“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:7-9
So I asked my aunt if my husband and I can stay at her house when we visit my home country and she said that I could stay but my husband is not welcomed there because and I quote, “It’s none of my business, but I don’t think he treats you well”. My heart sank and I really don’t know why I was so surprised because I know how my family can be and I know she’s coming from a place of love, but it still hurt. I know I can’t expect others to forgive as easily as I do, but it still hurt.
It hurt mainly because I know that if my husband were to find out, he would be hurt. He already feels like he’s ‘not good enough’ for me and that my family does not like him but I’ve been trying to convince him otherwise. I know how some of my family members might feel about him but I dont feel that way. I love him and I know that he is not a bad person and I have forgiven him for whatever was done in the past. We are in a much better place right now, I just want to move forward with our lives and I pray that my family’s un-forgiveness does not hamper that.
This brings me to the scripture that I started off with. After the conversation with my aunt, I was struggling with feeling sorry for myself and all sorts of negative emotions like anger, frustration and pride. I started to pray and recite scripture to fight off the attacks of the enemy and the above scripture stuck and here’s why.
I had to learn the hard way what putting your birth family before your family unit can do to a marriage. (In case anyone does not understand what I mean, birth family is your parents and siblings etc and family unit is your husband and children). Throughout my marriage, my husband would complain that I put my mother and my sister before him and that I would never defend him. And my thing was, well of course! Because I felt like they had my back more than he did and why should I defend him especially when I also thought he was wrong?
I really did not understand the concept of being ‘one flesh’ and the fact that if they were insulting him, they were, by extension, insulting me. Also, by not defending my husband, it showed him that I did not respect him and respect is one of a man’s primary needs. Furthermore, a woman needs to feel secure and taken care off but at the time I didn’t feel like he was doing that for me. So I wasn’t respecting him because he wasn’t taking care of me and he wasn’t taking care of me because I wasn’t showing him respect, putting us in a circular, tit for tat type of situation that, in combination with other issues, led to us being where we are now, separated.
Another lesson I had to learn was that issues between you and your spouse should be kept between you and your spouse and of course God! My husband totally got the concept that “a man should leave his father and mother and be united to his wife” because no matter how mad he was at me he never complained to his family about me. No wonder they love me so much! I, on the other hand, didn’t get that message so now because of all my blabbing, my family has this image that my husband is not a good guy because I only went to them with the bad stuff and not the good. So now that my relationship with God has deepened and I’m getting to understand how He designed marriage and I’m able to forgive and give the issues to Him, I’m hoping that my family can do the same. Unfortunately, it hasn’t happened as fast as I’d hoped.
I say all of this to say, don’t be like me and wait until you get to the point of separation before you realize how important your family unit is! When you get married, your spouse comes first (after God) and then your kids. Don’t go running to your birth family to complain about your spouse because after you forgive him/her your family may not! Also, you and your spouse are now ‘one flesh’, it’s not a competition and it’s not about what one is doing for the other or not doing. Husbands have to love their wives like Christ loves the church that means sacrificing themselves and wives have to respect their husbands just like we respect and obey Christ! If we live by the principles set out in Ephesians 5:22-33 this marriage thing will be a whole lot easier!
Just doing my Father’s work!