The joy of the Lord

I think it's very obvious by now I am not perfect. And I am sure most of you would admit the same thing. So when you put 2 imperfect people together for life, and shake things up, there is bound to be chaos. Like any married couple, Peter and I have had our ups and downs. Being a younger couple (6 1/2 years together and counting...) we had/have much to learn. From how to squeeze toothpaste from the tube, to knowing when to shut your mouth about a bad dinner. We've both learned a lot about one another... with much more to go.

Once I realized that Peter wasn't the only one to be "fixed" in this marriage, I started to examine my own heart. What about me? Where do I fall short as a wife? In steps God's Word...

If I could label our marriage for the last 3-4 months with one word, it would be revelation. God opened up my heart and softened the spots that were hardened. How do you fix the trouble areas in your marriage... joy!

I can only work on myself. And even though Peter has his faults, I will boldly say I have many more than he does. And even if I didn't.... and even if Peter was verbally abusive, went out with his buddies every moment, didn't join us to church, and didn't care to help with the girls... I can only work on me. And here was God's big reveal: Have Joy.

What better way to make a difference in my entire family then by having joy in all the things in life. Having fun with my girls even when they make a mess. Flirting with my husband, even though the dating years are done. And thanking God that we have a wonderful home to live in and that I am counted worthy to clean it!

My job as a wife is to honor and love my husband... even when he is not honorable or love able. Why? Simply because God commanded it. Should Peter love me? Of course. Should he be aware of my needs and try to fulfill them? Absolutely. But even if he never did, I "bought the well" (as Pastor used to say) and I am going to love the life out of him!

"The joy of the Lord is my strength" is a great verse because it is such a simple truth. When I am weary in loving Peter, I go to God for strength and he always supplies. Only my unwillingness to obey will steal that joy away.

So here I am, on a new journey. Loving my husband. And just having fun again. Does it really matter that he puts the clothes NEXT to the clothes basket and not IN it? No. Is it worth wearing my husband down, teaching my girls a bad attitude and stewing in bitterness, just so I can say I am justified in my anger because of his insensitivity? No way! What does make it all worth it is showing my girls how they should one day treat their husbands. And seeing a smile on Peter's face is worth "losing" a hundred arguments.

I just want joy. And so I ask God on not just a daily basis, but often every few minutes for joy. And remember, as Christians, what do we have to really be upset about? We've been redeemed. Pulled out of slavery of sin and now are heirs together with Christ! What is more joyful then that? So joy on! :)


  1. Julie, thank you for your openness. I have had similar revelations in our marriage (also married 6 1/2 years). I have said that I will CHOOSE to love the socks off of him no matter how I'm feeling.

    Anyhow, just wanted to say you're not alone and I admire your humility in looking at your own faults and how you are seeking God as a mom and wife.

    Hope you're feeling well with this pregnancy!
    Heather E