Updated: Mar 10
Nearly five years ago I stood on a beautifully arranged stage surrounded by my family and friends. The aisles were lined with hand painted white canvases with 1 Corinthians beautifully etched across them. There were simple floral arrangements sitting in each stained glass window. It was a sweltering June day and easily one of the best days of my life. We were surrounded by friends and family and ready to start our lives together.
It was the day I made a public and personal commitment to stand by my man. To stand by him in the good, bad, and the really ugly. To stand by him no matter what life threw our way. I married an amazing man. He is better than all of my wildest dreams. However, I have recently asked myself this question and dug deep for the answer: Will I stand by him when he can’t stand?
I will be honest. Last year was not our hottest marriage year. There were times when we spent far too much time apart as he took on a lot of extra work responsibilities. We fought a lot and struggled spiritually to get on the right footing after healing from legalism. Add in taking care of the kids and virtually no time for each other cue the hardest season of our marriage to date. I don't have to tell all of our personal struggles in grand detail to admit that we struggled.
There were many times when I didn't want to stand beside him and quite frankly, I wouldn't have blamed him if he wouldn't have wanted to stand by me either. I can get ugly and say the wrong things just as much as the next gal. We made it through that rough patch by the grace of God and I learned an important lesson.
My faithfulness to my man should always outweigh the momentary issues I may have with him.
We can easily say we “stand by our men” when they are on top of the world. When they are excelling in their career or balancing every aspect of their life perfectly. Or when they are doing what we think is “right” even though we forget that we too are prone to mess-up.
What about when my man has a rough patch? Do I still steadfastly stand by him? We must not pretend that our men are somehow prone to failure and bad days or even bad years.
What if Christ patterned this kind of conditional love? If He only loved us when we performed perfectly then we would all be lost causes. We can't perfectly perform, friends! Thank God that He only asks us for our hearts and not our deeds. I would be a lost cause. You would be a lost cause.
The love of Christ is not conditional. He loves us unconditionally and doesn’t run away when we mess up. So what makes us want to only love and respect our husbands when they perfectly perform? If God doesn't jump ship when I screw things up tremendously then I won't run from the man that I dearly love when He messes up.
I want to be the wife who stands with him even when he can’t stand. I want to encourage you to be the woman who stands by her man no matter what.
When he has stumbled and made a mess of things; stand by him.
When he is going through a rough patch and can’t seem to shake it; stand by him.
When he is overworked and exhausted; stand by him.
When he doesn’t have the answers or even know what next step to take; stand by him.
When his character is questioned by naysayers; stand by him.
When he feels weak; stand by him.
When he struggles to lead your family; stand by him.
When he feels like he can’t move forward; stand by him.
That is the kind of wife I want to be. The one who freely gives the grace she has so graciously been given by Christ.
In marriage, we win as a team and we lose as a team. It is not a one person situation, but rather a joint partnership in life. When we fully embrace that mindset and act upon it, I believe that is where a rock-solid marriage is formed.
*I wish I didn't have to add this disclaimer but I do: SIN and ABUSE are wrong and I am in no way insinuating that you should be okay with sin, infidelity, or God-forbid abuse. Please get the help you need if this is your situation. Whether it be marriage counseling, getting away from the abuser, or whatever your help needs to look like please get it.*