Keeping our Spouses Off Balance

10 Jun

At the end of this month, I will complete my 55th journey around the sun.

I have learned a few things, but I have seen a lot more things that I don’t understand.

I am so glad I have a sovereign Lord who understands them all. I can rest, uncomprehending, in His arms!

I tend to collect friends. I mean, I make and keep them for life.

And as I learn about their lives and families, I see a pattern far too often.

It is the marriage in which one or more of the partners constantly strives to keep the other off balance.

I think I understand a few things about the dynamics of such a marriage, but if I am right, the concept is not flattering to the people involved.

I think some people, often female people, can’t give up the idea of being pursued by someone, even after they have him.

They have enjoyed courtship and the deep sense of longing their man conveyed at that time. So they go ahead and create drama that leads him to believe he is in danger of losing his woman’s love or that he has to work to get back in her good graces.

Problem is, when God created Christian marital love to reflect Christ’s love for the church, the picture didn’t quite work that way. Instead of being thrilled by a man pursuing me, my marriage is supposed to mature me to the place where I am thrilled to be part of that man’s team, striving together for the common goal of reflecting Christ and His love to a fallen, broken world.

Working together, you see. Putting my energy into being on a team instead of putting it into running ahead of someone with hopes he will chase me.

Men may not play the “keep the marriage off balance with drama” game as often, but I have heard of many men withdrawing, often into depression, and keeping the marriage off-balance that way, with their silence.

I have finally understood how this works, after seeing many, many marriages break up over a partner’s depression, often the man’s.

I optimistically thought that a marriage would provide a safe place to be depressed, without realizing that depressed men are in no position to feel safe.

I thought the gratitude of being in a loving relationship would be a natural antidote to depression, without realizing that depressed people can’t feel gratitude or count their blessings. That is part of why depression is so disabling.

Depressed people are stuck people. Without the grace of God, they can’t get unstuck. They need a power outside of themselves, greater than themselves.

Truly God sanctifies Christian marriage and uses it, just not always in the ways we think He will.

But, back to our drama queen wives and our depressed husbands, we all need more of Jesus and less of ourselves.

And we all need to try to work with God in His pattern for sanctified marriage, doing our level best to lay aside game playing.

He will carry the burden of the work. He always does. His yoke is easy on us because He carries the heavy end!

And we proceed in balance, heavenly balance, not in cheap, momentary thrills and adrenaline surges cooked up by our own deceitful hearts.

For the biggest thrill turns out to be walking, in balance, with Him!

on His end!

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