You First

I love it when my marriage is smooth sailing, when Aron and I are clicking, when he’s picking up what I’m putting down and vice versa. It’s when he or I don’t have to ask. We just know the deal and get it done for each other.


But there are times when I become selfish and things go the “I Always, You Never” or the “You Always, I Never” route. I can start seeing things through the “victim” lens and start playing the blame game. I sometimes wonder, “How can my marriage go from total bliss one day to stormy seas the next?”


Here’s the thing: Self-counsel is dangerous. Thinking my way out of my own problems never works out well. So, I appreciate perspective. I {heart} broadening my horizon and seeing beyond my personal view. I have taken a shine to Karen Stubbs and her ministry, Birds on a Wire. I love her transparency and willingness to use her personal experiences to benefit women coming on behind her. This year, she has done a series on exchanging lies for the Truth. She stretched my perspective SO far on marriage, it hurt.

Here it is:

#1 My husband isn’t my Completer. He was never created to meet all of my needs. Talk about taking the pressure off! I’m not lowering my expectations of my marriage or Aron (because he truly is amazing), but remembering that he is human, that he AND I will make mistakes. God cannot make mistakes and He is in my corner.

Isaiah 54:5: “For your Maker is your husband— the Lord Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.

Do NOT miss this audio!
{Exchanges: Husbands}

#2 Marriage only works when partners are willing to be self-sacrificial (“die to self” in Christianese.) Karen points out that it’s easier to “die” when she sees her husband “dying” first. When those “victim” lenses go on, it becomes “You first, then I’ll follow.” She shares Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Even if I don’t feel like I have more to give, as a Christian, I have been given grace, or power, to go beyond my own strength as Christ works in me.

Do NOT miss this audio either!
{Exchanges: Quiet Time}

Even if I am the one to start the process of self-sacrifice, the desired result comes with a return to that connected partnership.

“…moving first may be risky, but it is very powerful. Rarely can you lose…When you touch your spouse’s deepest need, something good almost always happens.” (“Love and Respect” p. 75)

So, I’ve read a book and listened to some audios. Now what? How do I keep myself from doing what is so easy…becoming selfish? The most tangible way that I have ever heard of and used is writing down the promises I’ve read in Scripture on a 3×5, keeping them somewhere really handy, and then reading them aloud to myself over and over. (These ideas from scripture of relying on God, who is not visible, as my Completer and Need Meeter and then “dying to self”, completely unnatural, are hard to do.)

But faith, then actions, are easier to gain when I’ve heard my voice speak these verses over and over. Romans 10:17: “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”

You first.



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