“We [should not] make the mistake of thinking that marriage will provide the ultimate satisfaction for which we all hunger. To assume so would be to be guilty of blasphemy. Only God satisfies the hungry heart. Marriage is but one of the channels He uses to enable us to taste how deeply satisfying His thirst-quenching grace can be.” ~Sinclair B. Ferguson
Marriage doesn’t satisfy.
There, I said it. It doesn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, marriage has been one of the most joyful and sanctifying experiences if my life, but it doesn’t satisfy the deep longings of my soul.
It wasn’t designed to do that.
Joel and I have been married nearly a year now, and I have just learned this truth. Of course I had to learn it the hard way. If I’d learned it the easy way, so much heartache and confusion could have been avoided in the Grass household.
Last week, as Joel and I were arguing about who-knows-what for what seemed like the 100th time in the past few days, I tearfully exclaimed “I’m tired of this! Marriage is not supposed to be like this!”
I was right. Sort of.
My exclamation was stating my dissatisfaction in the fact that we had been fighting, but I later learned that my marriage should be different for a totally different reason.
You see, I had been approaching my marriage much like Martha approaches Jesus’ visit to her home. She is so busy bustling around, making preparations, trying to make everyone happy that she forgets to sit at the feet of Jesus, as her sister Mary is doing. She forsakes what is better for what is good.
I have been forsaking what is better for what is good.
I have been so busy trying to become a wife that is super domestic and godly and pleases her husband and makes him proud, that I have forgotten the source of my identity. My worth is not wrapped up in the meals I plan or how clean my house is, or even how happy Joel is with me in a particular moment. These things are not necessarily bad, but they do not determine my worth. My worth has been defined by the blood of Jesus. His sacrifice caused me to stand righteous in the sight of God before I was married, and it still applies just the same now that I am a wife.
Striving to be a godly wife and one that pleases her husband is a good thing. It is even something highly valued by God. I hope to forever be becoming more of the wife God would have me be. If I am placing my whole worth and my whole identity in that role, however, I will miss the sweetness of the gospel that is offered to me daily.
Do you know what the best part of this is?
I don’t have to analyze everything my husband says to find approval or affirmation. I don’t have to become so anxious over the cleanliness of my home when people come over that I forget to enjoy their company. I don’t have to endure emotional heartbreak if Joel isn’t crazy about what I made for dinner (silly, but it’s totally true).
As I focus on the truth of the gospel that has saved me and is saving me, I find myself choosing what is better. As I choose what is better, I find sanctification happening naturally. I find my husband living under less pressure to please me and affirm me. I find more time to enjoy being married and more clarity to see the wonderful qualities in the husband the Father has graciously given me. I find the joy from the truth of the gospel in my soul.
I am satisfied. Not because Joel and I are getting along really well, or because I feel I have achieved some level of biblical womanhood.
I am satisfied because Jesus satisfies.
There is freedom to be found here.