Comfort zones within.
I few weeks ago, I wrote an explosive post (explosive in my personal life that is) about being the other woman. It was a raw and candid look at the effects of porn from the hurting woman’s point of view. Writing in the moment became more of a vent session, but it helped.
Since that post, I flew off to the sunny beaches of Fort Lauderdale for a much-anticipated girl’s weekend getaway. I flew in on a red-eye for the first time, and booked a room for 2:00 am. Out of my comfort zone, I was impressed with myself. I rarely fly alone, certainly never in the early morning hours. It felt good to be independent in unfamiliar territory.
My venting last month was a reminder of my self-identity. I am an individual within a sealed marriage. I take my vows seriously, though I am an imperfect wife, mother, and human. As I walk this life for Christ, I stumble and am no better than the next believer. I find it interesting that my vent of those actions left me reflecting on myself. God works for our good, even when we are focused on the bad. (Romans 8:28)
We live in an individualist world. I agree there are areas this is a pro, and other times this is a con. Relating to relationships, it is a complete fail.
The culture has slowly moved in the direction of a more independent identity within the identity of marriage. Without loyalty and respect in the center of all actions, you are not practicing self-reliance or independence. Without those essential parts, you are practicing selfishness.
I have been married for near 22 years now. We have fought tooth and nail for the protection of our marriage, including against ourselves. I used to believe the most significant opposition was outside our home. However, resistance was in our home in multiple challenges with my mental health, long term separation due to work-related positions, and difficulties in raising kids. The fatigue of managing marriage, family, and home wears on you, and distance is inevitable.
I chose to forgive time and again, but so did he. There are no stones to throw at his glass house without breaking my glass in the toss. To manage the hurt and disappointment of being let down requires a gentle heart and patient soul. God has blessed me with both throughout my bumpy life.
Vent, but always reflect.
In the lessons of growing wisdom, the Lord has used the beauty of reflection to show me a more reliable way to deal with life. It is the concept of the log in your eye story. (Matthew 7:5) With enough to worry about in my own life, there’s no room for judging others, even when their actions hurt.
I hope to remind myself of this truth frequently. If I approach every relationship with the same humble heart, then every relationship has the potential to flourish. That is the gift of God in this world of community.