Did I marry the wrong wife?

f3317446-352a-4381-b528-7c82718efc7aSome of you may have noticed the Catch went out late yesterday. When that happens you can usually assume technical difficulties or personal issues. The latter can come from the fact that I spent most the morning on a Catch that didn’t work, or I’m having some kind of personal struggle with the subject matter. Both were true yesterday. After spending most of my time creating a Catch that Marti nixed (you and I are both lucky she did), I then struggled with the subject matter of a new one. The Catch I ended up sending out was a revised version of something Marti had written some time ago to explain something about relationships. Perhaps you will remember the following:

Our attitude towards someone always determines our altitude. If you think you have married the “wrong” person, like Esther, but choose to treat him/her like the “right” one, that person will turn into the right one. On the other hand, if you married the right one, yet treat him/her as the wrong one, that person will turn into the wrong one. This holds true for all our relationships. How we treat each other will determine who we become.

The big question was, and still is: how much shall I tell you about where I stand in my own marriage on these things? Shall I just put this out there as information you can apply to your own relationships, or shall I apply it to mine with my wife? I know that personal application is always the way to go, but how much shall I reveal?

Every leader or pastor struggles with this question. We are supposed to be applying every lesson we teach and proving by our lives that all of our teaching and our advice works. You just assume that we have the happiest families and marriages, especially if we don’t tell you otherwise. We don’t give you any reason to think anything else. There is no disclaimer on our sermons.  Look at all the wisdom we keep spouting; of course we are doing what we say. Not!

Take for instance this excellent piece of advice I gave you yesterday about how to think about your spouse … how do I line up on that? Well, of course I married the right one … ask God about that! But I’m afraid if you followed me around here for a couple of days, it wouldn’t be long until you would get the impression that I must have married the wrong person. This is primarily because I have found it more convenient to blame Marti for all the things I do not like about being married, rather than embrace everything equally — the good and the bad — because with everything that is right about our relationship, I need to be willing to overcome all the perceived negativity. It’s mostly about blame. If I blame her for the struggles I have, I don’t have to overcome them. I can just say I married the wrong person. But that’s because I made it wrong. Making it right is up to me, too, since she is the right one for me.

Over 40 years ago, we taught a marriage conference to a group of newlyweds like us. In fact, our MemberPartners, Tim and Mayre, were at that conference. They’re still married and so are we, but just staying married doesn’t necessarily determine a good marriage. I think we’ll have Tim and Mayre teach the next one, and we’ll attend. I need witnesses.

So I’m making all of you my witnesses. There is going to be a change around here, and all my actions will back up the fact that I married the right one — Marti’s always been the right one; I just haven’t been treating her like she is.

I’m going to the Prayer Warriors with this one. And, by the way, you should all be taking more advantage of them. That’s what they are here for.

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7 Responses to Did I marry the wrong wife?

  1. Bridget Clay says:

    Thank you for being so transparent…first words out of my mouth was “what an awesome devotion”. I can remember we had just celebrated my pastor’s 30th anniversary and all was peach keen. About a month or so later, pastor and wife got up one Sunday and told the church they were divorcing. I was totally devastated…the whole church was, we lost a lot of members after this announcement. For me personally though it was crushing because as a single (divorced) woman, I still held out that there was hope that I would find that “right” person and I would have a loving relationship, just like those marriages I had so much respect for…what we see looking in from rose colored glass houses. It took me a long time to get over but I came back stronger from that path in my journey and still have that hope but along more realistic lines. It’s not a fairy tale but work for ALL of US. We all struggle but it’s how we approach it and WHO we take it to. I’m glad you had to re-do devotion and come back with something else…I don’t even remember yesterday’s devotion but this one will stick with me. Right on time John. I love Marti. 🙂

  2. Mark Seguin says:

    Even thou I am not married & never have been, I was touched by Today’s Catch and second Bridget Clay’s: “Right on time John. I love Marti. (I’ll just add gorgeous Marti)
    PS not sure how much this implies to Today’s catch, and I surely fail too often with this lesson the Holy Spirit I think / believe tried teach me: in that it is only me that controls my feeling (or attitude) and trying to place blame or responsibility on someone else, isn’t right… 🙂

  3. Bare Plowman says:

    Beautiful pick of Marti !! Maybe she’s wondering…. Did I marry the right husband??!! I tell people all the time after seeing Mellissa’s picture to NOT ask me how I got her!! : ) I’m sure you can take the teasing my brother.

  4. jwfisch says:

    Yes, it does go both ways.

  5. Peter Leenheer says:

    Thank you for speaking so authentically about this topic. Considering all the divorce today around the world, it appears that many believe they have married the wrong wife or spouse.

    In scripture Hosea comes to mind, who was commanded to marry a prostitute. I myself was appointed by God to marry the woman who has been my wife for 43 years. Yes, at one point we both thought we had married the wrong person, and came close to parting ways.

    Love does not keep a record of wrongs it says in Corinthians. I began to practice that with amazing results. I still flub it up from time to time. Criticism presumes the critic is perfect, otherwise he/she would not criticize. Guess what I thought at one point that I was perfect. The result was our marriage was like two armed, inpregnable camps ready for war and at war.

    In the 60’s a conversation in my college dorm room brought forth this truth from a roommate. If we practice the love God practices with us, then we could marry anyone and make the marriage work. We do after all divorce because of the hardness of our hearts. I know of a marriage where the one abused the other in multiple ways. After many years of therapy and repentance the abuser was cured, and they now live together as a married couple. It is possible, but it is hard to say the least.

  6. Kevin says:

    I think being transparent can be just as contagious as laughter. Is that in one of the proverbs ? Thank you John and Marti. Have you seen Jesus My Lord ? Perhaps people are able to see Jesus in us when we are transparent and can see past all the flesh that tries to hide our imperfections. FIG LEAVES !

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