There are days when I am very hesitant to write about marriage, and it’s not just when I feel like a hypocrite. When it comes to marriage, I write to a finite audience: those in functional marriages. I write from a limited perspective: marital health, trust, and growth.
But so many more types of marriage exist. Abusive. Destructive. Unredeemed. Bad. Or even the good ones that are so very different from mine in perspective, experience, history, and personality. Marriages from any of those categories may never fit with the topics and themes that fit with my experience and perspective.
Some will read my posts and say, “That’s so elementary! Doesn’t everyone know that?” Others will excitedly realize they are learning the same thing at the same time. Some will have a light bulb moment while still others will shrug their shoulders and move on – or even resent that I would insinuate that such a marital need exists. (The idea of date night comes to mind.)
But the ones that make my heart ache the most are those who will crumble at my words, despair adding to hopelessness as they once again see what their marriages are not – and may never be.
The “experts” say, “Write what you know.” So, I do. I know a functional marriage that is constantly growing, maturing, and building. So, that is what I write.
But my heart…oh, my aching heart is passionate for those who endure dysfunctional, even abusive marriages. I hurt for them. I pray for them. And I long to support them. So often we as the church want to give them the same advice and counseling we give to functional marriages, but it won’t work, just like my marriage thoughts won’t work. Instead, we have to hear them, pray with them, disciple them, and seek the Lord’s face alongside them.
If you are in a marriage that feels hopeless, painful, and full of despair – if you are in a marriage of abuse and neglect – please hear this:
You Are Not Alone
I’m heartsick over the number of women in abusive marriage, especially those within the church. There are too many! But by extension, that means there are also others who understand what you are going through. Yes, possibly right in your own church. They either are or have at one time been where you are. And I am praying that they will find you or you will find them. Some way, somehow. So you can know that you are not alone.
You are Seen and Loved
No matter what you’e been told, you are not worthless. You are a beautiful, cherished child of God. He sees you. Fall at His feet. Seek His face. Oh, my friend, let Him draw you into His incredible arms of love and nourish you through the presence of His Holy Spirit and through the care of His children.
Help is Available
Real help. Not advice like this blog or other well-meaning people who can only speak from what they know. There is help that will walk you through a godly, biblical plan of action. Help that does not leave you in danger or despair. My prayer is that God will act to connect you to that real help.
Don’t Let My Words Discourage You
Please. As much as I would love to speak encouragement into your heart and life, the reality is that my words are not for you. You may glean some truth or encouragement from them. Or they may benefit you somewhere down the road. But, most of them will not help you walk your marriage journey.
I love marriage. I am so thankful for the opportunity to mature and grow with my amazing husband. I smile when I think of others who have found what we have found in marriage – some from the get-go and others in the form of beauty from ashes. Wherever you are in the marriage journey, I pray for you to know its beauty. And when you read my words and say, “But it’s not like this for me!” know that my heart and prayers are with you and for you, even when my words are not.