Monday, June 10, 2013

No More Shame

"The ultimate purpose in marriage is not to make us happy, but to glorify God." 
- Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Recently, God has been teaching me that His timing is so much better than mine. Yesterday, my church recognized couples who have been married for more than 40 years!! It was an honor to be there and celebrate with the couples in our church that have reached this amazing milestone!! On the same day, our Pastor started a new series called, "Seven Signs of a Solid Marriage (Part 1)". If you would like to listen to this sermon please click here to visit our church's website.

Both of these things would not seem like a big deal to a normal person. However, for me this celebration and sermon series confirmed that God is taking care of me now matter what!!

What am I talking about? Let me try to explain.

A month or two ago, Jon and I had a pretty bad argument. Harmful words were spoken and feelings were hurt. At the end, I told Jon that if we fought like this one more time, we were going to go to counseling. Jon's response was completely unexpected, because he reminded me that I said the same thing the last time we had a bad argument.

That was the last straw for me.

The next morning, after some research, I called a Christian counselor in the area. Ever since, we've been meeting with our counselor every other week. As we told the counselor, we are not on the verge of divorce. However, there are things that we need to work on to make our marriage better. So, with the help of our counselor we have decided to work on building our communication skills, because that is where we need the most help.

For weeks, I have been so nervous that someone would find out that we were going to a counselor. It is silly, but honestly I have not wanted anyone to know about this. I was afraid that if people knew they would judge us or assume that we are about to get a divorce. What I forgot is that it is Satan who likes to keep things secret and hidden!!

Yesterday, the Lord freed me from the shame and embarrassment of seeing a counselor. One day, I want to be able to celebrate 40 years of marriage with Jon!! However, we are never going to get there if we ignore minor problems that are taking place right now.

The other reason that I am being open about this is, because maybe someone out there needs to know that they are not the only one struggling to have a good marriage. Are you going through a rough patch? Do you feel like throwing in the towel? Find a friend and/or counselor that you can talk with to help you work through some of your own issues, before giving up!!

Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to meet with our counselor.

Just for fun click here to check out Norm and Ethel talk about commitment!!


Mrs. Allbright said...

Hey Jen. Brandon and I have also been seeing a counselor for a few months. And just like yall, we just want to strengthen our communication skills. Praying for you guys through this. There is no shame in getting help to better yourself or your marriage!

Anonymous said...

wow. really needed to hear/read this right now. thank you. you seemed to have the perfect marriage and sometimes it's helpful for the rest of us to see that everyone struggles. i know that i look at other marriages sometimes and think that these people have the perfect marriage and are always happy and are perfect for each other bc that is what they project but it just makes me feel shitty that i married a borderline christian who was an alcoholic and who lied to me all the time before getting help and now we are trying to start over but it's tough. and sometimes i pray, "why did so and so get something so perfect? why do i have to be the one to struggle with this?". thanks for posting this to remind me that no one is perfect. praying for you and your husband.

-J.Darling said...

If you can catch the little things before they become big things - that's a really good step.

With kids, things only get more complicated. Time alone building your relationship can get hard to come by. I REALLY appreciate that the Navy has so many free resources to help couples through the rough spots. We all say hurtful things some times - I think it comes with the territory when you're being honest with each other. Sometimes honesty just can't be pretty. We've learned that through our discussions regarding infertility. My husband was pro-surrogate. I wasn't. In a moment of frustration, he said something that, while it was honestly what he feeling, it was probably the most hurtful thing I could have heard at that moment.

We paused the argument, noticing that our discussion had gone from a "discussion" to an "argument" and changed the scenery. (Literally - we were arguing in the car, so we went in the house and spent some time quietly cooling off before a hug and an "I love you" came out. It wasn't an "I'm sorry", but it ment that we could put it aside, acknowledge that this was someone we loved, and come back to the topic later if it was necessary. This one was necessary and eventually we were able to patch things up - but those words stung every time I thought about them!)

That "change of scenery" trick really seems to help us take a step back and move forward.

My parents lived the "til death do us part" part of marriage and I couldn't be more grateful for their example (41 years! Would have kept going strong if Cancer hadn't taken Dad's life earlier this year).

It's so easy to take each other for granted, especially in this work-a-day world, with kids, responsibilities, stresses (you just bought a house! Talk about STRESSFUL!) and not realize that we're talking to our best friend - the person we're in love with - and it's not REALLY the PERSON we're angry at. We're upset about the words, the actions, the situation...

Kristen said...

Girl I understand! Marriage takes work, lots of it! I am proud of you for being open! You should blog about some of the tips and tricks yall learn!

Kristen said...

Thank you for you honesty! Marriage is hard and takes so much work, and sometimes (especially when you are a young married couple, with young children) you can feel like you're the only ones dealing with it! You are not alone. Maybe you can blog about some of the tips and tricks you learn along the way :)

Wendy said...

Praying... counseling is always helpful... as long as you are willing to listen and grow...God is good...

Unknown said...

(((HUGS))) from me! Praying for you both!! It takes bravery to be so transparent. Excited to see you this weekend!!



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