At a certain time of the year, Epiphany is celebrated by Christians all over the world. An epiphany (according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary) is defined as “a Christian festival held on January 6 in honor of the coming of the three kings to the infant Jesus Christ.” It is also defined as “a moment in which you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way.” And that is what we’d like to focus in on within this Insight —epiphany moments in marriage.
In the previous Marriage Insight we prayed for “Ah Ha moments” for you and your spouse. Actually, that is a type of epiphany. In “a revealing moment” there is “an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure” (also definitions) of something you hadn’t thought of before.
Epiphany Moments in Marriage
The reason we’re bringing this again is to give hope that things CAN change in positive ways within marriages. Often, we buy the lie that if things aren’t going well in our relationship, it will always be that way. And that just is NOT true. Things CAN change for the better and often do when we are steadfast and persevere. We’ve seen that eye-opening moments DO happen. We’ve had them ourselves.
Last week we gave you a few of ours. But we thought we’d share a few more, hoping they will help in some way. So here goes:
I’ve learned to stop guessing what I think Cindy would need for me to do when she’s busy and obviously needs my help. In an epiphany moment, I saw that she was overwhelmed and instead of doing my own thing that I thought would help (or retreat because I didn’t know what to do so I’d just stay out of her way) I asked her the simple question, “How can I BEST help you right now?” That has worked out great for both of us. Doing what she really needs instead of what I THINK she needs has been the best solution for both of us to approach these busy times. This approach may or may not help you, but it sure has helped us. You might try it and see if that creates an epiphany moment for you.
And here’s another revelation… it’s important that I actually pay attention to SEE that she needs my help (instead of retreating to the TV). That takes intentionality and less selfism on my part, after all, we ARE marital PARTNERS.
I came to the revelation that most men (not all), including Steve, have an inner need to fulfill what I call “Testosterone times.” They need to watch and do things that are more physical and daring. Steve likes things that make noise, crash, bang, jump out, race, move suddenly, or explode —things that give an adrenaline rush. He can only take so much of my feminine activities and movies that are termed as “chick flicks” before he gets an itch to watch or do “guy things.” Because of this revelation, he now has my blessing to do so.
The hard way, I learned that I don’t have to fix all of Cindy’s problems. Sometimes she just needs a sympathetic shoulder to cry on —someone who will truly listen without interjecting a solution. This approach doesn’t have to make sense to me; it’s what Cindy needs from me that is important. It’s her need that I’m talking about here. I can go fix other things, but sometimes, she just needs a sympathetic listener and I’m the person she most often needs at those times.
In our ministry we’ve learned that a lot of women have that need. It’s very possible that this is true of your wife, or your husband.
Steve and Cindy:
We’ve both learned that we can actually add a “happily ever after” ending onto our marital love story (we all have them), even if things go in a very bad direction for a while. That’s what we started to say in the beginning part of this Insight, but now we’d like to clarify a bit.
Our marriage started out good, but then went in a very bad direction with a lot of conflict happening day after day. We were definitely headed for divorce. But through a string of events (which you can read about in The Love Story of Steve and Cindy Wright), God has helped us to resurrect love for each other that we both thought we would never experience again because it appeared to be dead.
But, by being a Student of Marriage —learning how to love, and applying what we’ve learned, we stand amazed at the results. Where once there was apathy and bitterness and a complete lack of love, we now have more love for each other than we could ever have dreamed we’d have. But we’d best not rest on this love and keep it growing, or it could go in a bad direction again.
Through a revelation that I am sure is from God, I’ve come to see that I’m a more articulate arguer, and a faster thinker than Steve is… I can verbally run circles around him, leaving him at a loss for words. This makes him feel inadequate, and gives the false impression that I’m right and he’s wrong. That’s just not true. Steve is a very smart person. It’s just that his brain works things out differently than mine. He needs more time to process issues before he can better deal with them.
God has warned me that I should not to take advantage of his slower processing approach. It’s not the loving thing to do. Quicker is not smarter; it’s just different. Because of this revelation, I’ve been learning to pay more attention to the bigger picture. It’s not about “winning” an argument that’s important, but rather about building bridges to better understanding —a marrying of our ways of living together.
The following are some of the best words God has shown me to say to Cindy when she is troubled. “Can I pray for you concerning this matter?” When she says yes (usually through her tears) I take her hands in mine. We then sit down together, and I pray out loud for her and the situation. Then I take her in my arms and hold her for a while. It doesn’t take her troubles away, but it sure does unite us closer together. It also assures her that I am her partner. And I am. I hope you are with your spouse. If you haven’t been, this could be a day of new beginnings.
Now it’s your turn (if you care to). We’d love it if you would post a marriage epiphany moment of your own in the Comments box below. Who knows how much this could inspire and encourage others not to give up hope? Perhaps other spoused could even learn a thing or two that they have never considered. It could be a real blessing.
Cindy and Steve Wright
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