I welcome my friend, Marriage Counselor, and Life Coach to #ChosenandWorthy today! Beth Steffaniak is a wealth of information, strategies, and encouragement. Her corner of the blog world is a place I frequent to keep myself intentional about my own marriage. Today she gives us insight into the roll our identity plays within our marriages. Do you fit the description of the disappointed wife? The one who keeps waiting for her husband to say and do the right things to fill a void in her heart or make her worthy? Join me for today’s conversation about chosen, worthy, and the victory of a living in a healthy marriage!
To the Wife Who Is Always Disappointed by Her Husband
I had a very messy marriage back in the day which was directly related to an even messier view of my identity. My lagging sense of self worth set me up for pursuing my husband as my savior, instead of pursuing my Savior as my Savior. Oh sure, I’d received Christ as my Savior when I was a child. However, as I began following Him in my life, and especially once married, I let the distractions of my insecurities draw me off the narrow path and into a ditch.
I’m not saying I lost my salvation, but I surely lost my way when it came to understanding who Christ was in my life, as well as who He wasn’t. In other words, my Savior was not my husband, nor could my flawed human husband replace Christ in my life. Nonetheless, I was determined to make that work! Most of the time, my faulty focus played out when conflicts and challenges in my marriage would erupt. I would immediately turn to my husband to be my savior—to save us from the tumult we were experiencing. Now I know better.
Based on my own foolish and messy experiences, I’d like to share what I’ve identified as . . .
4 Signs You’re Making Your Husband Your savior
1. You expect your husband to completely fill up your need for connection.
Ironically, it didn’t seem to matter how much my husband tried or didn’t try to connect with me—it was never enough. I was a bottomless pit of neediness, because I was looking for a sense of connection that could and can only be provided by Christ.
If only I had embraced the truth found in Colossians 2:10, “So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.”
2. You look to him to bolster your sagging sense of self-worth before or instead of looking to Christ.
Instead of turning to Christ to lay the foundation of my sense of worth, I had expected my husband to carry this heavy weight. I finally realized Christ alone was and is the only One who could make me feel, as well as stand worthy in Him.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
3. You expect your husband to change and improve so that your conflicts and difficulties will also change and improve.
This can be so subtle in our lives. There are many ways our husbands (or we, as wives) can and should change in order to improve our situation. So it seems logical to expect our guys to lead out in this effort, even before or instead of us making those hard changes in our own lives.
Somewhere along the line, I realized doing this was taking on the Holy Spirit’s role in my husband’s life. Add to that, my hubby was much more receptive to the conviction of the Spirit than he was to my criticisms and controlling ways.
Instead of looking to my hubby for strength and help, I needed to follow the psalmist’s Psalm 105:4wise counsel, “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”
4. You find yourself thinking more about your husband and your marriage than about Jesus.
Ironically, when my marriage was at its worst, I was still reading my Bible and praying. However, I wasn’t really making Christ my main focus or priority each day. Instead, I obsessed about my husband and his failures. It was all I could think about! It took years to allow Christ to pull me out of that vortex of self-pity, bitterness and desperation.
One of the verses that really helped bring perspective and conviction for me was Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” This verse helped me to realize how I was making my husband a savior—an idol—in my life. That was the first step toward freedom and the connection and worth I so longed for.
Here’s what I’ve done to keep my eyes on Christ—my true Savior:
1. I work hard at replacing my former and faulty ways of thinking and relating with God’s truths. Truths anchoring me in the reality that I am completely connected and loved by the Lord.
2. I integrate the truth that Christ has made me worthy in Him, so I can kick my insecurities to the curb whenever they surface! And yes, they still surface!
3. I also meditate on the reality that I am not just my husband’s bride. Rather, I am the bride of Christ. I really spend a lot of time considering this. Finding comfort in my Savior’s embrace all throughout my day . . . every day!
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m describing an ongoing effort to “rest” in Christ’s pursuit of my heart, rather than running after a savior of my own making. I hope you’re willing to give yourself to this ongoing effort that really is about “resting” in the Lord’s pursuit of your heart as well.
If you see yourself thinking or doing what I did in my marriage so many years ago, I hope you’ll learn from my mistakes and turn your eyes back on the best and only Savior—Christ our Lord!
Beth is a pastor’s wife, a mom to three young adult sons, as well as one daughter-in-love. She works as a life coach, speaks at women’s and marriage events, and is an avid marriage blogger.
Beth believes that even though there is messiness in life and marriage, God calls us to see our ugly, brokenness from His perspective—the redemptive side. Where He has made us into beautiful mosaics filled with His light and color on display.
Could you use more tools and resources to help you embrace a healthy identity?
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