The Benefit of Sharing Your Story of Marriage
“We miss seeing your family. I loved watching you and your husband and kids on your Facebook live videos. It made me laugh, and you gave me hope.”
When a friend reached out with these words, I was shocked. You see, I had stopped sharing the intimate parts of my life in our private Facebook group because I was believing a lie.
I had created this support community for single moms, but I started wondering if they would feel like I was shoving my happily ever after story in their faces.
Sure, at one point I had been like them – a single mom hoping for another chance at being a wife. And now that it my dream came true, the last thing I wanted to do was make them feel worse about their current reality of single parenthood.
The wondering turned to believing, and I stopped doing the very thing God had called me to do, which was to share my story and use it to offer hope and encouragement.
Have you ever hesitated to share the good in your life?
The reality is that when it comes to marriage, we don’t have to look far to see marriages that are in distress — the husbands and wives who are struggling and fighting to not lose hope. We don’t have to look far to see the number of single parent families that have resulted from a marriage that didn’t survive.
Because of this, it has become more comfortable to share our struggles and find common ground in our complaints. After all, we have so many of the same issues and it helps to at least know we’re not alone in the trenches. We’re taught that being vulnerable and sharing the hard things will bring us all closer together. While this is true, if we’re not careful it can also lead to focusing too much on the negative, and pursuing a “me too” with a certain kind of desperation.
We have a harder time sharing our wins, our blessings, and the beauty in our lives for fear it may come across as inauthentic or bragging. While it is necessary and helpful to share the struggles so we can link arms and fight for marriage with one another, if we are all fighting for survival, who is offering hope and light, reminding us of God’s faithfulness?
Authenticity doesn’t look like false humility. It examines the motives of the heart, and the desire to help others by sharing what we’ve learned and are learning – good and bad. Sharing our mistakes is incredibly valuable. Sharing our hard days is, too. But let’s not forget the value in being a light that shines the beauty and faithfulness of our Lord on the other side of the struggle. Let’s not forsake being a beacon of hope and letting others into what God is doing to put His goodness on display.
Friend, do you have a story of God’s provision in your life that you’ve held back from sharing?
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven,” (Matthew 5:14-16, ESV).
I think the enemy wants to keep us silent about the wins, the blessings, and the joy in our marriages by making us believe that we will be misunderstood as prideful or fake. We are terrified of stepping on the toes of those who are struggling, when our light is the very thing they need to see.
Dear wife, if you are reading this and you are fighting for your marriage, I’m so glad you’re here. I pray you hear and read stories of so many who have been where you are and have gotten through by God’s grace.
And if you are reading this and your marriage is a story of a win? I encourage you to not hold back and instead share the beautiful story God has given you as beacon of hope to others. Don’t hide the beautiful parts – the world is aching for hope, and we can give it.
Do you have a marriage story that is encouraging? We’d love to hear it! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us all about it.
Wife Step: Reach out to a friend right now and share with her an encouraging story from your life regarding your marriage or some other area. If you’re in need of an encouraging story, ask a friend to lift you up with one.
Elizabeth Oschwald is a freelance writer, blogger, and joy-seeker. She lives in central Illinois in an ever-improving rustic farmhouse with her husband and seven children. They are a blended family, which means the journey she pictured for her life and the one she’s found herself on are definitely different. But it also means she knows firsthand how God takes broken things and makes them beautiful. She loves to write transparently about their raw and real family life, her experiences in single motherhood, and how Jesus can add joy in every season. You can connect with her at www.addingjoy.com, on Facebook, and Instagram.