I am crazy passionate about marriage. I'm crazy passionate about my husband. Truth be told, I haven't always been. Life got in the way, circumstances molded my identity, and my heart built up a really great case of resentment and bitterness in my marriage. Let's be real, friends, we are so good at spinning our minds out of our own control and building such a good case against our husbands that it's a wonder why we aren't all lawyers. I could find factual evidence out of anything. Unfortunately, the only thing that case-building brought me (and my husband) was unhappiness.
Something we've learned along the way is that marriage is hard work, but it doesn't have to be difficult. Waking up every day with the thought that we are on the SAME team - that you & me vs. the world sort of mentality - that is when we operate the best. We know that God has chosen us for each other, and while we are opposite people and have different personalities, we each have a heart after Jesus. I had to stop expecting my husband to be a mirror-image of who I am. I had to stop expecting my husband to read my mind, always extend me ALL the grace, and always get it right. I don't always get it right, I am absolutely not a mind reader, and I hold onto grace so tightly sometimes you'd think it's a part of own body. I have a good man, who is full of integrity and humor, love and grace, and a moral compass that I am insanely jealous of. For real, guys - Jason always knows what the right thing to do is, all the time. He will probably disagree with me, but I'm not kidding. His logical brain just makes sense of all the right vs. wrong situations, and he drops these nuggets of wisdom on my uber-emotional self. I used to take offense to it, and now I see he just wants what is best for me, and I welcome it. Most of the time.

Becoming a leader-in-love, to me, is all about focusing on who I am as a wife. I can focus on who my husband should be, but that literally does nothing for our marriage. I have done some things really right, and I have done some things really wrong - with God's help I am able to use all of these experiences to fall into the shape He is calling me to be as a wife. I've heard in many marriage classes and sermons that our spouse is God's holy sandpaper, refining and softening our edges. Our husbands see a very vulnerable side to us that no one else gets to, and I understand sometimes it feels uncomfortable. We must all remember to choose love, every day, instead of choosing to act ugly because our husbands should have to "deal with it". I know you work hard around the house and sometimes your hubs doesn't see the laundry or dishes. I know you mamas are working and parenting and sometimes you feel like you're doing it all alone. I know there are wives all around everywhere who want to feel loved, and cherished, and supported. I hear you, and I understand you. God hears you. You are not alone.
Choose to be a leader-in-love in your home. I've learned the hard way that when I am criticizing my husband in my heart, it's usually because I'm struggling with the same problem about myself. Beautifully convicting, terribly frustrating. I get it. But how can I tell my husband that he needs to support me, if I am not being supportive? How can I tell my husband he needs to put me first, when I don't put him first? It's taken some small stumbles and some epic failures for me to realize that I need to do these things, too, in a way that he understands love. We can knock ourselves out thinking we're supporting our spouse, only to find out it's not in a way they receive love. Our efforts turn into burn-outs and we're kicking and screaming all along the way. Being a leader-in-love in your home looks an awful lot like understanding, listening without an agenda (that isn't bettering your marriage), and a whole lot of humility. Being a leader-in-love doesn't mean your husband isn't a leader in your home, it means you're taking responsibility for your own actions and thoughts as a wife. It's worth every ounce of work it takes, sweet friends. I promise.

Heavenly Father, I thank You for the sweet gift You've given me - my husband. I thank You for Your goodness, Your grace, and Your mercy. I don't always get it right, Lord, but You're always right there to help me along the way with love and without condemnation. I pray over every wife and every woman who longs to become a wife, that You would tenderly speak into their hearts, that You might help them see their husband is not the enemy. That their desires would be fulfilled. That most importantly, these marriages would be Christ-focused. I pray for the hurting wives and broken hearts, the wives who feel like they are begging and kicking and screaming to be heard. Lord, would You hold them near, and show these beautiful women they are not alone, and that things can change? I pray that every woman reading this post will cling to You, pray fervently over their marriage and their husband. I thank You for helping me in my own marriage, and for giving me this crazy passion for my friends. In your sweet name I pray, Amen.


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