“Sometimes we use our failures, not our successes, to define ourselves.” – Jen Weaver, A Wife’s Secret to Happiness
I’m honored to be part of Jen’s blog tour for her book club – be sure to join us on Facebook to discuss today’s post about Chapter 4, and catch up on the other amazing posts.
My husband and I will celebrate our 11th anniversary this fall shortly before our daughter turns 6. As high school sweethearts, we’ve been together for 17 years – just shy of the age we were when we started dating. Half our lives have been spent together so you would think that by now we would have this marriage thing figured out.
Marriage, like anything in life, is complicated because there are humans involved. We are messy, unpredictable, constantly growing and changing, all while trying to navigate life with a backpack filled to the brim with heavy expectations, childhood experiences, failures, dreams, and fears. Early on in our dating, when we decided to stay together despite going to different colleges, we agreed on one thing: we wouldn’t be the couple who took “breaks” during the school year and dated back home over the summer. If we were in it, we were going to be all the way in. And if we were done? Then that was it.
That mindset helped us weather some tough storms because we were determined to make it – or break it off. And nothing we encountered was ever bad enough to say goodbye, permanently.
Matt’s experience with marriage was considerably different from mine. His parents are still together, while mine divorced (and then remarried – several times in my father’s case) while I was young. Marriage felt like something you did because it was expected, but somewhere. in the back of my mind. I was terrified that I would fail at it. I never dreamed about my wedding as a little girl – instead, I dreamed of my career. But with Matt’s love, God’s grace, and my own stubbornness, that mindset we adopted in college carried over into the early years of our marriage. Nothing – not even my fears, doubts, unreasonable expectations, or seasons of failure – have ever been too much for us to overcome, together. The more we’ve learned about who God is and who He created us to be (a personal journey for me that could be its own blog series), the more we have been able to view ourselves, each other, and our family through what Jen Weaver calls “Jesus-tinted glasses.” Our identity isn’t found in our failures as individuals or as a married couple, but in Jesus.
“Before we could ever walk down the aisle, make mistakes, or create our task lists, Christ established our worth.”
– Jen Weaver, A Wife’s Secret to Happiness
After a season (years) of significant failures, God has slowly been redefining “success” in my life. Success isn’t just about victory. When God uses our failures to refine our hearts, connect us more closely to Him and His will, and strengthen our relationships with one another – that is a success. God will use our fears, failures, and broken pieces to create a beautiful path that leads us straight to Him. Let’s put on those Jesus-tinted glasses and follow it.
- How would viewing your spouse through Jesus-tinted glasses change the way you interact with them?
- Do you tend to define yourself through your successes, or your failures?
- How would you characterize your typical response to your marriage – full of faith or fear?
To win a free copy of Jen’s amazing book, head over to my Instagram account and watch for the giveaway, starting today!
I tend to use my failures in some areas, and hold them over my own head. I’m working on extending grace to myself—which for some reason is a lot easier to extend to others than to my own heart.
Nothing bad enough to say goodbye forever, should be more people’s mindset.