Fantasy marriages are usually the “happily ever after” kind. Two people get married and love each other perfectly forever until they die only moments apart in each other’s arms, full of years, with their loving family surrounding them. These types of marriages occur only in fiction novels and the silver screen. In reality, you will be marrying another sinner and then living together through all of life’s ups and downs or one of you will harden your heart enough to divorce and remain apart for life. The reality is that marriage is hard but even post fall it is still something God has blessed us with to aid in our sanctification.
When fantasy comes to call…
I got married to my husband with a fantasy in my head of how he had saved me and my young sons from being alone. In my fantasy, we added another child or two and were the perfect nuclear American family with the hard-working dad, stay at home mom, and honor student kids. My husband would work for the next 40 years at the same company and retire with good benefits, all while I cared for the home and children and took advantage of plenty of volunteer opportunities…
God blessed me when He opened my eyes to how far off my fantasy was from reality. It is amazing how reality has a way of crashing down on you when you least expect it and shaking you to your core as you are forced to examine yourself and who you really are.
While my husband has by no means been the perfect husband, conviction has shown me that I was the one holding on to a fantasy marriage and holding my husband accountable for not living up to it! For the first couple years of our marriage, I wasn’t honoring or loving my husband unless I felt that he was living up to the husband I had imagined he would be. Without realizing it, I had allowed my heart to become melancholy and harsh toward my husband, this spilled over into my mothering and, eventually, all my relationships. I had to open my eyes to the fact that my husband is not responsible for my joy or my peace. Only God can give peace and true joy can only be received from Him. I needed to see the ugly truth about my own heart before I could ever grow in my relationship with Christ. I needed to stop expecting my husband to be perfect while giving myself all the grace I did not really deserve.
Growing in Christ is much better than fantasy…
The good news here is that God wants to see us glorify Him in our marriages. Even if you are guilty of holding on to a fantasy instead of respecting the man you actually married, you can always move forward in the right direction now. He did not leave me blind and growing contemptuous when my fantasy was exposed and reality came crashing down; but, I had to be willing to acknowledge my own sin to feel His love fully and grow in Him. Jesus will not leave you ball and chained to a fantasy either if you’ll just come openly to Him.
I ask you before going further to examine your own heart. Even in the hard, and even if your husband has done something to make life extraordinarily difficult, are you loving and respecting the man God gave you or are you still holding on to a fantasy?
Let go of the fantasy, and receive a gift so much better than you can imagine anyway.
I'm Rebecca, a Christian, wife, and mother of three. I lived wrong for a long time, got pretty well slapped with the reality of how sanctifying marriage and motherhood are, and now I am hoping to help others to hold on to Jesus in all the hard parts of life.