The Mess of Marriage
I think you could safely say that I am a mess as a wife. I didn’t come into my marriage with the greatest idea of what a good marriage looked like much less a godly marriage. I had no measuring stick for what being a wife really looked like.
It can’t be that hard to be a good wife, right?
Things will work out how I think they should, right?
Marriage is pretty easy, right?
But a year into my marriage, I was devastated by how much I had failed at what I thought would be so easy. I crumbled under the pressure I put on myself in my marriage to be a ‘good’ wife.
My internal disappointment with myself poured out onto my husband, and I began pushing my husband away in hopes that he wouldn’t realize that I wasn’t the wife he needed.
The truth was that my heart needed some serious mending, my spiritual walk needed pruning, and my marriage needed saving. I just didn’t know it.
Why? Because I was a Martha in my marriage. We see Martha in the Bible (Luke 10:38-42), whose desire to be perfect and have it all together robbed her of the blessing of being with Jesus. She missed out on the most important thing–Jesus, Himself. And Jesus said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one things is necessary.” He was saying to Martha, you’ve made yourself into a mess by trying so hard to have it all together. Sounds like me.
Oftentimes we’re a mess simply because we’re so busy with our own ideas of who we should be, or what we should be doing. Recognizing where we fail is one thing, and wallowing in it is another.
Jesus was trying to remind Martha that she was missing the mark – not the mark of ‘doing’ or ‘being’ something better – but missing the mark altogether, which was being in the presence of Jesus as she went about her day, and as she recognized her messes.
Being a Holy mess means we recognize we are not perfect and hand our weaknesses over to God to do what He does best – make a masterpiece. It means we first invite Jesus into our work and our life so that no matter what, His presence makes it Holy.
Within my marriage, I had to surrender my ideas of being a perfect wife and having a perfect marriage into the hands of a Holy and powerful God. I desperately needed the truth that Jesus died on the cross and rose again into heaven, for me, to settle on my heart and open my eyes to my imperfect yet Holy call as a wife. As I wrestled with God for this truth to settle deep in my heart, He met me and showed me His love.
God doesn’t ask us to come into marriage and be perfect. He says, “I will meet you there with my strength when things are hard. I will meet you with my strength where you are weak.”
The key to experiencing freedom in our hearts and in our marriage comes when we surrender the unrealistic pressure we hold ourselves hostage to, over to God.
If I stayed in the place of trying to be the perfect wife I would surely have failed miserably, I will fail miserably. But, when I surrender my mess to the Master, He is faithful to equip me to be the wife I need to be.
Wife Step: You can read more about being a Holy Mess in Michelle’s latest book, here.
Michelle is a writer and speaker on a mission to equip women to thrive in their walk with Jesus by getting into God’s Word every day. She is a wife to Jeremy – a Minister of Music, and mom to three wild and wonderful kids. She loves Christmas music all year, collecting shells, crazy socks, and drinking lots of coffee. You can find her at www.displayinggrace.com, on Instagram @displayinggrace, or on Facebook @Displaygrace.