Several years ago, my neighbor was having a difficult time in her marriage. Her husband was leaving her and she could not stop crying. I remember finding her scrunched up in the corner of her sofa. My heart broke for her. I sat with her and I cried alongside her. I tried to offer some encouragement, but much of the time I just didn’t know exactly what to say. What are the right words? And then I began sharing with her about the struggles I’ve had in my own marriage. She looked at me with surprise and said, “Wait. I thought you had the perfect marriage.” She could not have been more wrong about that. She needed to know that what I have is the imperfectly perfect marriage. So now I want to share with you how to have an imperfectly perfect marriage.
I really don’t like it when others view my marriage as ‘perfect.’ I feel very uncomfortable about it. Yes, Marcus and I do have a wonderfully strong marriage…but it wasn’t always this way. We’ve come through our fair share of storms. But I believe that if it wasn’t for those storms, we would not have the perfectly imperfect marriage. But there are some specific things that we BOTH changed in order for us to have the marriage we have today.
We both started to deal with our wounds. We both came from messed up pasts. Our families were dysfunctional. There was abuse (on my side), divorce, adultery, witchcraft, New Age…and a host of other problems for both of us. We both needed significant healing in our souls. We were both very broken and we both carried a lot of baggage.
It is amazing how unchecked wounds lurk around and negatively affect our relationships, especially our marriages. I know this well now that I am on the ‘other side’ of those wounds. I see more clearly now how unresolved issues will fester and poison the home.
If you haven’t dealt with your past hurts, then that is an area to seriously and prayerfully bring to the Lord. Find resources to help you heal. I have several blog posts that go into my healing of sexual abuse. So, if that is part of your story, that might be a place to start.
You also don’t have to wait for your spouse to jump in with his healing either. In most cases, you both won’t be eager to take this step. I started my healing long before Marcus did – which is a good thing since I had more ‘stuff’ to go through.
Imperfectly Perfect Prayers
We prayed for each other as we dealt with our hurts. Marcus longed for a wife who loved without reservation. He desired for me to have freedom in our intimacy. Do you understand how important this is? I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and I didn’t disclose this to anyone until after Marcus and I married. I share about this journey more in depth on my blog under “Freedom In Christ” series. I desperately needed prayer over the effects of the trauma from when I was young. The damage seeped into many areas of my life and marriage, including the bedroom.
For some, that area may not feel like a huge concern. But I am a huge believer in healthy sexual intimacy between husband and wife. I wanted so much to please my husband (I still do!) and when I couldn’t even force myself, it grieved my heart. I can tell you that God is faithful. He has restored and redeemed this area of our marriage. I know Marcus’ prayers and gentleness was integral to my healing…and the healing in our marriage.
I pray for him as well. I pray for his leadership, wisdom, prayer life, Bible study times, daily decisions and more. I did this BEFORE he was a Christian, not after. You see, God will honor the prayers of a godly wife over her unsaved husband. He will bestow wisdom and guidance on an unbelieving husband when his wife fervently prays over him. I know just how true this is!!
Never stop praying for each other.
The Perfect Anchor
We were intentional about putting God first in our lives, in our marriage. After Marcus became a believer, we both were able to ensure that God was first in our marriage. We started to learn, as a couple, to lean on His guidance together.
One of the biggest reasons why putting God first in marriage is important is so that we could remind each other of God’s faithfulness when storms come. God is so good. It seems that when one of us gets down, the other one has the strength from the Holy Spirit to encourage and strengthen. God is our perfect anchor.
God reminds us that we are on the same team. We are for each other and not against. When we have God as the center of our marriage, we are more prepared to fight for it, to build each other up and to encourage one another. When we are both putting God first in our lives, we are unified.
We might not be perfect, and we will be the first to admit this truth. But we know, with God’s grace we can be perfectly imperfect together.
Aimee is a home educating support teacher who lives in the sunny Okanagan, BC. Aimee has been blissfully married for 17 years and still swoons at the sight of her tall, dark and handsome husband, Marcus. When she isn’t home educating her 3 kids, she enjoys sewing, quilting, scrapbooking and hanging out with her family. She blogs over at A Work of Grace. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.