I knew how she felt because I had been in that place myself. There was a time I needed my husband so much that nothing else mattered. My whole world revolved around him and his happiness. This sounds good on the surface, right? Who wouldn’t want a wife who loved so completely? Yes, I loved this completely, at the expense of my own identity. I felt I was no one without him. He was my life.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Colossians 3:3-4.
I had my priorities mixed up. It was Christ who was my life, not my husband. At this time in our marriage we were trying to restore our broken relationship and in order to make it work, I felt I had to be everything to him and do anything for him. Life was difficult for me as I lost my identity and became a woman I was not meant to be. My husband was an idol in my life and there was no room for a growing relationship with Jesus. I became stagnant spiritually and burned out physically, emotionally, and mentally trying to make my husband happy. Striving to be perfect drove me to the point of exhaustion. My feelings told me I needed him more than anything so, I worked hard to keep him. I thought, “Who would I be without him?”
Fast forward to today. I don’t need my husband, I want him. There’s a huge difference. Needing him led to bitterness and resentment. I could never be perfect no matter how hard I tried, so my failures were ever before me. Wanting him creates a real love and respect between us. Now I am a woman set free by the grace of God. Knowing who I am in Christ Jesus gives me confidence to live life being myself, taking off the masks of pretending, and letting my husband know the real me. Guess what? He loves the real me, the imperfect me, the me I was created to be!
When people control our actions and thoughts they become life to us. The truth gets distorted and we lose focus. But the truth is Jesus is LIFE and we should never allow a person to take His place. If we need someone so much that we think we have to put on a mask and be something we are not, then it’s time for a change. Change can only happen when we come to the realization that people are not perfect, people will disappoint, people will betray, and people can’t fill our emptiness with their love. God is love and His love fills every need we have. He never betrays, disappoints or leaves us empty.
1 John 4:16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
When we live out of Christ’s life in us, we love others with the love of God. Then in those moments when they let us down, we can give grace because it isn’t us giving it, it’s Him giving and loving through us. Now we can love others and want relationship with them, but we don’t need that relationship to survive because we know we have abundant life through Jesus Christ our Lord!
I am praying for my friend to find her identity in Christ and not in her husband. When she begins to live as the woman she was always meant to be, she will love and respect him so much more fully than she ever could do while wearing a mask. It’s out of the fullness of God’s love that Christ lives His life through us and that’s where real freedom and true love is found.
Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.