Category Archives: Marriage

A Letter to Myself About Glennon’s Divorce

 

Glennon Doyle Melton announced earlier this month that she is leaving her husband.

I admire her vulnerability in sharing about her marriage and her decision to leave. I thought about making this “A Letter to Glennon About Her Divorce.” But I’m not. Because this post isn’t about her.

It’s about me.Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery has been a source of much marriage advice, humor, and more. When she announced her decision to leave her husband, it rocked me. It felt like something came loose in my heart - and what bubbled to the surface could not be ignored.

You see, Glennon closed her announcement with a very wise request: “Sometimes, when people make decisions about marriage, it evokes strong feelings in others. If my news does that to you today, please look inside and get curious about whether those feelings have more to do with you and your life than they do about me and mine.”

You could say her announcement “evoked strong feelings in me.” (I mean, if a full blown panic attack counts as “strong feelings.”) I realize I do not know every detail of Glennon’s journey, and I also know I shouldn’t project my life and marriage experience onto hers.

But likewise, I must be careful to not project her experience (and subsequent conclusions) onto mine.

My marriage isn’t an easy one. I see couples who appear to LOVE BEING MARRIED. I just don’t feel like that. Perfect example: one year, on her 10th wedding anniversary, a friend posted a picture online from their wedding and wrote, “If I had known then what I know now, I would’ve run down that aisle!”

I thought, “Holy crap, what a horrible thing to say.”

Then I realized she meant she would’ve run down the aisle TOWARD HIM.

In that moment, my mind instinctively pictured the bride running down the aisle and OUT OF THE CHURCH.

See what I’m saying here?

You guys, my husband is a GOOD MAN. But, if I had known 13+ years ago how hard this would be, how much ongoing work it would require – I wouldn’t have done it. I understand I may be the only one who feels like this. But I suspect I’m not.

Has it been ALL hard work and ZERO enjoyment? Of course not. (Although that’s what the voice in my head will try to tell me.) But do I always feel like, “I LOVE BEING MARRIED!”?  I’m sorry, but no. I LOVE reading books. I LOVE taking naps. I LOVE eating brownies.

I don’t always LOVE being married. I AM married. And the two don’t always go together. I don’t always feel like I fit here. And being married certainly doesn’t always foster my own peace. Glennon describes a still, small voice that guides her. Well, mine regularly says, “It’s not supposed to be this hard.” It whispers promises of freedom and escape. It beckons to me in the name of self-trust and self-peace and self-love.

If you read her announcement, then perhaps you understand how Glennon’s words resonated so deeply with me. Why her words evoked strong feelings in me. She said so many things I feel on a regular basis.

I was completely undone.

That still, small voice continued ringing in my ear long after I finished reading Glennon’s post. All evening, my head and my heart drummed, “God loves you more than He loves marriage. You have Jesus. Nothing can separate you from God’s love. Even divorce.

And you guys, I had a full blown panic attack. Because I very sincerely believe each of those statements are TRUE. Those statements do not contradict Scripture.

But I also very sincerely believe that the enemy was using that truth AGAINST ME.

Because do you know what ELSE can never separate me from God’s love?

My marriage.

When my marriage feels like such hard work, riddled with misunderstandings, unmet expectations, and hurt feelings (“It’s not supposed to be this hard!”), I can often feel overlooked by God. I tried to follow Him and His ways, and I still ended up in a marriage that seems to require more than I have to offer. SO NOW WHAT.

And then I feel alone. Like I’m completely on my own in this thing. Distanced from my husband in any meaningful way, and separated from the God who was supposed to keep it from being this hard.

But who in the world said it’s not supposed to be this hard? And just because I feel isolated from God doesn’t mean I am. And YES my marriage requires more than I have to offer. Because I wasn’t meant to come into this thing in my own strength. And neither was my husband.

“God loves us far more than any institution God made for us [marriage].”

This is a true statement.

And so dangerous out of the greater context of God’s love for me.

Because YES He loves me more than my marriage. But He can so greatly live His love out, to, and in me by walking me THROUGH my marriage.

And when I don’t feel like I fit here? You guys, God is reminding me that He made marriage big enough to HANDLE THAT. You don’t get smaller. Your marriage gets bigger. Marriage stretches. It grows. And you stretch. And you grow. And YES IT’S PAINFUL. But some of life’s most glorious gifts are borne through pain and stretching.

So, indeed, NOW WHAT.

My first “now what” is to refuse to trust the “still, small voice” outside of the context of what else is true. Fear is not the boss of me. And that little voice in my head? ALSO NOT THE BOSS OF ME. It may not be popular, but GOD is the boss of me. (And in Him, also TRUTH and LOVE.) So, I will seek to recognize God’s voice through prayer and His Word. Because He is trustworthy. And because He loves me even more than I am capable of loving myself.

Now what #2: Back to marriage counseling for Matt and me. Because it’s worth it. WE are worth it.

