HIS PLAN FOR MARRIAGE IS THE MARRIAGE THAT WORKS
(The Jaylin Palacio Story)
Jesus Did It!
By: Jaylin Palacio
Jay and I got married with stars in our eyes thinking that we could conquer the world. We both were not Christians, although Jay grew up in a Christian home. I always heard that other marriages were ending in divorce, but never thought that mine could. I loved him so much that I knew we would never consider divorce. But once our dreams of “living happily ever after” were thrown against harsh reality, we came to a point where it seemed our love was gone.
Our relationship was dead. We didn’t feel close. We didn’t even enjoy being around each other. How did that happen? I always thought our marriage would be different. But without even realizing it, we were starting to argue about things, and ever so gradually, arguing and bickering became our regular habit every weekend. We sought counseling. But after weeks of counseling, we found that the advice we were given was just turning us against each other as we were trying to manipulate each other to behave in the way we wanted in order to meet our own needs. The anger and bitterness only increased. We started to spend more and more time apart because we couldn’t bear the tension when we were together. Uncomfortable silence filled the car when we traveled together.
Finally, one Sunday morning, during one of our arguments, Jay said, “We’re going to church!” I said, “Oh no we’re not! Go ahead, you go! But I’m not going. You’re the one who needs it!” I was so angry. But I felt deep in my heart that I needed to go in order to save my marriage. And I went, thinking that if I didn’t like it I didn’t ever have to go back. I still remember walking into the church, and everyone was singing. There was so much joy and love in that place. Everyone was so friendly. It wasn’t a fake friendliness that I had experienced at other churches previously, but it was true acceptance. I really enjoyed the music and the people (and I’m not a people person). But I started to cry as I stood there, because I felt the hurt not only in my marriage, but deep down in my soul. I was immediately embarrassed that I was crying, and I hoped no one would notice. One of the church members saw that I was crying, but she didn’t make me feel uncomfortable. She just accepted me and hugged me, and I realized that it was okay to cry. That was over three years ago, and Jay and I haven’t stopped going to church since.
We have experienced tremendous healing in our marriage, and I won’t give the credit to anything that we have done. I won’t even give the credit to the church. It was God. Once I realized how powerful and real God can be if we just let Him into our lives, I sought Him out. I started to read the Bible looking for answers to life’s questions. Looking for peace in my life. Many people disregard the Bible right away and say that they can’t understand it, but when one really tries to understand it, there is tremendous truth and power in the Bible. Marriage was God’s idea, and His plan for marriage is the marriage that works. It’s rare today in our society of quick and easy divorce, but His way is so fulfilling. I have by no means arrived and become the ultimate wife, but the more I learn about what the Bible says about how to love others, the better my marriage gets. Once I started applying these truths to my marriage, I experienced the healing power of God. Only God can reach down deep and heal the deepest of hurts.
Jay’s grandma has been a tremendous example to me of how to be a good wife. Now that I am studying the Bible regularly, I notice that the way she lives is exactly what I am reading. She has encouraged me to love Jay when I was having trouble doing that. Jay and I truly love each other, but it was difficult to keep that passion that we once felt for each other alive over the years. The anger and bitterness that we experienced in hard times was keeping us from loving each other fully. We said that we believed in God, but we were far from Him. I know that Jay’s grandparents were praying for us through the hard times, because now that we are getting closer to God, we are getting closer to each other.
I did struggle with the idea of submissiveness. I used to think that submissive wives were being taken advantage of and didn’t have control over their own lives. I used to think that a submissive wife was one that couldn’t stand up for herself. I used to think that she was weak. Now I realize that that type of worldly “woman’s lib” kind of thinking is what got me into trouble. It only took me further away from Jay, and it didn’t result in the closeness that I longed for. I realized that by trying to “assert” myself and not let Jay take advantage of me, I was constantly on the defensive in order to prevent myself from getting hurt. But what I was doing was pushing him away and not allowing him to truly love me.
That independence that I was striving for only tore apart our oneness as a couple. I realized that I needed to make Jay more of a priority. A good wife esteems and respects her husband and doesn’t put herself first. I know that sounds totally opposite from society’s view that we should “stand up for ourselves” and “not let anyone take advantage of us.” But God works everything out for the good of those who love Him, and true joy and peace occurs when we allow ourselves to love unselfishly. I came to the realization that women who serve their husbands do it because they enjoy it…not because they feel that they have to. They do it because it increases the love in the marriage.
When I first got married, I thought I could be a good wife on my own. I didn’t think I needed God. Now I realize just how wrong I was. I am truly amazed at the love and desire I have for Jay now when I consider how things seemed utterly hopeless three years ago. God has moved in a powerful way to make our marriage flourish and I will be forever grateful to Him for that.
If you would like to talk to me or request prayer, I would be happy to help you. Please click on my name here and send me an email. Thank you and God bless you for reading my life story!
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