When I heard today Elton John’s “Someone Saved My Life Tonight,” my vulnerability, and emerging strengths from 40 years ago all came rushing into my present thoughts and senses. That song means different things to different people. We hear music that transports us to a place and time when it was contemporary. I first heard that song on a night when I felt I had escaped an unfaithful and destructive spouse. We affix meaning to the words that are personal to each of us, only vaguely aware of what it probably meant to the artist who gives us timeless music. I look back on how emotionally damaged I was, and I thank the Lord I eventually healed.
Being emotionally crippled doesn’t mean one cannot function well, but it can mean you are consumed by the feeling of being a fraud as an adult. When one of the employees under my supervision confronted me with accusations of expecting others to be as “perfect” as me, I was in a rare moment of total incomprehension. I did not recognize it for the manipulation it was. She described me as a freak of nature with perfect this and perfect that, and an abnormally higher level of work ethic than the rest of the world. How I wish everyone today understood that lowering the bar on anything such as ethics, faith, education, and endeavors is to validate a losing philosophy of bringing everyone down to the loosing level, instead of having everyone work to attain the highest level of success in all areas of life.
What I didn’t recognize 40 years ago is that I was working in my personal and professional life under that false assumption of: If everything looks and seems perfect, then everything must be in the realm of normal. This was applied to the appearance of myself, marriage, children, home, and office; and in my performance of work, as well as the work of those I supervised. YES, it was as exhausting as it sounds. The further I ended up from the love I so desperately needed to give and receive, the more I strived to make everything around me perfect.
Except it wasn’t – none of it. Being of strong faith, I prayed and prayed for my emotional life / love live / married life to be whole and good and meaningful. If that prayer had been handed to me while I was still broken, it had zero chance of lasting more than a moment in time. I was working myself to a frazzle at cross purposes. At the very least I was third generation of women in my family who suffered from spousal abuse – mental and / or physical. I worked as hard at getting it right as I have worked at anything in my life, with nothing but repeated failure to show for it.
The first book I read for some help was titled “Women Who Love Too Much” by Robyn Norwood. Oh my goodness, I read the first chapter and cried from the deepest recesses of my soul. I read and studied self-help books on this subject, and spent about 6 months in self sought-after counseling. That led to studying personality types, and abusive / alcoholic homes. I am not saying that all of this studying was of no benefit. If nothing else it honed my management skills. I started to figure out who I was, and relaxing for the first time in my life. But, nothing about my broken emotional state was healing.
I soon figured out the dirty little secret about everyone’s inner child. Take a fairly brief look back to learn from it, and quickly leave your inner child where he/she belongs – in your childhood! Absolutely everyone comes from a dysfunctional home – everyone! We are all living in the same mixed bag of pseudo-heaven, pseudo-hell, and daily grind on this earth. I also learned something we drill into our children, one’s best intentions was never the winning recipe for any endeavor. As a young woman, I was up to my ears in good intentions – mine and theirs . . .
So, how did I finally break the generational mold, and stop marrying the same bad situation over and over again trying desperately to finally get it right? How do I take half of the credit for the most amazing marriage for twenty years? The answer is the easiest, and seemingly hardest thing humans can do. I turned one hundred percent to my faith in God, and my constant belief in the Gospel regarding our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I quickly discovered that I had not brought my faith to maturity. It takes effort to accomplish these things in Christian faith that enrich our lives, bring us into viable awareness of His Holy Spirit within us, and therefore we truly become reborn / new, and ready for adult Christian marriage. The successes of many Christian marriages can often be understood when you think of the following things, and the positive effect they have on couples, communities of couples, and nations of couples:
– First, before and after marriage, we should study the Bible as a whole book written by the Lord through men via His Holy Spirit. To do this we must become aware of who is talking and who is being talked to throughout the scriptures. When you do this work, you come to understand that most of the Bible is written for the Jew, the rest is written for the Gentile. This clears up the constant criticism of supposed inconsistencies in the scriptures by those who are ignorant – to the ignorant. The book seen under this light changes before your eyes. You see how every word, every scripture, every book is tied to all others. Until you understand the essence of those thousands of ties, you will not understand it was written first outside our space / time continuum by our Lord – no other explanation covers the phenomenon you will see for yourself upon thorough study. Look for redemption and our Lord on every page. If we come into a marriage having done this work separately, we can continue it together – providing the solid foundation a husband and wife need to raise up their children.
– Remember, that our Lord is Jewish – and the Christian marriage in totality of meaning is innately Jewish. The Lord coming for His Bride / His Church – is a “type” of the Jewish marriage.
– The entire Bible is for our study. The lessons for the Jews, and Christians are so very important for the Christian couple to understand the world today. These lessons need to be passed down to children raised in Christian homes.
– IF you are not willing to apply what Jesus says about marriage to your life, then you may not be ready for marriage.
– As a Christian you are charged with the Great Commission – to bring the love and the word of the Lord to others. If you are not feeling a positive “change” after accepting the Lord into your life, check that you are not worshipping a non-Christian false god (parading around as our Lord), and living for something other than being one of God’s children. We are warned to not be deceived.
– It is important to be equally yoked in a Christian marriage – similar backgrounds, intelligence, culture, likes, are very helpful, BUT, the most important would be same commitments, such as work ethic, family ethic, and faith.
– A Christian marriage is a union of a man and a woman with the Lord in their marriage.
– “Ephesians 6:22 – 33 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
NOTE: Do not misunderstand. God created you, husband and wife, equal – but different for good and very wonderful reasons.
– To worry, worry, worry is so Jewish mamma . . . not Christian (LOL). We must leave our worries with the Lord. Pray for guidance in all things. Many a Christian marriage could do with much less worrying.
When I asked the Lord to pick me a husband because I had done such a lousy job of it, I also prayed ON MY KNEES for guidance. Almost immediately He moved my heart to open my Bible one more time – instead of trying to understand it – my eyes were opened, and I understood it.
The home I grew up in created a broken Juanita who just didn’t know how to escape the turmoil of her parent’s volatile marriage, especially marrying that same type of turmoil myself. I was the 3rd child of Happy Harry and Beautiful Mary. I was the “fixer” in a socially alcoholic home. I was the kid who believed she could love them enough and do enough for them (the whole Cinderella routine LOL), and would fix them in the process – thusly carrying that theme into my adult life – over and over again – desperately trying to make it come out right.
I was not raised in a home of adults who took their children to church. My parents being of different Christian denominations decided to let us figure it out for ourselves once we were adults. I was the black sheep in my party family; the one who tagged along to any Christian church, with anyone who would let me ride along. In grade school I loved the Vacation Bible Schools of five different Christian Denominations. I tagged along to church with different folks each year of my teen life. Without the foundation of parents who were in a healthy Christian marriage, with the Lord included, I still came out into my young adult life broken emotionally.
HOWEVER, I saw the goal constantly! I cannot remember how many homes where I saw how good it was when the family prayed and worshipped together. Look around our nation. Look at the debauchery and blatant unhappiness everywhere. Even those who are happy in their Christian marriages look hard to find fellowship in a church that has not turned apostate. I cannot fathom a citizenry that prefers the state of the entire nation today, than other periods of time when our Christian faith super-majority tendered America very good, and infinitely safer for families. What God would have us do – the millions of Americans who are sick of the debauchery, corruption, lies, and deceptions in their communities, and their nation – is to get on our knees together and pray for the Lord to intervene – to ask the Lord’s forgiveness – with a penitent heart – every day without ceasing – and He will heal our land. God Bless You.
Copyright © 2015 by Juanita Holloway-Walters
All Rights Reserved.