Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Familiar Convictions

We are having that conversation again. The one where I go, I feel like I don't do anything for you. And where he starts listing off all the things I do. But then, I always say, I couldn't do any of those things, if you didn't provide income to pay for it. And he is silent. Silent because he can't think of what to say, what I need. Silent because I don't know how to tell him what I'm asking, what I need to hear.


He finishes with a you are just you. What you do for me is you love me; sentences that to me sound contrived and easy, something said when nothing else is left--not real, not true. Because I want to be needed. I have to know that something I do in this marriage is equal to what he does. I don't want to be a burden.

If he didn't work 12 hours a day, if he didn't bring home money--I wouldn't be able to cook. I wouldn't be able use the water to wash our laundry. I wouldn't be able to follow my dreams of becoming a famous knitting designer or blogger and work for myself. He pays all the bills. He gives me money to buy all the food. I'm unworthy...

We drop the conversation. But inside I'm struggling. Something in me yearns to know that I matter. That I am contributing enough to deserve him. I want to be equal to my husband. I want to know that I am worthy of his love, and that I am returning, equally, the substance he gives me. Money for money. Or at least something comparable. Because then I won't be a burden. Then I won't be another rope around his neck.

My heart is troubled. My husband can tell I'm upset about something, so the next day buys me flowers. This just makes me feel worse, because now he is exercising his free time and his money just to make me feel better. If I felt okay, he wouldn't need to do this.

That Sunday I went to church, my spirit still heavy. Then the pastor started taking, and God got my attention. He went over how much God loves us. How he sent his son to die for us, how he adores us and sends us his joy. And about how there is nothing we could ever do to deserve his love.

And I thought, how many times have I tried to pay God back with good deeds and promises? Good deeds are good. But all of me belongs to God. Giving him anything is just giving him something he already owns. I can never repay him, I will never be enough. And when God saves me, he no longer sees me as something dirty, as something unequal to his love. No, he elevates me to become his child, a child of God. And nothing I ever do will make me deserve that.


In my pew I cried. Because the same goes for my husband. No matter what I do, even if I win the lottery and give my husband handfuls of money or buy him his favorite car or never burn another meal...it will never be enough to repay him for the love he has given me. Because my husband does not view me as unequal. He supports what I do. To my husband, my love is enough for him. This goes in tandem with what God wants. He wants me to love Him. And God wants his love to be enough for me.

15 comments:

  1. I love this. Spot on.

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  2. This post made me tear up a bit. I love that when I go to church with something heavy in my heart, the readings and the words of the sermon somehow always manage to make it lighter, give me perspective, and of course, remind me to continue to carry it to God in prayer. We are so very undeserving of His love!


    Thank you for this post, and for the honesty in your words. I love your writing!

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  3. every night i pray that God will mold me into who he wants me to be. (he is the potter. we are the clay.) sometimes it's all that i can do, especially when i am feeling hopeless and overwhelmed with who am i/what am i supposed to be doing.

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  4. relationships are funny...sometimes you give 20% and he gives 80%, sometimes it's 40/60 or 70/30, almost never 50/50. try not to focus on that too much. love your guy and give what you can right now. at some point, that is likely to change. in the end, what really matters is that you've stuck by each other no matter what.

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  5. This is beautiful. I can definitely relate to feeling like you're not enough. It's so freeing, to realize that love is enough. So powerful :)

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  6. So beautiful and true!! Marriage isnt a competition or a weighted scale! Each partner brings to the table something of their own that is unique and precious. Remember its more like a circle...you couldnt do laundry if he didnt have money for soap but he couldnt work if he didnt have clothes! Same for food etc!!

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  7. love is one thing you can't buy with money. it's easy to buy a chanel bag, to buy a new car. You just save up and buy it. real love is rare, where you genuinely love someone and want to be the best for someone.

    ... relationship is more than just money, it's how compatible we are with eachother and that has nothing to do with money. it took me a while to understand, my boyfriend doesn't nearly make as much money as me but he fully supports everything I do unlike any other guys I've dated. And to me even though he might not financially contribute as much as I do, his love and support for me is enough for me.

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  8. I hear ya! I feel guilty all the time since I don't work and my parents let me stay here for free. Plus pay all my bills. I hate it and I feel so bad. My parents tell me all the time that I make up for it by doing laundry and cooking a few times a week. But I still feel horrible. Plus now that my mom is out of work too its gotten even worse the guilt. Which is why I try to do little things that I can pay for. Kind of what you do with kitting and all that. I talked to my parents saying I wanted to help even though its just a struggle for that. But with selling things online clothing wise and now starting to sell some custom stuff too they are letting me pay for my data for my phone each month. Its not a lot but it helps me feel like I'm helping just a little bit. And they told me as I make more off different things I can pay more for different things. So maybe ask him if there is one thing a month you can pay for that is a small bill just to start with. It can be kind of like a goal each month. Like I need to sell this amount so I can pay this. I know for me too having this goal even though its small drives me even more to work harder on the things that I am doing.

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  9. p.s. the photo of you guys on the bench is adorable and awesome cause its reminds me of some gothic romance from mary shelly time and now I want to go read Frankenstein.

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  10. Amen! This is very true, Carolynn, and when you're tempted to forget and feel guilty again, you must remind yourself! We can never pay back Christ's sacrifice--love cannot be earned, it's only freely given, and that is such a blessing. And as a fellow stay-at-home wife...I've learned to believe my husband, to trust him that he is telling the truth when he says that he enjoys being the breadwinner. Trust helps! :)

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  11. I never thought of it that way :) thank you!

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  12. Oh that's a good idea! :) most of the money I earn goes right back into building my buisness right now but that won't always be the case!! Thanks :) your parents sound like they love you very much!!

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  13. Thank you Addie! I love that about God also. He's always looking out for us!

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  14. Thank you for what you share here. In the past week I've felt an undeniable push from God to leave the workplace and be a homemaker. Ive been married 2 years, have a 6 y/o stepson who lives out of state and we have over the summers. And I have held a job my entire adult life. This revelation that I belong at home now is a great struggle for me. When I sat down in tears to reveal this to my husband, he smiled and chuckled and held my hand... and told me he has wanted this for us since we married. He didnt want me to feel pushed into it by him, but by Him. And while I am still far from comfortable with becoming a stay at home wife, my husband is giving me so much support to follow God's will that I have no doubt this is the right path. I worry about our finances, about becoming lazy, about feeling like a burden. But we've decided to spend the next few months saving and readying ourselves for the financial change, and by May I will be home full time. I just wanted to share my struggle and thank you and all the other wonderful stay at home bloggers that have truly made me feel I am not alone. Thank you :)

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Thank you so much for commenting! Your thoughts bring smiles to my face :)