When I first got married, I was terrified that my husband was going to leave me for another woman. Whether it would be an actual physical leaving, or more of an emotional absence because he was no longer enticed by me, the idea of him wandering away to other women scared me to death.
I thought that maybe I could prevent the unfathomable pain of being rejected. I worried. I nervously glanced over his shoulder when he was emailing. I watched his eyes when we were out on a date, checking to see if he was watching other women. I thought, 'If only I can be pretty enough...if only I can be sexy enough...' There had to be a way to become good enough to save us, save myself, from me not being enough to keep him.
At the time, all I knew was that I was scared. I was worried. I didn't feel restful or settled in our relationship. I felt threatened by other women's beauty.
But then God, in His grace, started helping me shift my own eyes, my focus, off of all the 'What-if's,' off of all the fearful future possibilities, and start putting them on the realities that I knew by faith would be true in the future, no matter what.
I started meditating on Psalm 23, where the Bible says, "Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life." Whenever I felt fearful, I started forcing my mind to 'think down a different path,' if that makes sense. I started telling myself, "No matter what happens to me, because of God, goodness and mercy will be what I experience."
Then I added what Psalm 23 says earlier in the chapter to my new thought patterns: "He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake." I'd declare to my worrying mind, "Wherever God takes me in life, I belong to Him. I am His. He's written my name on His hand (Isaiah 49). So He's committed to me, and committed to, no matter what happens, have righteousness come out of my life. And He does it for His name and reputation's sake. He's got a lot more invested in my life than just ideal, happy perfection; He's committed to changing me and healing me. Whatever path He takes me down will be for my sanctification, for His righteousness to come out in me. So it will be for my good. I don't have to fear because God will be with me, bringing His righteousness out in me."
Those verses, and the time and energy I've spent forcing my mind and emotions to fall in line with the realities that I know to be true by faith, have completely changed the way I move towards my husband.
I don't have to spend my time worrying that he's doing or thinking something that will devastate me.
I don't have to try to be the most beautiful woman in the room.
I don't have to frantically draw his attention to me if a beautiful woman, or even an inappropriately unveiled woman, comes into his view.
I don't have the pressure to have to be sexy enough that he'd never want to consider any other woman.
I don't have to assume the worst about him.
To sum it all up, I don't have to try to be the Savior who will keep devastating things from happening to our marriage, to me. And I don't have to prepare myself for the worst to happen. I don't even have to worry about it.
Sure, we still have honest conversations. And they're still scary to me. But I just go back to these truths that the Lord cemented inside of me when we were still first married, and I root myself in the fact that my hope is not in my husband, but my hope is in the LORD, who never fails me.