My eyes were glued to the screen as I scrolled through each page. I had stumbled upon a blog post which lead to another, and another, and another. Each one real, heart-wrenching stories of women whose marriages fell apart for one reason or another. Some of these stories had happy endings, endings of redemption, a fixing of what was broken. Some, not so much.
As I read each line, I became lost in the stories. And, my heart also became lost, wandering to a place I had never intended to go.
I put myself in their shoes. And, I begin to ask the what if questions. What if my husband betrayed me? What if he left me for someone else? What if he stopped loving me? What would my world look like?
The enemy placed a sense of fear into my heart as I thought about the real life scenarios.
You see, I met my husband when I was 17, and we were married a month after my 20th birthday.
He was my first “real” boyfriend, my first kiss, my first mutual experience of love, my first (and only) sexual partner.
My husband literally owns me. He owns me as much as any person on this earth could. NOT in a demeaning, controlling, ridiculous way. But, in a real, he is my everything, I’m not sure I could function without him way.
That man, the one who I vowed my heart to on our wedding day, has all of my heart.
I thought of what my life would be like. What would I have left without him? I finished college, but I never built my career. My career is our home, our children, our life together.
His friends became my friends. And, most all that we do socially revolve around US as a couple.
He supports me financially. I would literally have nothing that is mine.
He opens the jars that I am too weak to open. He gives directions to the places I would otherwise be lost finding. He solves problems that on my own I struggle to solve. He scrapes the ice from my windshield and fixes the broken places on my car.
In a sense, I feel like I would be helpless without him. Vulnerable. That word describes what I felt.
The truth is he has the power to bring joy to my life or to ruin me. He has the power to build a life together with me, or to shatter the world that I live in.
Vulnerability. It means to be susceptible to harm, physically or emotionally.
It’s not a word that sounds pleasant. I doubt many would choose to be describes in such a way. Yet, what I realized is Marriage REQUIRES vulnerability.
It requires me to trust the man who owns my heart, knowing he is not perfect, knowing he could mess up, knowing in handing over my whole heart to him he most certainly has power over me.
It requires me to intertwine my life with his in every way, without a back-up plan, or a way to get out.
It requires me to love without bounds. To keep no records of the faults he has. To give my daily life to him, to our home, to our family.
It requires that I hang up the fear of what if scenarios and I live fully in the real life scenario where God has placed me.
And so, I will be ok with being vulnerable. And, I realize that his life too is vulnerable to the choices I make. It is mutual. We rely on each other. Our lives are one. His decisions affect my life, and my decisions affect his.
There is NO other option. A marriage without vulnerability. One with a back-up plan. One with a sense of disposability. It will not be healthy. It will not last.
So, I challenge you today to look at your marriage and to love and live vulnerably, allowing your spouse to have your whole heart.
Ephesians 5:31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
*If you are in an abusive marital situation, please know that this is not the type of vulnerability I am writing about. Seek counsel immediately.*