Now what #3: Let’s address that issue of “if I had known 13 years ago… I wouldn’t have gotten married.” Here’s the thing. Thirteen years ago I had NO IDEA what marriage would actually require of me. And I THANK GOD I DIDN’T. Because I would’ve missed the GIFT of the tears turned to laughter, the stretching and breaking and growing and healing. The miracle of making it through – over and over again. NOW WHAT I KNOW: marriage requires more than I can give because marriage is BIGGER THAN ME. It’s bigger than us. It’s bigger than always loving being in it. It’s bigger than sometimes wishing you weren’t.

I’m going to a conference. And I’m wearing my pajamas.

How great would it be to experience the awesome teaching, encouragement, and inspiration of a women’s conference – but without having to pack a bag, shell out a load of cash for a hotel, and arrange to be gone for multiple days and nights? Don’t get me wrong – I love me a girls’ weekend. But sometimes the effort required to get away can make it nearly impossible to pull off.

I’ve got a great alternative for you: the Wisdom for Wives online conference. It’s coming up SOON! May 12-14, 2015, to be exact. And can I tell you something more amazing? When you register to “attend” (And by “attend,” I mean “watch the conference on your computer. In your pajamas.”), you then have access to RE-WATCH any of the sessions for a FULL YEAR. Are the live dates not going to work for you? Access the sessions during the kids’ naps and spread it over several days at your own pace.

You guys, this is my kind of conference. (They had me at pajamas.)

Session topics include:

  • The Secret to a Thriving Marriage
  • A Kind Wife
  • 5 Steps to Improving Sexual Intimacy
  • To the Wife Who Is Ready to Run
  • Praying Over Your Husband
  • When Porn Shows up in Your House
  • Nurturing Your Marriage in the Middle of the Storm
  • Keeping the Spark Alive with Young Children
  • Choosing Him All Over Again: 11 Checkpoints to Refresh Your Marriage
  • How to Rein in Your Emotions So You Don’t Tear Down Your Home

… and more!

Click the image below to check out more details and register today!

Do you want a better marriage? Join us for the Wisdom for Wives online conference, May 12-14, 2015!

 

Heart of the Home (+ the wisest thing you can do each day)

Have you ever felt like an emotional pinball machine? You may think you need a verse about emotions. But you probably need this instead. (Plus, discover the wisest thing you can do each day.)I’ve been an emotional pinball machine lately. Thrown to and fro, bouncing high to low, at the mercy of changing moods.

And not just my own moods (although I’ve got enough for all of us). If Owen’s crabby, I get crabby. If Molly’s dramatic, here comes Drama-Mama.

Sucked into this riptide of reactivity, I’ve felt powerless to lift my head above the rise and fall of the moods and circumstances around me.

When I opened my Bible today, I thought I needed a verse about emotions.

Instead, God gave me a verse about power.

While I bemoaned that I’m drowning and powerless, this verse cut straight through the riptide. It declared that I have, in fact, been entrusted with great power and influence:

A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands. (Proverbs 14:1 NLT)

I have the power to be a builder or a breaker. 

As a woman, I am the heart of the home.  This means the climate of my heart determines the climate in our home. Not my husband’s heart. Not my children’s hearts.

My heart.

True confession: I don’t know if this fact is good news or bad news to me today. I do know that it’s a huge responsibility. And not a responsibility I even WANT most of the time.

But like it or not, it’s true. And pretending it’s not true is not going to change it.

So, yes, it’s a big responsibility. But with that great responsibility comes incredible opportunity. It doesn’t mean I can’t have a bad day. But it IS a crucial wake-up call regarding the damage I can wield with my response to a bad day (or to someone else’s bad day).

But the verse doesn’t ONLY say a foolish woman tears down her house with her own hands. It is a just-as-crucial wake-up call regarding the GOOD I can infuse into my home.

The wise woman builds her home.

Build: (verb)
1. to construct by assembling and joining parts or materials
2. to establish, increase, or strengthen
3. to mold, form, or create

A WISE woman builds her home. She joins things and people together. She establishes, increases, and strengthens her home and those within it. She molds, forms, and creates the climate of her home.

Note that the verse does not say the crafty woman. Not the fashionable, the maternal, the Pinterest-worthy. A woman COULD be all these things. (God bless her! I am not her!) But EVEN IF SHE’S NOT, she can still build her home.

God in Heaven, how do I foster a life-GIVING and life-BUILDING climate in my home when I feel like the world is trying to suck the life FROM me ?

Wisdom. It’s the wise woman. Oh God, what does a wise woman do? And how do I become her?

I needn’t pine after every single womanly/motherly/whateverly skill I may lack.

I need wisdom.

And praise God, He delights to give it.

He doesn’t fault me for needing it. Or asking for it.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)

Perhaps the wisest thing I can do each day is ASK FOR WISDOM.

Wisdom to navigate the tides and currents in my home and our lives. Wisdom to set my sail to catch the wind of God’s Spirit in our presence. Wisdom to remember I’m not the Anchor. Wisdom to honor the gravity of what HAS been entrusted to me: the power to build and the power to tear down with my very own hands.