Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What's The Measure of a Man?

First, I want to thank soooo many of you who have sent me encouraging emails and also posted encouraging comments on this blog. To know you are praying brings me much comfort.
Yesterday George and I had a counseling appointment. We both shared about what has been unhealthy in our relationship. It's very apparent that we don't have something healthy to go back to...we can only change and move forward. For me, it is exciting. I look ahead and see unlimited possibilities. I know without a shadow of a doubt that if we both submit fully to God, he will fill our marriage with love, joy, confidence, and friendship.
That's a big "if" though. George doesn't see it that way. He came out of counseling (this happens every time) feeling like we're too far-gone. Yesterday on the way home he told me he doesn't think he's in love with me anymore. I tried to explain again that the feeling of being in love is much different from the love and commitment of marriage...and that we can't wait around for passionate feelings---we have to actually act passionately about each other. He said that would be a miserable way to live. Ouch.
After some conversation that seemed to be going nowhere I said, "Well, you need to grow some balls and stop being such a coward." In case you don't know my issues (ha!), I have tried for too long to always say nice nice, act nice, look nice, nice, nice, nice! Now I am learning that, in times like this, nice doesn't work. So in case you feel like my statement may have done harm, let me assure you, this man I am married to needs to hear the hard stuff. I need to say it.
And that brings me to the title question. What is a man? What does it mean when people say "be a man"? I'd love to know your thoughts. I'll tell you mine. In our particular situation, George being a real man of God would look like this: You know what? I'm scared. I've screwed up. I have been a horrible husband. I want to make things right. God says I'm the head of this family and even though I don't know how all of this will turn out, I'm going to fight for my wife and my child. I will not quit--we are in this together!
That's what I want to hear from him. The thing is, I'm seeing zero signs that this will ever happen. Once again, he made a commitment to working on our marriage but as soon as he was reminded of our past and how much it sucks, he became too afraid to step up to the plate.
In counseling yesterday I brought up the way I have treated George in our marriage. We talk a lot about the changes George needs to make because he's the one reluctant to change. I wanted to point out that I could see how George might be afraid to commit to me and then find himself a couple of years down the road being treated the same way I used to treat him.
You see, I thought I could change George. I saw the good in him but wanted him to get rid of all the crap and just embrace the good. George became a Christian while we were dating and I thought he was on the road to change. I was madly in love with him and wanted him to change quickly so that I could have everything I wanted. I knew in my heart that if he didn't make some changes, I shouldn't marry him. I married him anyway. I took on a mothering role with him and he fell right into the role of a child. What a recipe for disasaster!
A couple of years ago I really started resenting George. I was mad at him for drinking too much, cursing, getting angry so easily and making me feel horrible. I felt that outside of my marriage, I was growing personally and spiritually but in our marriage I was being squeezed to death. Somehow, I decided to try to shame George into changing. Now, logically this is truly absurd. But for some reason, it made perfect sense to me at the time. It makes me sick to know that I treated my husband so poorly and was basically a hypocrite. Tell me why in the hell George would want anything to do with God when I, a representative of Christ in my marriage, treated him like absolute crap?
I have repented of these horrible sins to both God and my husband and I have turned away from them. I made a choice to look at George and see him through God's eyes. To love him unconditionally and treat him as I would my very best friend. Unfortunately, though, it is too late for George. The damage is done and he can't forgive.

So what now? I have no idea. I feel lost. I covet your prayers today. I'm asking God to give me direction.


Biby Cletus said...

Cool blog, i just randomly surfed in, but it sure was worth my time, will be back

Deep Regards from the other side of the Moon

Biby Cletus

Melody in MN said...

Dear Erin,

I just found your blog through Adrienne's blog. I want you to know that I will be praying for you and George. May God work a miracle in your lives. May He give you peace today.

Melody in MN

Anonymous said...

hi, ran across your blog. praying for you and your family. really, it is a real warning for others....careful lest ye fall. i think things are great with me and my husband, but this post about mothering and all.........well, i need to make some changes. God bless you and yours.

Kim said...

A little over 2 years ago, I told my hubby that I didn't love him anymore. I was ready...I mean really take our 2 girls and walk out the door. Everyone tried to tell me that love was a choice we make each day but I told them they were CRAZY. We went to counseling (I did not want to go) and slowly over time good things started happening. I had many prayers from family, friends and the wonderful Christian counselor we went to. There were things I had to change and there were things he had to change. Almost the instant we truly began to put God first in our lives, we started growing closer. Long story short...we just celebrated our 11th anniversary and I am more in love with him that I was the day I married him!!! God can heal anything!!! If you haven't already, go get the book "Power of a Praying Wife" and get your hubby "Power of a Praying Husband". Don't give up...God is on your side!!!! I praise God that even though satan can get us down he CANNOT destroy us because we belong to God.

dee.morgen said...

