Do you ever feel it? The failure of marriage?
I’m not talking about the failure that leads to separation and divorce. No, that is a different topic entirely. I’m talking about those days when you just know you have been the worst spouse in existence. You wonder why your beloved even puts up with you. No matter how hard you try to say the right thing, everything out of your mouth is wrong. No matter how hard you try to help, every action hinders instead.
Am I Alone?
The voice inside my head often tells me that I am the only wife who ever experiences failure like this. I have had friends confess that at times they have felt like the world’s worst mom, but few have ever shared with me their feelings of failure as a wife. Typically I hear that it’s all his fault. Or it’s the kids fault. Or it’s hormones. Or it’s…
Just go ahead and fill in the blank. You know what excuses you use.
But I have a feeling that I am not really as alone in this as I feel. It is easier to gripe about a perceived external cause than admit our own failures. So the words we share in public are words of complaint rather than confession. All the while, we press down that suffocating feeling of failure.
What would happen if we would just admit it and work through it instead?
Guess what, my friends. We will fail in marriage. We will let our spouses down. We will say and do the wrong thing.
It is what we do next that makes the difference.
The last thing I want to do when I feel like a failure is humble myself before the Lord, crushing the pride that led to my failure in the first place. But that is the only thing that will work.
I cannot be the wife that my husband needs. I am incapable of it. But the Holy Spirit who lives within me can provide every right word, every strengthening action, and every ounce of rightness that I lack on my own.
My failure comes when I do not allow Him to shine through me. It comes when I try to do this marriage thing on my own. It comes when I seek my satisfaction, strength, and energy from worldly sources. It comes when I rely on Ann to be capable of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. While each and every one of those attributes are essential to a successful marriage, Galatians 5:22-23 reminds me that they bind together to comprise the fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of Ann’s human nature.
Of course, now that I really think about it, this is not just about marriage. It is about our spiritual walk in general. We will fail. But the Spirit never fails.
What will you walk in this week? Your failure or the Spirit’s success? I don’t know about you, but I am ready to be satisfied by His lovingkindess (Ps 90:14). I am ready to walk in His strength. And I am ready for the fruit of the Spirit to overcome my failure.
Will you join me?