As I was talking with a friend last night she asked, “What do you struggle with the most?” After a few moments of quiet reflection, I confessed my insecurity. I struggle with self-doubt as a woman, a wife, a mother, and a child of God (Truly, in every area).
My lack of confidence manifests in several different ways. I can be judgmental towards people who choose to do things differently than myself. I compare my life to those around me which fills my spirit with either defensive pride or feelings of inadequacy. As a consequence, I become very doubtful about my own convictions and experience a whole new cycle of insecurity as I realize that I wouldn’t have those emotional struggles if I didn’t struggle with insecurity in the first place (confused yet? Imagine being married to me… ha).
This week, my heart has been so discouraged over the countless articles and blog posts that I have read regarding World Vision’s change in their employment policy. I wrestled with my own emotions surrounding this and, similar to the definition of marriage debate that our country faced last year (you can read my thoughts about that here), I grew disgusted with comments coming from both sides. Personally, my family sponsors children through Compassion International (an organization I highly recommend) and so I am grateful to be spared having to make a decision about the management of my own funds and the wellbeing of my own sponsored loved ones. However, as I was praying over it all the Lord reminded me of the important truth that,
Different things are important to different people.
Perhaps you are a person who is incredibly passionate about Biblical marriage and upholding God’s definition is your utmost priority. Then, of course, your focus will be on the new employment policy that was implemented by this Christian organization. Or, maybe you feel that you are impassioned by the starving children in this world. If ridding the world of poverty, or at least doing your share to help one poor person, is your heartbeat then it only makes sense that you would feel a burden for the children who could lose their sponsorship.
The burden one feels about those innocent children is the same burden another feels about being faithful stewards of their money. You may not agree with the other, but we must have grace and remember that different things are important to different people.
The same principle is applicable to being a wife.
Over the past two weeks, I have wrestled intensely with insecurity in my role as a wife. I would mentally fret about the reality that I will never live up to the standards set before me by my friends, other marriage bloggers, and my own self-imposed sanctions. One author says I need to be more creative in the bedroom, another that we must spend ample amounts of quality time, and still another writes that serving my husband a nice dinner is more important than quality time or sex. In fact, just now, I read a tweet saying that married couples should go on a date night at least once a week (yikes, not at my house!). All the while, my uncertainty continues to mount.
Am I wrong for not being as passionate about something as someone else? Will my marriage ever be as strong as theirs?
The Lord is gently working on my heart. He has freed me greatly in the past 24 hours as he reminded me that even the best marriage blog or book is not His Holy Word. One author might suggest a certain formula for a successful marriage, but that is his (or her) own findings. They aren’t wrong, but I often forget that they aren’t inerrant. God’s Word is the only source I should be consulting in my desire to learn how to be a better wife. Marriage publications (of which I read and appreciate many) might have a lot to offer which will encourage and inspire, but I must not assume their opinions/advice/encouragement is God’s specific will for me and my husband. He created us each uniquely and no two marriages will be the same. No two wives will be the same. It is important for my heart to have grace and remember,
Different things are important to different people.
As a wife, I must accept the calling God has given me to love my husband and our children well. I can only do that by following Him alone. I do love and appreciate marriage books and blogs! The authors are wise, talented, and using their platforms to strengthen marriages — I certainly don’t mean to suggest those things, in and of themselves are bad. However, when I treat their written word with the strength and solidity of the Gospel — I can bring undo stress into my life. When I try to assume that I need to be doing things a certain way, I strive to live a life God hasn’t called me to. I don’t want to miss out on the marriage God has gifted me with by trying to mold it into another’s example.
Today I apologized to my husband for my insecurity because, ultimately, it is he who suffers. I also want to take time to apologize to you, my readers. I don’t consider myself a marriage blogger: one who offers creative ideas and sage advice for matrimony. My husband and I will celebrate our 10 year anniversary this year, but each day I become more aware of the reality that a decade is not a very long time. I don’t yet have enough life experience to offer much wisdom. God continues to prompt me to write, but He is asking me to share my weaknesses, my failings, and even my
daily hourly struggle with insecurity in order to have Him redeem my messes. With that said, should I ever write anything that causes you to feel insecure in your own marriage or in your own role as a wife… I sincerely apologize. That is never my intent and so if my tone is arrogant or my words are destructive, I am so very sorry. Please know, I am not here to offer another blueprint for marriage, but rather to archive my failings so that I will remind myself to go to God, and not man, for healing and hope. My prayer for each post is that God will orchestrate its reach so that only those eyes He desires to read it will do so. If you are reading this, perhaps the Lord’s kind reminder that different things are important to different people will minister to you just as it did to me.
God bless each of you right where you are and in all of the areas that are important to you!