This chapter of Real Marriage dealt with sexual abuse. Grace Driscoll shared her story of past abuse and how it had effected her and her marriage. Fortunately, I have never been a victim of abuse so I couldn’t relate with this issue. I can’t speak from that perspective. What I can speak from, however, is having something disgraceful in your past creep up into your present and wreck its havoc.
It’s easy when we’re single and it’s “just me” to ignore issues. If we ignore it or just find a way to move past it then the problem will never bother us again. But when we’re married, we’re not “just me” anymore. Now we have a spouse and possibly children. We have a family and our problems no longer effect “just me” but them as well. What was easily pushed away, what was easily contained by the wall we built up around it, isn’t so easy to ignore or shrug off anymore.
For example, I have grown up with an anger problem and a need for perfection. When I was single, I used those things to my advantage. My perfectionism got me a great GPA. My anger fueled my passion. When things got out of control it wasn’t a big deal because I was good at hiding it and pushing through the pain. But then I got married and my anger grew worse. It was harder to contain it and even harder to ignore it. Then my son came along and my anger grew even worse and it became even harder to contain and ignore. The reason for this is because it wasn’t just me anymore. When it was just me I could more or less control my environment and keep up the wall that harbored all of my anger. I couldn’t do that anymore when it came to marriage and motherhood where my involvement, attention, affection, and every part of who I am was demanded of me. I couldn’t control my environment no matter how hard I tried. My husband didn’t function within my well guarded and well maintained world and my son had an entirely different plan, schedule, and way of living as a child in his world.
I came to the end of myself. How I dealt with my anger (which was basically not dealing with it) was causing depression which rendered me incapable of functioning. I had to get help and not just for my sake, but for the sake of my husband and especially my son.
You see, how I dealt with and responded to my anger was a disgrace. How I had harbored it, ignored it, and let it get to the point of effecting my family was a disgrace. But in finally facing the disgrace I found grace.
I think we each have a story of how God has redeemed our disgraces or the hurt that was inflicted upon us. And I think some of us, by God’s goodness, have found grace and peace in our marriages. For me personally, I know the Lord used Kyle to usher peace and grace into my life when we met. And the Lord continually uses Kyle to maintain that peace and grace in not only my life but in our marriage and in our home.
What about you? What is your story of disgrace and grace? How has it effected your marriage and how has your marriage effected your story? Feel free to share in the comment section!