I am proud of you, Erin. I love you so much and am praying for you guys. Hugs from CR.

Debbie said...

Hi Erin,

I really appreciate your honesty. I can see how you and Ade are friends.

When I went back to God after things really fell apart in our marriage, I had this moment where I really felt God showed me to love my husband unconditionally. So, that's been my full time job in our relationship. It's impossible to do on my own. It seems like every day another light goes on inside me and I see how I'm not loving him that way, that I'm being self-serving. Anyway, all that to say that it was great to hear you say you choose to see George through God's eyes and love him unconditionally. That's so unbelievably huge and hard to do -- I will pray for you in that.

And, George's forgiveness piece is big, too. I pray that he will be able to receive God's forgiveness completely and, in turn, be able to forgive you, not because you've changed but because he can forgive with God's strength.

I also want to say to hang onto the hope of the future: the unlimited possibilities in your marriage that you mentioned. You are (or are becoming) so much healthier than lots of women in seemingly good marriages. You are looking to God to meet every need of yours. My prayer is that George will as well, and you can both come together not NEEDING from each other.

The long road ahead will be filled with so much growth for you, Erin. The pain and sorrow brings a depth in relationship with God that nothing else can bring. I cannot believe the beauty that grows daily in mine.

Anonymous said...

Today I'm praying for balls - figuratively speaking.


Kelly said...

I just found your blog though Adrienne and wqantyou to know I am praying for you and your husband. I don't know the specifics of your situation, but I want you to know that I am praying that satan will lose his stronghold on your marriage. Our Gd is a mighty God and nothing is too big for him.
I am so sorry for what you are going through... I admire you so much for your honesty.
God bless you!

Adrienne said...

I am proud of you! I am praying, like Alexis...and many others! Re-read Debbie's words as they are first hand encouragement from a woman in hot pursuit of God and of a Godo-centered marriage...she's been digging in DEEPLY to God's word to pray Scripture over her husband...Good stuff.
Anyway, you aren't alone, my friend!

Adrienne said...

Actually, you asked a question...though your own answer was profound...the true measure of a man is the extreme opposite of the standards of the world. Job security, social status, real estate, physical allure are all ideals that are gone if a man is suddenly lying on his death bed. It is his selflessness, his submission to God, and his quick confession of sin - that which separates him from God - that make up his true measure.

Anonymous said...

hi! We are friends of Jas and Ade and I just read your blog. i was struck by your use of the word "authentic". This has been a word that I have been focusing on as I evaluate my life, my spirituality, etc. I LOVED that you used it to describe a diffucult situation...Being authentic doesn't always feel good! I also LOVE that you said this whole thing really sucks...:) I am sure that this will sound strange coming for a perfect stranger, but, I am proud of you! You authentic, clear, "nothing to hide" approach is great. I am truly sorry that your family is going through all of this right now and you will be in our prayers.

From a sister.

loving my life said...

To my sister in Christ-
I am praying for you. I declare healing over your marriage. I declare in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy ghost that George's eyes are opened and that the Truth of the Father will wash over him. Your marriage will be saved.
Much love to you although you do not know me, I will be praying for you and your family. God Bless.

phatmeow said...

Dear Erin,

I'm sorry you are going through a difficult time, but if it is God's will that you and your husband remain together then it will be a blessing. Would you mind if I say that perhaps you should stop trying to get him to "change" and be a living testimony to the goodness of the Lord. Let your husband see God moving in you and the change WILL way or another! I've had to let go and give it to Him so many times. Easier said then done i'm sure but I was married before and have learned from this. Im still a work in progress but God is good all the time!

Be encouraged sweety!

Anonymous said...

WOW! How much your marraige mirrors mine. We are not sure how to fix ours. Most of the things George said to you, I have said to my husband. I want to let you know you are not alone. It is comforting to know I am not either. People you do not know are praying for you! You have also turned it over to God and that is HUGE! Your family is in my prayers.


Anonymous said...

Erin, my love. I don't even know what to say! I had no idea any of this was going on. Me, being selfish,in my own little world over here never even stopped to think that you might be going through rough times. I found your blog spot on my brothers myspace page. You are tucked in my prayers, Erin. I am so sorry. Love, Lacee