“Everything that has life grows“, my pastor says.
These words ring true for marriage as well; that if our marriages have life, there has to be signs of growth.
If there’s anything I’ve learned teaching and mentoring wives, it’s that wives desire, nay crave, growth.
Wives don’t want to stress over the same things they were stressing about last year.
They want to praise more than they worry, trust more than they doubt.
They want to love better than they did yesterday.
But to grow in this way, we must overcome challenges, make personal changes and allow transformation to start from within.
Today I want to look at some of the things that limit our growth as wives, and if unaddressed, how they affect marriage.
5 things that will limit your growth as a wife
1. Old wounds
In my upcoming book, (Update, now available here) – I talk about how I came into marriage carrying old daddy wounds.
God had healed me (by far) by the time I was getting married, but the adjustments and challenges of marriage began to pick at the scabs.
I don’t know what areas of your life need healing, or what areas God has already healed.
But marriage, because it’s closeness, intensity and depth, is a place where your healing will be tested.
You need to understand that old wounds trying to burst open is not necessarily a sign you are unhealed.
Sometimes it’s just a test, a sort of push-back against your growth and healing.
When the test and push back comes, it’s not a cue to fall apart in despair; it’s time to stand your ground.
If you have unhealed or unaddressed wounds, understand that they do affect how you see yourself and your marriage.
But there’s healing for you. And it begins when you follow the gentle beckoning of the Holy Spirit, allowing him into the dark caverns of your hurt and disappointment.
Remember that what you cover cannot get healed.
Deal with the past, expect your healing to be tested. Don’t fall apart simply because you were presented with a test. Work through it, stand on your victory
2. Unhealthy marriage dynamics
A marriage relationship is as good as the two people involved.
Someone said that an omelet is as good as the quality the eggs in the bowl; one bad egg will spoil the whole omelet.
When it comes to the “marriage omelet”, I believe God can work with one good egg. i.e. He can hold the marriage together with just one “good” spouse, as he works out the situation.
But often God will need this “good egg” (spouse) to be very honest about the status of the relationship.
You can’t ignore the stink in your relationship and expect your relationship to flourish.
If there’s a unhealthy habit, you’ll need to be brave and “go there”.
You’ll need to pursue real peace, not merely a lack of conflict.
You’ll need to speak up, with love and grace.
You’ll need to let go of timidity, laziness and fear.
God has called you to be a helpmeet, not a enabler.
He does not hold you responsible for what your husband does or does not do, but He holds you accountable to your end of the deal.
3. Unhealthy environment
As a new bride I was very concerned about adding extra weight after marriage (being honest y’all).
I have always walked on the leaner side and one married lady had planted an ominous seed in my head.
“Wait until you get married, your small waistline will disappear!”
It was terrible “advice” to give a skinny single girl!
As an early-wed wife, you’ll have all kinds of advice flying in your direction. And sometimes you’ll feel helpless against tide.
But you are not helpless.
You don’t have to soak up everything that comes our way as if it was the gospel truth.
Because it’s not.
In fact, the only “advice” you should be giving your ears to is the one that lines up with the word of God!
Watch your environment, who you hang out with, what you watch, what (and who!) you listen to because it will affect your expectations, belief and growth.
Check out this post and scroll to point # 8.
4. Self-limiting beliefs
Henry Ford said
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”
God wants you to have an extraordinary life and marriage.
If you struggle to believe that, think about Jesus; leaving majesty and splendor for this old dusty planet of ours, so He can rescue us from sin.
His extraordinary sacrifice and grace was not in vain; He did not die so we could be helplessness and defeated and worried.
He did not come all the way to give us a small ordinary existence.
He overcame the impossible so that you could overcome the impossible. He didn’t do that for Himself, He did it for you.
So as you go through different seasons of marriage and life, continually shed off every limiting voice that attacks you.
Voices that want you to to act small in your marriage and as a wife.
Voices that say God has abandoned you, that your husband will never change, that you can’t have children, that your finances will never improve.
The way to shed off limiting beliefs is to start knowing what God says concerning your life and your marriage.
“Positive mind talk” is all good, but girlfriend, it ain’t going to win this fight.
You need God’s power to overcome mental strongholds and thinking patterns and you find it in His word.
5. Lackluster relationship with God
A limping marriage sometimes indicates a a limping spiritual life. (Click to tweet).
That limp is most pronounced in your number one area responsibility; your role as a wife.
In their book “Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn’t Good Enough“, (affiliate link) Authors Justin and Trisha Davis say
“You can’t have an extraordinarily marriage without having an extraordinary relationship with God.”
Please read the following posts on this topic.
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