The Number One Thing that Saved Our own Impossible Marriage
In these tender times, we slim into tender things, hoping we were sitting across the desk, to hear softness, and see gentleness in kind eyes . There are conversations that are best in the framework of real supporting, unconditional relationships , and we framework today’s conversation like that, along with deep tenderness and genuine empathy plus humble understanding . These days, it’s a grace in order to welcome my friend, Laurie Krieg, to the farm’s front patio today…
guest post by Laurie Krieg
M y heart felt icy. “Why feel I even in this relationship? ” I silently asked Christ. “God, help me. Please, give me several hope. ”
I clicked on a Christian podcast seeking to encourage married people. The particular gender joking began instantly: “ Is it God’s big joke that He can make men and women get married? ” I braced personally, guessing I knew exactly what would come next. I’ve noticed it dozens—if not hundreds—of times.
“ I mean, seriously! We all want to have sex before we get married, but then we marry, and surprise! Men like their sports, not speaking emotionally, want lots of actual intimacy, and they want to be remaining alone in their ‘man caverns. ’ Women? They such as Pinterest, talking emotionally, they don’t want sex, plus they want to relate in their ‘she sheds. ’ But! We are in a covenant, and The almighty hates divorce, so , ‘ ha! Stinks to be us. We are stuck ! ”
Click. We couldn’t listen anymore. Our cold heart squeezed in pain.
Yeah. Why is it male-and-female marriage? If you all detest each other so much, why are a person even married?
The weight of their sex jabs fell extra greatly on my ears. I wasn’t simply wrestling with staying in my marriage to my husband, Shiny; I was wrestling with staying in my marriage to a man.
All of us have our own story which is my story.
And I am pleased to vulnerably and humbly share my story, plus grateful for people to hold room for my story and the way it unfolded.
For as long as I can remember, I have been attracted to women. Right after college, as I wrestled with either killing myself, or coming out as a lesbian atheist, I reached out to a counselor for help with the suicidality.
This particular Jesus-loving counselor not only helped to remove shame and self-hatred from my life—she allowed me to to encounter Jesus like We never had before.
Her work through the power of the Spirit did not transform myself from gay to straight, but it cleared a route in my heart to receive really God’s love.
Do you know what God’s like does? Paul in Ephesians says, “ May you experience the love of Christ, even though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made filled with all the fullness of life and strength that comes from Lord ” (Eph. a few: 19, emphasis added).
God’s adore empowers us to pass away daily to self (Luke 9: 23). It enables all of us to surrender our personal versions of brokenness to the Lordship of Christ.
Then The almighty called me to marriage. “I have got someone for you. ” Marriage and singleness are equally valuable modes we do the mission to produce disciples, and only He knows which one will sanctify plus bless us the best. Marriage was pertaining to me —not for everyone like me.
After this call to marriage, God did not make all men appealing to me—that would have been strange and stressful. He connected my cardiovascular to one man, Matt. What started as friendship turned into intertwined hearts. I found I wanted to marry him. Not guys , but Matt. (And he wanted to marry me, to ensure that was good…)
We thought the unique situation would really give us an advantage when it came to the marriage gig. We knew the stereotype that will “men plus women get ‘tricked’ in to marriage by their hormones, ” but we weren’t like them. We were better.
“We didn’t get snookered! Our life together began on the basis of friendship, being upon mission with Jesus, and knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses, ” I think before getting married. Boom. Successful at wedding.
Until we weren’t. Our companionship had grown cold. The once-easy fun was rare, and till a month before this instant when I flipped on the podcasting, I had my eyes on the leave.
One foot in and one foot out there, I went on a silent retreat—a last-ditch effort to sort out what God wanted for me personally. As I sat in a sunbathed room literally making a pro-con list of leaving my husband, The almighty interrupted me with the book of Jude.
Who reads Jude? Apparently, I do, but only because it was next on the daily Bible reading plan that I was oddly still doing in the middle of this clutter. Turns out, God’s Word truly is alive and active (Heb. 4: 12), and brought some of that living Word to mind as I wrestled:
But you, my dear close friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ predicted. They told you that will in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. These people are the ones who are producing divisions among you. They follow their particular natural instincts because they do not possess God’s Spirit in them (Jude 17-19).
Those who follow their organic instincts…do not have God’s Spirit in them?
