Why Your Identity in Christ Matters in Marriage

Raised in a Christian home, both of my parents are Christians, but they were also both fully human. We had ups and downs growing up. My parents were divorced when I was very young. They both did a phenomenal job of staying friendly toward each other and reassuring their children that their divorce was not our fault. Unfortunately, divorce still takes a toll.

For me, our humanity brought feelings of insecurity and unworthiness. I let those seeds of lies take root and spring up like weeds that took over my mind. My identity was completely wrapped up in what other people thought of me. I became a people pleaser, seeking to find my worth in other people.

Fast forward 18 years, and I met a really cool guy. He checked all my boxes, gave me the attention I wanted, and made me feel worthy. So, naturally, I married him! I also unknowingly attached my entire identity to him. He told me who I was: his actions, his words, his acceptance all informed my identity. At first, that worked just fine, but as the years went by and his pornography addiction took over, those weeds of insecurity and unworthiness came out full force. It felt as though I couldn’t even satisfy my own husband.

My past and present landed me in recovery. I never thought of myself as someone that needed to “recover” from anything. And yet I was utterly consumed by shame, guilt, insecurity, and unworthiness. I have been a part of a few recovery groups in the past couple of years. Each group offers different perspectives and communities, but the overall theme is still the same: God needs to be our identity, nothing and no one else can take that place.

When God is set aside in a relationship, chaos happens. We start to believe we can handle things on our own, and we allow the world around us to dictate what we need or who we are. Trust me on this one; the world will always lead you astray and left with wounds. But when God is in charge, our lives are forever changed because our identity is in Him. He has adopted us into his family, and we have taken his name. Once that truth began to sink in, I have been able to combat all the lies that have grown in my mind. I began to see that my husband’s porn addiction had nothing to do with me. I could open my eyes to the fact that I am worthy of what God is offering and that is all the worth I need.

These realizations have allowed me to have my own identity and not rely on the world’s opinion or even my own husband’s opinion. That has made every aspect of my life better, especially my marriage. There is no more co-dependency in my marriage. We are BOTH able to rely on God and call each other out (truth in kindness) when we aren’t putting God first. Putting Him first must be the center of anything in life and even more so in marriage.

How have you been putting God first in your life? What things do you need to rearrange to allow God to step in and help you recover? He is the only one that can bring you out of darkness, unworthiness, and despair. Put your life in him. It will be the best thing you have ever done with your life.

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Melissa Ruff is a thirty-something wife, mother, and blogger. She holds a psychology degree from Ashford University, leads a XXXChurch small group for women and writes a ton! Melissa and her family would not be where they are today without the grace of God. He has shown up, restored hope and built an incredible foundation on him for her marriage and family life! You can read more and follow her at her blog and facebook page in the links below.

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