Friends, we once were, now we are foes.
Fluid with our words, now nothing flows.
You say you care, I cannot see.
If you truly cared, you would see me.
Invisible I sit, though I am here in plain sight.
I think you’re wrong, you think you’re right.
Why cast pearls, to be trampled in the dirt?
I wish you could feel the depth of my hurt.
A pain so deep, that words cannot paint.
Daily I pray my heart will not faint.
I am growing weary, I am not doing well.
You think I’m free but I’m locked in a cell.
Bars, they confine me, constraints of time.
I’m serving a sentence and love is the crime.
Does your marriage feel like a prison cell? Are you serving a life sentence with someone, but feeling like you are in solitary confinement? You used to stay up all night, sharing stories of what life was once like on the outside (when you were single). Now you’ve grown so distant that it’s as if you’ve been thrown into the hole. The wife of your youth has started to feel like the old ball and chain. The husband who once wooed you has taken the role as warden.
The Bible paints a much brighter portrait of marriage. It is not an image of burden and restraint but a brush stroke of blessing and assistance. God’s word frowns upon the thought of man being alone.“It is not good for the man to be alone, so I will create a companion for him, a perfectly suited partner.” (Genesis 2:18 VOICE) Sadly, many Christian couples spend their days fantasizing about breaking camp rather than enjoying the companionship of their perfectly suited partner.
My husband and I have always been close however, recently we hit a bump in the road that felt like a pothole on a Detroit street. We’ve officially been together for longer than we had been alive when we initially met. Honestly, we’ve enjoyed our journey—until now. Marriage has not been a perfectly smooth ride, but it has been pleasant. A year ago, I started to feel like our marriage was in need of a tune-up. We are both native Michiganders and we know what happens if someone drives over potholes long enough, either you do major damage to your vehicle or decide to buy a new car.
The more innovative technology gets, the faster we cycle through vehicles. When I was little, I remember my Mom talking about repairing the car replacing struts, shocks and realignment. It was the same for marriage. I remember people working hard at fixing their marriages, but our more innovative society wants to simply replace a broken marriage.
It was the same way in the Bible. Jesus said,
“Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But divorce was an innovation, an accommodation to a fallen world. There was no divorce at creation.” (Matthew 19:8 Voice)
If you are feeling like your marriage is a prison cell, I hope you will find a way to develop both a thicker skin and a softer heart. I pray that you will see your spouse as a soul mate and not a cellmate. Fantasizing about your escape only makes things worse… Even if you did escape and jump in the first fancy car you see, until you deal with your issues, you are bound to hit a pothole. Eventually, the new car will break down too. It’s a lot less expensive to repair your current ride than to buy something new that’s going to depreciate the moment you drive off the lot.
“So wives should submit to their husbands, respectfully, in all things, just as the church yields to the Anointed One. Husbands, you must love your wives so deeply, purely, and sacrificially, so that we can understand it only when we compare it to the love the Anointed One has for his bride, the church.” (Ephesians 5:24 & 25 Voice)
The night this poem was written, I was in a prison cell of emotion and could not see beyond my paradigm. Everything inside of me was screaming, “This car is beyond repair, it’s time for some new wheels!” I woke up the next morning and my husband had written me a beautiful poem and posted it on social media. I wish I could say the moment it was read, my heart melted and we lived happily ever after… That was not the case, but it was the first step towards trusting the Master Mechanic (God) to repair our ride.
Maybe your marriage has hit one too many potholes and you feel like you are in a prison cell. If that’s the case, there is only one thing that can truly set you free and fix what is broken, forgiveness. Forgive your spouse and forgive yourself. When you said “I do,” you had no idea what you were capable of doing or saying to this person you loved so dearly. Revisit your marriage vows to remind yourself of what you signed up for. The only true way to see your spouse as your soul mate and not your cellmate is to allow the Lover of your Soul to set you free from the prison of your mind, and make you whole.
Is your marriage in need of a tune-up or is it a smooth ride? List some routine maintenance measures you and your spouse have implemented that keep your marriage riding smoothly.