Truths To Live By
by: Saleama A. Ruvalcaba
We search far and wide for it – perfection. We want perfect children. We want a perfect church, with all-inclusive perfect worship, perfect preaching, and perfect people. The moment church is no longer perfect we find another one. We want perfect education. We want perfect friends. We want to live in the perfect neighborhood. And most importantly – we want the perfect spouse.
Isn’t it amazing to know that we are nothing but a bunch of imperfect people who are always searching perfect situations?
In marriage, we want our spouse to mold into our perfect image, and we find ourselves unhappy waiting for the mold to dry.
When O’ Lord
Early in my marriage me and Omar both had it bad. We had no patience for each other. Omar was raised by a mother who waited on her three boys. She cooked for them, cleaned, and did their laundry. Sorry for Omar but I was nothing like his mother. I did not know how to cook. I did not know how to clean, and I barely knew how to do laundry. I wasn’t taught these life skills as a child and Omar was eager for me to change. On the flip-side, I wanted a husband who would care for me through acts of service. Omar’s mother mowed their lawn, painted their house, and climb on top of their roof to fix it. Omar was not interested in my desire for acts of service. His mother could fix their roof, so as far as he was concerned, I could do my own acts of service. For many years we battled in this area.
Omar wanted his “mother” as a wife and I wanted my “idea” of a husband. Some of what we desired in each other may not have been wrong. What’s wrong with wanting your wife to cook, or your husband to fix your car? There was nothing wrong with our desires in themselves, however, our hearts were wrong. We had the false assumption we’d be happy once we each changed into who we wanted. We demanded these things from each other and offered no grace.
In Stormie Omartian’s book; The Prayer That Changes Everything, she says; “The cause of so much strife in marriage, or in any important relationship, is that usually someone has a hard heart.”
I am often amazed by the many people who sit on social media who have arguments with other people. People whom they do not know. When reading some of the comments it’s apparent that no one is going to budge on their position. No one is going to seriously consider the other arguments. Everyone believes they’re right. Everyone believes their position is the only position with validity. So, in the end, the social media wars are a waste of time – as the probability of respectful compromising dialogue is unlikely. Same is true when our hearts are hard in our marriage. Many of you are living right now in a war with a hard heart toward your husband. You are waiting for him to change. You want control.
Omartian continues; “Control demands all the externals of love without the heart of love.”
John 8:21 Jesus said; “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
While you are waiting for your husband to change, you fail to see that you do not love him unconditionally. Subconsciously you can only love him once he’s conditioned to your liking. There’s an old saying; “If you look for something, you will find it.” If you only look for the bad in your husband, you’ll find it. As disciples of Jesus Christ, you begin a new journey, and that journey is to allow Christ to be Lord over your life. Your relationship with Jesus Christ allows you to praise and worship God who loves both you and your husband. When the love of Jesus Christ enters your heart, things that once bothered you about your spouse no longer bothers you.
Psalm 145:9 “The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.”
When You Look Inside Yourself First
When I began to grow as a disciple of Jesus Christ, I suddenly had a desire to change certain things about myself – first! I wanted to please my husband. I wanted to make him happy. I suddenly had a desire to learn how to cook, clean, and take care of our home. I wanted Omar to come home to a lovely home each day. Through Omar’s relationship with Jesus Christ, he too had a desire to change. Where Omar once resented taking my car to get gas, he now drives me everywhere I need to go. We once had huge arguments about me not cooking. Now we both cook without any issues.
Having a perfect marriage is not about changing each other. Instead, it’s about allowing God to live through your marriage. It’s about allowing God to change both of your spiritually. It’s not about trying to be perfect. Me and Omar argue. He does things that drive me crazy such as leaving his shoes in the kitchen, forgetting plans that we have, and not listening when I am trying to explain something to him. I drive him crazy with my sudden mood swings, when I mess up his “well-organized” files, or when I demand he drop what he’s doing for something I deem important. We bicker just like any other married couple. You might be out driving one day and see us arguing in our car. If that makes you lose faith in us, that’s really too bad, because by the time we get home we’re probably totally over it.
Having a perfect a marriage does not mean we wake up every day singing happy songs. It doesn’t mean we have perfect children and it doesn’t mean we live with perfect circumstances. Having a perfect marriage is to love your imperfect spouse with all your heart and soul.
In Dr. Tony Evans book; For Married Men Only, he says; “To sanctify someone or something means to set it apart from the common or ordinary usage for a special purpose – to make it holy.” Your husband cannot be someone he is not. But you can still love him in a special way. Your job is to do your best each day to love him as Christ loves him, because whether you realize it or not, God adores your husband. As you grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ, and as your husband is growing, certain quirks about him won’t bother you any longer. You’ll be too busy praising God for the spiritual changes you see in your husband.
Connect The Imperfect Dots
I had a job working for a woman who was MEAN! She criticized everything I did. She scolded me all the time. Every day I made a major mistake. I would sit in my car at lunch crying. Eventually I was laid off. I found a new job a few months later in the same field – basically doing the same thing. The woman I worked for at this new company fed me compliments and repeatedly told me, “You can do it!” I thrived at the new company. They assigned me tougher clients because management had confidence in me.
It’s amazing how we don’t connect dots. If you treat people like they’re incompetent that’s exactly how they’ll behave. However, when you show them you have confidence in them and you allow them to learn and grow – God will bring out the best in them. If you love your imperfect husband with the same grace and tenderness in which God loves you, you’ll be amazed at how God will bring out the best in him as your husband feeds off your love.
If you want a perfect marriage, then stop trying to make it “perfect”. Get on your knees to praise and worship God for loving us all – His imperfect children.
Thank Him for His grace and mercy and for dying on the cross for our sins. There is freedom when we praise God. We let go – and we let Him in.
There are no perfect situations. My marriage is perfect in my eyes because I truly love my husband with all of his flaws.
Allow the perfect love of Jesus Christ to help you and your spouse love each other’s imperfections with passion, adoration, and joy.
1 John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us.”
-Saleama A. Ruvalcaba