A stranger. A complete stranger.
Who is this man? I wondered.
Where did he come from and what was he doing in my kitchen?
After so many months of blissful marriage, so many laughs and lovely moments, what had come over him?
For the first time I realized I was living with a perfect stranger.
The reality of my situation came when he sauntered into the kitchen announcing that he was flying down to California for his friend’s college graduation.
Just like that. No warning. No discussion. Simply a decision.
What?! No way!! What about ME? What made him think he could…well, up and leave me like that? Was I not his wife, after all?!
And I rattled off a multitude of reasons why such a trip was an extremely bad idea.
But he didn’t seem all that interested in hearing my view on the matter. It was quite settled in his mind and my strong objections were irrelevant to his way of thinking.
Maybe it was his dismissive approach to the discussion that set me off, but whatever it was – it threw me into a furious rage. A rage pointed directly and specifically at him.
Now it was his turn to stare at me with incredulity. He looked at me as if I’d completely lost my mind. Where was the sweet bride he had married? And what exactly did I mean that he “couldn’t” attend his friend’s graduation?!
Back and forth we went and so the quarrel carried on, neither of us willing to give up ground.
I accused. Occasionally shrieked. And I cried.
Yet he remained unmoved.
I hadn’t married a man – I’d married a brick wall.
There we were standing only a few feet apart in our tiny apartment kitchen (where we had spent so many happy hours together!) and I found myself looking into the face of a lover I didn’t even know.
Who was this man I had pledged my life to?
And then….more quietly, with panic.
Oh, Lord, what have I done??
This wasn’t how it was supposed to be! The man I married was to be tender, understanding, and put his wife’s needs first. And what I needed was for him to stay home with me – not attend some old college buddy’s graduation! (You are taking my side in this, aren’t you?)
What would my life look like…living with such a man as that?
While I was contemplating our dismal future together, the Stranger abruptly turned away and left the room.
Where was he going? Did this mean he was going to pack his things and leave me?? Was this his answer to our problem? With aching heart I watched him go, yet couldn’t bring myself to call him back.
He remained in our bedroom for an awfully long time. Finally, not able to stand the suspense anymore, I tiptoed over to the door and peeked in.
There was the most beautiful sight of my married life.
He wasn’t packing. No, he was kneeling by our bed – the same one we’d shared since our first wedding night – and pouring out our troubles before the Heavenly Father.
Oh. Now I really wept.
Everything in me melted at that very moment—all my anger, my fear, my willfulness. How could I’ve been so stupid? Why had I been such a stubborn, silly, self-willed girl?
It was a sobering revelation for a new bride. To think that I was willing to defy my husband and the Lord who put us together for the mere sake of getting my own way.
Can you guess why? Well, you’re right. It’s because I had more confidence in myself than in him. It’s because I’d rather fight for what I wanted than to give in to another. It’s because I’d rather push him away as a stranger than embrace him as my head.
How about you? Do you ever feel like you’re married to a strange man? Hesitant to place your entire future in his hands? I know (believe me, I know!) how hard it can be to just say, “Okay” and trust him with your heart. But great blessings come to a woman who can get to the place where she is willing to do that very thing – “to submit to your own husband, as to the Lord” (Eph.5:22). And a yielded heart makes you a forever beautiful bride.
So I pray you learn to walk in love with that Perfect Stranger of yours and in confidence in the Lord who joined you together. And would you pray the same for me?
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