I have been married for a few months now. The Lord blessed me with a wonderful, godly man who desires to seek the Lord in all that he does. He treats me with gentleness and care, and often does little things to show how much he loves me. Things “should be” wonderful, but these two months have been filled with difficulties and frustrations, mainly in part because of me. Ever since we said “I do,” I have felt unworthy and inadequate. I have become overly-sensitive and get my feelings hurt every day, it seems. It has put a strain on us both, even to the point where my husband said that he feels he can’t talk to me because he is afraid it will hurt me somehow. I know I am looking to him to make me feel worthy when I should be looking to the Lord, but I can’t seem to stop. I don’t know what to do. Thank you for listening.
God bless you and keep you,
A Discouraged Newlywed
Dear Discouraged Newlywed:
Thank you for your honesty in sharing your heart. You are certainly not alone. Since the time of our foremother Eve, we as created beings have been questioning the goodness of our Creator—usually not purposefully and straightforwardly but rather as a part of our sinful nature. Whether questioning His judgment as did Eve (“Did God really say . . . ?” Gn 3:1) or His goodness as did Sarah when she decided to find her own solution to her infertility (Gn 16:1-2), we forget who God is and what He does to guide the human family.
Yet, what you are doing is seeking a change in your own heart, and that opens the door for God to work.
Here are some suggestions for changing your course from going down to despair to jumping back on the road to joy. Happiness is dependent upon circumstances, but genuine joy comes only from God and His indwelling Holy Spirit.
- Remind yourself every day as you open your eyes and begin your routines that “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps 118:24).
- Never forget that you are “in His own image” (Gn 1:27) and that He literally fashioned you in the womb “remarkably and wonderfully” (Ps 139:13). The little boy who boldly proclaimed, “God didn’t make any junk” was absolutely correct. By virtue of our humanity, we all have imperfections, but He created us for His glory. When you question your worth, you are questioning God’s workmanship.
- Put a pencil to paper and record all the wonderful qualities your husband has and the special things he does for you. You did an excellent summary in your email to me. Then, as the apostle Paul admonishes, “Dwell on these things . . .” (Php 4:8). Meditate on these qualities of your husband. Is there anything more you would want from God?
- Then, record all the things your husband has said in praise and gratitude for you—even include in this list what others have said concerning your positive qualities. Thank the Lord for making you who you are before you begin asking Him to make you over.
- Consider yourself indeed a work in progress and be alert to ways you can glorify the Lord more effectively, beginning with being content and satisfied (1 Tim 6:6-8; Heb 13:5). A wise mentor once said to me when I was in the midst of a pity party, “Be thankful for the givens and not anxious over the not givens.”
- When you feel resentment and hurt approaching, stop in your tracks. Choose with your will to focus on what is good. Perhaps you need to learn to play Pollyanna’s “Glad Game.” Whatever negative thought comes should be shoved back and replaced with a positive observation.
My dear discouraged friend, God is allowing you to be tested.
I am confident that you will emerge as shining gold! Begin rebuilding your communication with your husband with determination and joy and remember that you must spend time with the Lord by yourself, reading His Word and meditating on its truths. And you must have these conversations expressing doubt and despair with the Lord, and allow The Lord to heal your hurts and make you glad!
I remain yours in the journey,