Wait….Marriage Isn’t Supposed to Make Me Happy?

Recently, the Lord showed me a freeing revelation. One that I think is worth sharing. So here goes…

It started at Bible Study last week – the one I haven’t been to since November and was wondering if it was worth going to because I’ve missed so many weeks and chapters!

But I went… and may have listened to the last few minutes of the chapter on Audible as I drove.

Marriage happened to be the topic of the night. A topic I’m not currently struggling with and didn’t come with any deep message to share or heavy question to ask.

But the Lord had something to share with me. One of the stories in the book was about a couple who struggled in their marriage. The woman had filed for divorce. Before it was final, she received a letter from a widowed friend saying humble yourself. She decided to try it. The more she willingly humbled herself the more she grew to love her husband and saw him as a wonderful man. She actually enjoyed being his wife. Then, close to Christmas, he died.

I don’t know if it was sudden or expected but she was thankful for the restoration God had brought in her marriage! She had no regrets. (Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free pages 189-190)

This story made me immediately think of homeschooling. I’ve often described it as my difficult marriage. One I have sought a divorce from. I have acted out and been so willful about not wanting to do this calling. But I have 2 years left with my oldest son. Two years until graduation! I don’t want to look back at the finish line and be filled with regrets. I don’t want to just pass the time and miss the joy to be had.

I want to have a testimony like the woman above.

The next morning I cracked open the study guide for the chapter we discussed the night before. Yes, I know it’s backwards to do the homework after the class, but hey, sometimes you just have to start where you are!

I zoomed though the first few questions easily. Then came number 4. “Reflect on your marriage…Write down any ways you might be expecting a man to meet needs in your life that only God can meet.”

That’s when it hit me. I’ve been thinking…expecting even… for homeschooling to fulfill some deep longing in my life.  I’ve thought at the end of the day, the week, the school year I should feel fueled up, happy and energized by teaching my kids. And because I haven’t, because instead I feel completely depleted, I think something’s wrong with me or with the curriculum I’m using!

But that couldn’t be farther than the truth. Just like it isn’t my husband’s job to make me happy, it’s not homeschooling’s job either. Homeschooling is where I’m called to serve and so it cannot be where I draw my strength, where I find pure delight or even where I find my identity.

I have to find that outside of homeschooling!

Why has it taken me 10 years to figure this out?!

Oswald Chamber said in the Feb 9th devotional of My Utmost for His Highest “The process of being broken bread and poured out wine means that you have to be the nourishment for other souls until they learn to feed on God. They must drain you to the dregs. Be careful that you get your supply, or before long, you will be utterly exhausted.”

Yep! Been there Ozzie!

So I have to make time to take care of myself and do things that are special so that I can be rested and filled to overflowing to serve God by teaching my kids. It’s not if I have time to do these things. I have to or I won’t be able to function at the level I need to. It would be like cutting off my oxygen or food. I will become exhausted. And for the record, I’m tired of being exhausted!

The lie I’ve believed: Homeschooling should make me happy.

The truth I’m beginning to believe: Homeschooling isn’t my identity or where I draw my strength. The Lord is. He surrounds me with people and opportunities to renew and refuel me. I need to make time for these things so that I can pour it all out for my family.

What do you think? I’ll pose the same question to you. Is there anything you’re looking to, secretly depending on, to make you happy outside of God? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

4 thoughts on “Wait….Marriage Isn’t Supposed to Make Me Happy?

  1. Jill says:

    Such a good lesson and one I need to put into practice. I’ve often heard that mama has to take care of herself first and this is a good reminder why. Thank you! I’m praying for courage to do just that!

    Like

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