“So, if I follow what exactly is natural to me because of the Fall— which would be causing Matt —will I actually not have God’s Spirit in me? ” I paused my journal-praying. “Well, exactly what does your Spirit give me? ” Everything was on the table.
In the next 2 micro-seconds something shifted within the room, and I experienced the things i can only describe as a taste of hell: a tiny connection with a life completely devoid of God.
I was so cold and so terrified, and it wasn’t like I was empty—“Ho hum, I want a sandwich”— it was like I was emptiness.
I was left gasping for breath, but one thing was crystal clear to me: God’s Spirit—the Holy Spirit—isn’t some kind of Jiminy Cricket, “Always allow your conscience be your guide! ” character. He is the only Source of life, hope, and peacefulness. The only Source.
And if I desired Him, then I wanted exactly what He had for me. What He had for me was this marriage. This impossible marriage.
And we most have our own impossible relationships.
“How are you going to fix this, The almighty? ” I asked as I absentmindedly turned my wedding ring around our finger after clicking from the podcast. I was committed to God and therefore committed to this marriage, but I was baffled regarding how He would fix it.
I used to be scared of listening to a lot more podcasts. Scared of picking up marriage books. Most of them assumed you were pro-male-female marriage, and thought you’d laugh along with them as they built rapport with you through gender comedies.
Exactly why male-female marriage, Jesus?
After that Ephesians 5 hit me personally like truck. I had heard verses 31-32 in Alfredia settings hundreds of times before, but I always missed the point.
As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, as well as the two are united as one. This is a excellent mystery, but it is an example of the way Christ as well as the church are one. ”
Hold up, hold up, hold up: What is the “great mystery”? That the ol’ from-Mars as well as from-Venus women fall in enjoy? “But ha ha! You’re tricked into a covenant! ”
No! The great mystery is that God wants to and will marry dirty, human, image-bearer, beloved all of us (Rev. 19: 6-9).
Exactly what? That’s bananas. How different are men from women? I mean, alright, stereotypically pretty different. Hence, the jokes.
How different is God from humanity? Ontologically different! Forever different! Cosmically different! Paul says in Ephesians 1: twenty one, “Now he is far over any ruler or authority or power or chief or anything else—not just in this world but also in the world in the future. ”
And yet Jesus will get married to us!
Our marriages tell this love story. When very-different men die to self to be one using their very-different wives, they display the world how very-different Jesus died to be one with very-different us, and how we are to do the same.
Relationship is not a cosmic joke nor cosmic punishment. It is divine design. Marriage is a living, breathing picture of the gospel to the neighbors, to strangers, and to the children in our home.
Special event of sex difference instead of eye-rolling was one of the greatest lightbulb moments in saving our marriage.
It propelled me not to run toward a Hallmark-movie-ending kiss with my husband, but it pushed me to take the next right phase.
And now? Four years after listening to that podcast, I can not believe I get to do this. I cannot think I obtain to live this particular gospel metaphor with my hubby.
But the battle for Christian believers to show the gospel metaphor through Christian marriage—specifically via sex difference—isn’t over. The gender joking in podcasts, books, retreats, and everyday conversation seems unending. Can we please stop?
Too many hurting married people are secretly listening to their friends, picking up books, plus clicking on podcasts—looking for hope—and are missing something amazing: Sex distinction in marriage isn’t the cosmic joke or consequence. It’s divine design.
Searching for unity through our differences preaches the gospel.
Laurie Krieg is a teacher, author, and ministry head who equips the cathedral with a gospel-centered approach to sexuality and marriage. Laurie’s spouse, Matt, is a licensed counselor with specialties in issues related to trauma and libido.
Maybe you read this and were inspired at some level, but also thought, “But Dont really have an impossible marriage. They are doing. I don’t. ” If you have been known as to marriage, this means you have been called to show the world a living, breathing, 24-7 picture of the gospel through oneness along with your spouse. For all of us? That is certainly impossible–without Him (Matt. nineteen: 26).
Read more about Matt and Laurie’s version of an impossible marriage (and receive some practical, gritty hope for yours? ) in An Impossible Marriage. In this book, Laurie and Matt lay out an appealing picture of their marriage in all its pain and beauty. It is a picture that points all of us, over and over again, to the love and grace of Jesus—as relationship was always meant to do.