Oh Marriage Where Is Your Sting ?

Sep 4, 2018

I remember moments where my back was against a wall pleading for freedom as my little body hid in the bathroom stall and ate my lunch. Their voices were clanging through the vibration of my eardrums ready to tear every bit of me into shreds. Tears recklessly filled the circumference of my eyes. The trauma infused at the moment was enough to mimic what was occurring within the confines of my environment at home. We lived in a two bedroom apartment, so noise traveled faster than the speed of light. And at a tender age my heart encoded details of conflict, verbatim.  

It was all around methe neighbourhood epidemic, the bullying at school. I saw it first hand, where men would speak to women disrespectfully and think it was okay, and where women would charge back; a defence mechanism to protect themselves. I walked by it carelessly everyday after school, each day was a different face but the same story replicated. Meyes wandered from a distance trying to eavesdrop, while at the same time looking like I was minding my own business. I could see myself in them. Their pretty brown faces, the big bamboo hoop earrings, and the glossy lip gloss they smacked on their lips that you could spot from a mile away.

Their voices choked up and so did my silence. I thought to myself, if I could one day have the confidence to stand up for myself I would be just like them. I couldn't tell if my hidden ideals were just another deja vu moment or if my mind was just mimicking characters out of the movie Baby Boy. Regardless, I coveted what they had, "strength". Strength to stand up for themselves and not back down. I learned it piece by piece and made it a remedy to my own love song. 

It wasn't a story I boldly spoke about, the kids at school were mean. I wanted to fit in so I accepted their inconsistent behaviours; it wasn't their fault. Whatever they were experiencing behind closed doors was enough to allow the trauma to take form and trickle down to them isolating me, which led to me eating my lunch in the bathroom stalls.

At night, while I laid in slumber, within the isolated cracks it would start. From them were words that were sharper than a double edged sword. Words that cut and stitched deep. Taking my covers I would mask the violent roars from their calloused mouths. I was therepresentwith every fast slur that they came at each other with. Who knew that those tumultuous moments were carving my soul bare as witness to my future. The image of my parents arguing was subconsciously formulating the same rhythm of conflict I had seen outside the house.

So here I was...

Years later standing in the kitchen with my husband. Mapping out the same equations that tattooed deeply inside from my childhood.

Churns of minute silence, my heart beat recklessly out my chest. It started with something so small that escalated really quickly it was like rapid fire. My husbands’ words angered me, every verb, and vowel that came out of his mouth. He didn't say much, but his vague silence made my thoughts combust into agitation. His pupils dilated past me, his body became resistant to my call, as if I was just a mannequin posted up in a window.  

I thought about all the things I could do, punch a whole in a wall? Slam the doors again like I did in the last few arguments. The impression of my childhood was replaying through my anger. But what I was displaying in his presence was the puzzle pieces I matched up as truth from an unspoken past. My inability to use my words lacked the power to carefully express my frustration. Although strong on the outside, my raging anger was a clear indicator that openly depicted a woman who was working out her trauma from her experience as a child. 

So now the sting of conflict was making its mark clearly in my marriage.

Our actions were un-loving. Sometimes it felt like we were in a ring of fire. It felt like we were defeated by our own sins. Our differences spewed out, yet as grace lingered in our midst, our hands only gripped onto the lies. Our fierce passion of love towards each other in seconds had turned to bitter remarks of uncertainty. The idea of relationship was tainted by our world view and not always assimilated in God's truth. Where he lacked understanding, I lacked the patience to help him understand. So I used my words to charge at him and beat down his ego, which resulted in him shutting me out.

The cycle was repeating itself...

Marriage where was your sweet sting? Where was your loving reminder that love is not defined by the mishaps of trauma that we both have encoded in different forms. The flaws that have been birthed in us from the beginning by the mark of sin.  Why was it so easy for us to easily forget God's graceful words?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." | 1 Corinthians 13:4-7|  

Love sometimes seems powerless in the midst of chaos. I learned it's a journey and the path won't always be smooth. There will be a few bumps. However, with God's gracious hand dipped inside our lives we will make it through. My confidence doesn't lie in my ability to speak un-loving words towards my husband or to anybody. My confidence is in Christ and that reassures me that in the high's and low's He's working it out beautifully for our good.

"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." |Proverbs 15: 1|

for the sake of love, 


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