88: Uniquely Perfect

88: Uniquely Perfect

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Wives

Uniquely Perfect

By Brittany Valentine

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

~James 1:17

I can remember the sound of the door shutting as my husband’s father left. The noise pierced the silence in our tiny apartment. Having just driven halfway across the country to move us to seminary, he was anxious to get back home. As the last sliver of hallway light faded and our door was locked, my heart sank. We had absolutely nothing but each other, and shortly a new baby. Overwhelmed and lonely, I fought back tears, trying to support my husband in this new adventure.

Days of unemployment grew into weeks, and weeks into months. Various stresses seemed to overcome the once peaceful trust we felt, and our marriage became a crazy cycle of arguing and irritation. I wish I could say it only lasted a few weeks, but honestly this cycle went on for a few years.

Our schedules became crazy. Having left two full-time jobs, we found ourselves working four to five jobs between the two of us just to pay bills. Then, the birth of our son took us down to just one income. We tried somewhat to make our marriage more bearable — and at times things were better — but it didn’t last long.

One morning nearly three years into our marriage, I sat pouring out my heart to the Lord. I could hear as He whispered into my heart, “Perhaps he isn’t the only one who needs to change.” Almost instantly, the Lord radically transformed my thinking about my husband. He spoke powerfully to me through James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

God created my husband perfectly for me, not perfect. His strengths perfectly complement my weaknesses and I am a better wife and mother because of who God created him to be. All those years I spent consumed with frustration over my marriage because of my unmet expectations could have easily been avoided had I just been willing to remove the plank from my own eye, and seek God wholeheartedly about changing my heart. The transformation within my heart was overwhelming, and the Lord’s mercy in my marriage relationship was nothing short of spectacular. My husband loves Jesus, and thankfully in spite of myself, my husband loves me. As the walls of self-righteousness and frustration tumbled down, God brought restoration and healing. Perhaps God was using the years of frustration to draw me nearer to Him. He was showing me that a “perfect” marriage isn’t one without arguments or occasional dissension, but rather one that reflects the love of Christ, which itself embodies forgiveness, grace and peace.

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