hearts, and the One who strengthens our hearts against worldly temptations. The secret is to focus your heart on your First Love."
Letting your thoughts wander to one relationship is THE best thing you can do. The relationship between you and your Savior! Get in the Word. Read books on being a godly wife. Don't focus on what is lacking in your husband, focus on what is NEVER lacking in your Heavenly Father!
A few months ago I had to confess some thoughts to my husband that weren't healthy. I begged God to not "make" me tell him. But I knew the Holy Spirit only wanted the best for me and my husband. I confessed to him and asked his forgiveness. Thankfully he readily gave it. But I never want to have to go to him with that kind of confession again. And you know what? Ever since I confessed to him, it's been easier to take those thoughts captive.
Have an accountability partner that you trust will keep your conversations confidential. Someone who will speak truth in love. Just knowing I have the freedom to blurt out some of the things that go through my mind is so freeing. I am not in bondage to my thought life, and you don't have to be either!
So what if you do all of this? Will it guarantee your marriage will be better and your husband will be all the things you want him to be? Not necessarily. But your relationship with God will be so much stronger He will show you the next step. You can trust Him with the most trivial of things in your marriage...even dirty underwear!
I strongly suggest Shannon's book...get it here!