No matter how many people told me otherwise, somewhere in me thought having a husband would fix things.
Literally speaking, I live with a handyman. Things do get fixed more than they used to. And living with my best friend has been one of the most meaningful gifts I’ve known.
But there are just some things he can’t, and our marriage can’t, fix.
I thought having a man tell me I was pretty every day would make me feel pretty every day. Nope. Some days it does. But others days it doesn’t.
Frustrated by how I look, I stop myself, and remember if I’m not affirmed in divine worth, as God’s daughter, my security and identity are based-on and living for a lie. And sub-par leader, authority, friend and lover.
2. Social Anxiety
Some subconscious part of me thought it would fix my anxiety. How could doing life with your favorite person not make everything OK?
Well, a lot of reasons. Having my husband, Micah, by my side doesn’t stop my adversary from attempts to steal, kill and destroy any potentially healthy social interaction.
Nor does it fix my proclivities toward leading my life and living apart from dependence on Him who created my life. My friend Nicole and I were recently talking about anxiety alongside the posture of trust.
Apart from a trustworthy God, we should be anxious. Furthermore, when I forget that a trustworthy God is with me, abiding in me, able to hold and handle me, at any level of my complexity, I end up anxious, with need to control. I end-up forgetting that I’m allowed to rest, because Jesus paid it all.
I think about the despairingly lonely points when I didn’t have a husband, or guy noticing me for years on end. At least if I were hitched, I could face this despair with someone, I thought.
Then, I think of the points Micah and I arent seeing anywhere close to eye-to-eye and recall the ease of singleness. At least it was just me and my ways of thinking then. Bottom line, we weren’t made for this world.
We weren’t made to find ultimate intimacy with this world, or anyone in it. Embracing our existential loneliness and emptiness is a healthy part of realizing here is not our home. Live well and deeply in the lot you’ve been given, but dont let it carry the depths of your hope.
I thought having a husband, having sex, having a house and having a dog would make me content. Nope. Each is lovely, but none altogether fulfilling. And yet, longing continues to pursue me, idealizing more scenarios, like traveling to Vietnam, or sitting around a boisterous Thanksgiving table with four kids, a sizzling turkey and my husband leaning over to kiss my cheek and say he loves me.
Why? Am I that naïve, or stubborn, to not remember that things or people or ideals wont satisfy werent made to satisfy? Yes. Just like every other human being, my most base longing day-in and day-out millisecond-in and millisecond out.
I forget that ideal isn’t real. And I’m prone to keep wandering toward just that. I forget God. I forget that Im human, and in continual need of a savior’s restoration.
Marriage Doesn’t Need to Fix These Things
No matter how wonderful one’s marriage is it’s never gonna cut-it, in terms of offering us a lasting identity, or satisfying us eternally.
We were made for more. We were made for our Maker.
And yet, you can try me years from now and my guess is that I’ll still be learning this, still let down by some level of faulty expectations. It’s just the way it goes with learning to follow Jesus, believing that Hes actually true, trustworthy, and our only real hope for this and every moment.
Abbie Smith and her husband Micah reside in inner-city Savannah with their two children. Her latest books are, Celibate Sex: Musings on Being Loved, Single, Twisted, and Holy and “The Slow Fade: Why You Matter in the Story of Twentysomethings,” written with Reggie Joiner & Chuck Bomar. Read more from Abbie on her website, www.abbiesmith.net.