Life is a war. It feels at times like a constant struggle. A struggle between doing what’s right and what’s easy. A struggle between caring and not caring. A search for meaning and purpose. A yearning for something to change. Anything. It’s a battle and an uphill one at that.
Too many times we see our marriages as the battlefield, like we are fighting each other to get the most from our marriage. We are fighting each other to be successful people, seeking something more than what we find at home. We aren’t content with our husband or really anyone patting us on the back. In fact we feel demeaned by his back patting. “There, there.” I’ll give you a there, there!!
Sometimes, we women see ourselves quite like Eowyn in the Lord of the Rings story. Or at least the Eowyn portrayed in the movies. She is strong and wants to be a soldier, but she is also a little bitter about being a woman and has a pretty big chip on her shoulder at times. Of course she plays a huge role in that she is destined to slay the witch king because the prophecy says “no man” can kill him to which she replies, “I am no man!” And all the women in the audience go “Preach it, sister!” It’s all fun and games, but the tension between sexes exists in so many marriages. What seems like playful banter is soaked in years of disgruntled resentments of gender bias and resentment of stereotypes.
Sometimes the front line doesn’t look like much of a war. Sometimes it looks like playful teasing. Sometimes it’s silly kaniggets taunting each other about grails. Sometimes it looks like complete silence and a cold front. Sometimes the war is so deadly, it sneaks in on us at night and devours us so that when morning comes we are some kind of beast toward each other filled with hatefulness and resentment.
We know women are fierce, capable warriors. Sometimes more conniving and just bat crazier than men. The question is what will you use your battle strengths against? When we pray each piece of God’s armor, we pray for it in our marriage and for our families. The armor is strong and fierce, but it’s also beautiful and well crafted. It makes us wiser and more capable, not to use against each other, but to skillfully and lovingly rally the troops, give them the battle cry, and remind us all who the real enemies are. I pray the enemy will never deceive me into thinking it is my husband. I pray the enemy will not get any strong footing by pushing me to give in to feelings of rejection, neglect, underappreciation, or miscommunication. I pray the love I feel for my husband today will only grow and flourish, and never diminish or fade, and that I will always see him as my greatest ally and my marriage as both a fortress and refuge, that nothing can penetrate, from without or within.