The link below is a devotional from Proverbs 31 Ministries.
I can understand very well the way the young woman in this story feels. I discovered why women who are married to perfectly decent men have affairs.
Now, I never did such a thing, but when I felt dissatisfied with the attention or affection I received from my husband the thought crossed my mind.
But this kind of thinking is selfishness. Yes, there should be some effort on the husband’s part to show love to his wife, but that is not where we as wives should be seeking it first.
We need to make Jesus the lover of our souls. Seeking our validation from any other source only leads to sin and great heartache.
I looked for love in all the wrong places for a long time. I thought that by taking man after man into my bed, I would finally feel the love I so desperately craved. As Shannon Ethridge puts it, sex was the price I paid for love. But I never received what I was looking for. All it led to was a life long STI and an unexpected pregnancy.
Getting pregnant took my focus off myself and put it onto the baby, but that still wasn’t where it should have been. Thinking only of the baby, and not even of my other children, I married the father – the man who is my husband today.
I can’t tell you how many times I had advised others not to marry just because they were pregnant. But I was thinking of how my youngest boy had never known what it was like to live with his father – my first husband and I split up when my he was only 8 months old. I wanted to spare my daughter that. Besides this man was nothing like my ex-husband. He wasn’t an alcoholic. He never abused me. I believed that I had what it took to be a good wife and whether or not I felt loved or anything wasn’t going to be a problem.
I was very naive and very wrong. Because I still hadn’t put my focus where it belonged things did not go very well. We didn’t actually marry until after our daughter was over a year old. That was because I was still legally married to my first husband (we had a 10 year long separation) and had to wait for the divorce to go through.
Having both been in marriages where our spouse had brutally hurt us, we both went into our marriage with a truckload of baggage. So things were rocky from day one.
I can’t even tell you how awful a wife I was to him. I know I was lazy for quite a while. I was tired from being a single mom for such a long time so I took advantage of another adult being in the house. (I should probably mention that I was also suffering with clinical depression through all of this which, to say the least, didn’t help.) My husband took over for me without complaint. I believe, and he’s admitted as much, that the reason he was never spending time with me, or showing affection toward me or having sex with me was because of his grievance toward me for making him do everything. It was tit for tat and it went on and on. I wasn’t being fair to him and, in return, he wasn’t being fair to me.
I had thought I had the ability to be a godly wife without putting God in the center of my marriage. What foolishness that was.
It took an excellent church of prayer and a super friend who loaned us DVDs of a conference that Shannon Ethridge and Fred Stoeker did here in my city to start the turning of focus in our marriage. (Of course, it certainly helped that my husband came to know Jesus personally last April.) Watching those DVDs explained things about women and sex to my husband that I’m sure he never knew – like how women give sex as a price to pay for love, which is exactly what I did with him, and a few things that explained to him some of his ex-wife’s behavior. Most of all, though, I think those videos opened up the lines of communication between us a bit more.
Things got much better between us for some time. I even blogged about it. But some things only changed part way and then reverted back to the way they were.
I am at fault for the most of it. I got tired of giving effort much too quickly and quit. My focus returned to myself.
I did a great deal of whining in a blog I wrote a week ago. The blog was mostly about parenting, but the underlying angst was about my marriage. That night I went to the intercessory prayer my church holds every Tuesday. God revealed to me a few things as a result of that evening of prayer.
I learned that the effort I had been giving towards helping my marriage, I had been giving through my own strength. No wonder I tired. We have to live in Grace. Our own strength is never enough for anything we do in this life. We have to rely on God’s strength. I had not been leaning on God enough.
But I confessed and repented of that and the last several days I have truly felt myself in God’s hands. It’s such an incredible lift.
On top of that, for whatever reason, my efforts or his, there has been some changes in my husband. It’s really wonderful.
I have discovered that I can’t take my eyes of Jesus for even a moment. satan knows where to pounce and a moment is all he needs to start digging in his claws.
Keep your eyes on Jesus. He can be and wants to be the lover of your soul. Whether I feel love from my husband or not, the love of God is more fulfilling than any love from mortal man.
I’m through chasing love. I will allow my needs for love to be met by Jesus Christ. Only then will I be the wife my husband needs and will he be the husband I need.
Jesus Christ is the only path to true love, whether you’re single or not. I invite you to accept Him as the lover of your soul. Check out My Passion if you want to learn more.
Be immersed in His glorious Grace,