Adjusting to Married Life – Has Your Husband Replaced God?

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Adjusting to married life can be hard.

Newlywed wives are often surprised by the depth of changes awaiting them in marriage.

One of the areas of adjustment in marriage is the spiritual life.

Inside every wife is a woman who has been called to follow Jesus.

That seems obvious, until you realize how easily we lose sight of the fact that we are Christians first, before we are wives.

Many times as we start out in marriage, hubby will occupy huge spaces in our hearts.

At least that’s the way it was for me,  our blues notwithstanding.

As a single girl, I pursued and served God with every fiber of my time and my being.

When I fell in love with my Tommy, I continued to serve God. But then I had to make time for regular dates.

We liked to meet early mornings for breakfast, so that meant I had to wake up earlier to have my quiet time. Sometimes my devotions didn’t happen.

After the engagement, many waking hours were taken up by wedding preparations.

I wasn’t able to do everything or be there for everyone anymore. And it wasn’t just time-wise; my energy levels and margin were diminishing. I was changing.

I still loved the Lord with all my heart, but there was another love, another man slowly taking space in my life.

Adjusting to married life

After the wedding, it was a struggle, trying to figure out the place of Tommy and the place of  my Lord.

Jesus was no longer all I had. At least that is how it felt. I had a physical man to hug, to love, to hang out with, to bounce off ideas.

A few weeks married, I sat in our study, sobbing.

My relationship with God had moved from a vibrant, service-filled, energetic fellowship to a quiet, almost detached relationship.

I was ashamed that I no longer felt the same vivid love towards God I had before the wedding.

My quiet time was dry, sometimes it didn’t happen.

I was a new wife, living a new life, trying to figure out the place of God in her marriage.

Through the tears, I heard the Spirit of God speak

You are dry because you no longer run hard after me

I knew I needed to make adjustments but this word was unexpected. Instead of a “stern” word, I wanted a soothing word. I was not ready for heavy conviction.

(PS: Years later, I would also learn that spiritual change is one of the common areas of adjustment in the early years of marriage. God was very much aware of these changes. He was simply reminding me to continue nurturing my relationship with Him, even in the new season.)

The reason I am sharing this today is because I am not the only wife who has struggled to prioritize her relationship with God after the wedding.

Many times it’s not because we decide Jesus isn’t important any more.

Often it’s because we are not ready to go harder after God. No one told us we would need a new intensity in the marriage because the new relationship brings all kinds of emotions, changes and stretches.

Primary, your heart will be full, filled by the love of a man.

It’s easier to lay in bed and talk to this man instead of waking up to spend time with a Man you cannot see.

You might even discuss Scripture with your earthly man and feel like it makes up for personal, one-on-one time with God.

That day, I felt like God said to me;

If you want to grow and continue to know me more, you have to run harder. You have to be more intentional and purposeful about your Christianity now because marriage can steal all that away. It’s a new season, and with it, a new responsibility.

Adjusting to married life and couple devotions

Don’t our couple-devotions count? you wonder.

Sure, it’s powerful when couples read the Word of God and pray together.

My husband and I pray together almost daily.

But we were made for a one-on-one relationship with God. (John 3:16) His death was personal, His pursuit is singular.

Joshua, one of the great men of faith, stood before a nation and declared

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” 24:15

It’s great to have a “household faith” but it starts with a personal faith.

I cannot depend on my husbands spirituality or our joint spirituality.

I must make up my mind to stay on course and fan my own flame.

God is always teaching me how not to be emotions-driven in my Christianity. 

My relationship with God, while it’s sweet and intimate, has to be a discipline.

I have to get off the couch, shut the bedroom door me and get on myself before God. My life needs it, my marriage needs it, my husband needs it.

How do you adjust to married life ? In the early days of marriage, we can lose sight of the fact that we are Christians first, before we are wives

Has adjusting to married life nipped your relationship with Jesus?

Are you looking to your honey to meet all your needs? Are you so enthralled by this gift of marriage you have lost sight of the Gift-giver?

Jesus is calling you. Not in condemnation, but a gentle beckoning.

Over time, (if you haven’t realized it already) you will see how your husband can’t complete you or fill you in the ways you want.

Only Jesus can do that.

If you are frazzled and out of balance, trying to figure out how to prioritize your relationship with God in marriage, ask Him to show you how.

He will speak! Those early mornings, lazing in bed, scrolling through your phone, chitchatting with hubby, you might begin to hear the call to fellowship!

Not that it’s wrong to do these things, (it’s not!) but don’t use them as an excuse not to spend time with God anymore.

God will show you how to make your relationship with Him a priority – doing your quiet time as a discipline, not just when it’s convenient.

Distractions are not limited to the early years of marriage.

What you are doing today is good discipline for what will come tomorrow because married life doesn’t get any less busy.

Adjusting to married life – when your husband is not spiritual

Maybe you are married to someone who is not as spiritual as you are, (please read this post) or someone who doesn’t know the Lord yet.

And you feel held-back and incomplete because of the unequal yoking. You want him to be the spiritual leader but he’s not there.

It’s hard and I feel for you.

But you are without excuse.

Your husband’s lack of spirituality should not stop you from pursuing Jesus for yourself.

Your husband's lack of spirituality should not stop you from pursuing Jesus for yourself.Click to Tweet

You might not be able to pray together or discuss scripture but you can pursue personal time with God everyday.

God Himself through His spirit, will teach you, affirm you, lead you into all truth.  (John 16:13)

It’s a personal relationship with God and every Christian has to cultivate it, regardless of who they are married to.

Your turn! How are you adjusting to married life ? Have you struggled to prioritize your relationship with God after marriage? Any tips you can share to help us prioritize our time with God? Let’s talk in Comments below!

Additional reading

Please read these posts for more insights on developing a quiet time with God.

  1. The what, why and how of quiet time with God 

2. Is Christ instructing your marriage today?

Are you wrestling with the overwhelm of marriage?

Or maybe you are madly in love with your spouse but suspect marriage can be better? Perhaps you are the imperfect girl married to an imperfect guy who is tired of fighting, fussing, misunderstanding and distance. You long for healing and happiness. There’s hope! Blues to Bliss: Creating Your Happily Ever After in the Early Years will help you work through the kinks, find joy in imperfection, positively influence your marriage and create the marriage of your dreams, God’s way. Buy it here Amazon Paperback I Kindle I Barnes & Noble I PDF.

Linking with Wedded Wednesday, Wifey Wednesday

 

6 Comments

  1. This reminds me of the saying, “A woman should get so lost in God that a man must seek Him to find her.” And won’t they both be blessed by that pursuit? Great words of wisdom, Ngina! This is my heartbeat for couples too and I’m so glad you’ve shared this challenge to all of us today!

    1. They will be sooo blessed, Beth! Better than anything they would have sought or asked for! i love how God woos us to this place of balance in Him..seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you!

      I know this is your heartbeat too and I am always blessed by your encouragement to be a better follower of Christ!

  2. unmowngrass says:

    I needed to read this, and I’m not even married yet! Or… well, let me explain:

    Three and a half years ago I met a great guy, via the internet (online writing competition) who lives in California — I’m in the UK. After six months of email and facebook banter, we ‘made it official’ and embarked on a long distance relationship. Which was, long story short, TOUGH. We got engaged a year later. Planned a wedding in the UK (with plans to live stateside), realised that that would have required an upto 12 month separation after the wedding (which went against our idea of what marriage was supposed to be like!), so cancelled the wedding and planned to do it in the US, at an unknown date, depending on visas, etc etc. Whilst waiting for that to process… we broke up. Because he said he wasn’t ready to get married yet. (Personally, I think he ‘talked himself in to’ a tizzy and we’d actually have been fine, but now I guess we’ll never know.) I realised fairly quickly afterwards that basically, everything that you wrote about in your post had become my reality — he had basically taken the place of God in my life. But God and I were good, and I was rebuilding and spending more time with Him, at least for a while. I got a job, and was looking forward to my future with me and God, even if I was sad at the same time. Then I got fired after a month, and basically… that undid ~everything~. It wasn’t just losing a job, it was losing a new future too. I went back to square one and then some. That was 4 months ago, and actually, God and I haven’t been the same since. There’s a big pile of distance, and I don’t know how to pray anymore, and I can’t see the point in reading the bible, and I try (or try to try), but it’s like… whispering across a canyon. Not connecting, and the signal’s getting lost. And in increasing measure, especially recently (I can’t remember how closely it exactly aligns with getting fired, sorry)… I’ve been thinking about my ex. In fact, thinking about him so much that he almost still feels like a current. (Notice how I began this post: “I’m not even married yet” !) When things happen throughout my day, big things and little things, and I want to share them with someone, I save them up in my mind and think, “I’ll tell that to Mike next time I speak to him.” My heart forgets that that isn’t going to happen again, and lives in the continual belief that we will get back together, of course we will, we were made for each other, it’s just going to be a matter of time. And i needed to read this, because it’s happened again, and I’m not even with Mike any more but I’m still pushing God out in his favour. But the one time I spoke to Mike after we broke up he said he didn’t even miss me! But, I don’t WANT to have to run harder after God. I want God to run harder after ME! I feel so brittle!! Until my soul gets filled up with a truly personal, intimate love, I’m going to continue feeling like I’m suffocating and crumbling, and all alone in the world. So, if God and I are going to get back on to good terms, I feel like He should be wooing me, right, not me chasing after Him?

    I’ve been in tears whilst I wrote this, and I am sorry for just spilling my guts all over your post, but I needed to read it, I am at the end of my rope, and this all had to come to light somewhere. I don’t know what else to do. So, if you wouldn’t mind, as a sister in Christ I am asking you, please will you pray for me? Because right now I don’t have any other options. I’m sorry. :’-(

    1. Thank you for writing, this is a safe place to share your heart. I have prayed for you and I am believing that God will break through for you. As I thought and prayed, one word came to mind: grief. I did not mention it in this post but I had many other things going on in my life at moment God talked to me about pursuing Him. Didn’t have a job for the first time in 7 yrs, confusing leadership transitions, loss of friends e.t.c. From hindsight I had stopped pursuing God because my heart was consumed by other things. So I needed to deal with those, before I could awaken and run after Him. I needed to acknowledge the deep grief and pain and confusion I was going through instead of fighting or ignoring it. The pathway to healing and right relationship with God was grieving out the things I was going through and understanding that God was with me, was not upset with me, had not left me.

      So as I read your comment, i sense there’s a lot of grief and pain. I pray for God’s comfort, that you would feel His embrace and love and acceptance. Psalm 147; 3 says He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Isaiah 42:16 says
      “I
      will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths
      I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and
      make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not
      forsake them.”

      I pray for courage and patience to walk through these hard place, that you will sense His presence.

      If you would like to chat some more, we could talk on on Skype/any audio or visual means. Just drop me mail at ngina (at) intentionaltoday (dot) com and we’ll plan.

  3. I really appreciate this post, because they talked about this during our Engaged Encounter weekend. It is putting so much pressure on your spouse to be your savior… when we already have Jesus! We have to love our spouses as they are and make the triangle of love where we each lead each other to Jesus, rather than make each other our own God’s. Easier said than done, that is for sure!

    1. Mary, that’s beautiful! There’s no way a spouse can take the place of our Savior! Thanks for sharing that.

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