Beautifully Taken for Granted

(Last Updated On: November 11, 2015)

Last night, I was giggling to myself over a sink full of dirty dishes because after 9 years of marriage, countless hours of diligent sacrifice, my husband finally, beautifully, has taken me for granted.

I have worked really hard to be taken for granted.

I started a couple of years ago when I stopped nagging him to pick up his dirty underwear, and instead started praying over it. His empty toothpaste tube left on the vanity gets silently replaced. His lunch is quietly waiting each morning.

Our marriage was in a rough place after his last deployment. Out of the six years we had known each other, he had spent three of those deployed. The trials of war were a heavy burden that I didn’t know how to carry with him, and he didn’t know how to let me.

We tried to pick up and move forward, but we had changed. I had spent a year just being aΒ  mom, and he felt like an outsider to our little all girls’ club. We didn’t really know how to overcome the abyss between us.

Let me tell you, pretending it wasn’t there, wasn’t pretty. We were almost on the brink of disaster when Jesus began to intervene.

I wanted God to change my husband, who returned from war angry and different. I prayed and prayed that he would change. I got angrier and more bitter when he didn’t, sitting all self-righteous on my pious side of the room, waiting for him to change before I would.

But God began a quiet work in my heart. He answered my prayers for change by changing me. I began to see love, not as an emotion, but an active choice. I could decide to love him everyday.

However, my husband didn’t trust that love. He wouldn’t ask me to do his laundry. He wouldn’t ask for help with even the littlest things, and seemed perturbed when I would offer, like depending on me was weakness. He didn’t see us as a team. He was running his own life and I was a corollary player.

To change his perception, I had to learn to be trustworthy, be willing to serve, be gentle instead of nagging, instead of shouting louder, get quiet. I had to serve him without complaining, joyfully. I had to ask him everyday – what can I do for you? And then do what he asked, even if I didn’t want to.

So this week, when he dragged himself to bed after an 18 hour day, leaving his cold, stale coffee in his thermos, his dirty lunchbox full of trash, and a pot simmering on the stove for me to watch, a midnight load of laundry to do, I almost got frustrated. Hey, I’m tired too!

but then I heard, God’s quiet voice, ‘what a beautiful blessing.’

I went to bed last night giggling to myself because after years of marriage, long months of hard work, my husband takes me for granted. I have worked really hard to be beautifully, taken for granted.

A blessing? beautiful? to be taken for granted?

YES! Yes, the fiercely independent husband who wouldn’t ask for help, didn’t want to need me, now relies on my help, and beautifully takes for granted that I’ll be there and do for him.

Our marriage that almost ended in bitterness and anger, is stronger than ever, full of laughter again.

Psalm 85:10 ESVΒ  Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.

This verse from Psalms almost brings me to tears today. I never could have imagined my marriage in it, but today the words leapt from the Bible into my heart.

I never thought I would celebrate being beautifully taken for granted, yet today on our 9th anniversary, while the words, “I love you” are more poignant than ever, hearing him say, “I know” means even more.

41 Replies to “Beautifully Taken for Granted”

  1. What an interesting perspective! I needed to hear this. I have a very independent husband who is a firefighter paramedic. He is gone more than he is home. It took awhile, but we have definitely become a team. I think public safety attracts strong individuals who want to be needed more than needing. I was frustrated about being taken for granted on a lot of things, so this is timely.

  2. great perspective. we are going on 12 years this month and yes…totally taken for granted. but now…as I pursue this blogging thing and haven’t the time for things like I used to he sees…:)

  3. Oh Jennifer–how inspiring you are to so many who may be unwilling to change. And what a blessing you are to go to Jesus and ask for help to change and bless your marriage.
    Tell your husband thank you for his service for me.
    Blessings,

  4. I love the title of this post! And your reaction to being taken for granted was good – prayer is the answer! I don’t know if that would’ve been my reaction although I’d like to think so!! πŸ™‚ It’s nice, in a sense, to be taken for granted, because some people don’t now or never have that opportunity because they aren’t married or their spouse has died. I”m thankful that Hubby is here! And I’m thankful I can serve God by serving him! LOVED THIS POST! Made me look at his dirty lunchbox in a different way (and that really gets my goat!) πŸ™‚

  5. What a beautiful story! I can hear your love for your husband in your words! I too was one who sat and stewed for God to please change my husband, when the changing needed done in me! My husband has never been deployed but he is a police officer and that line of work changes a person. God has been faithful to give us strength and grace in our marriage!

    1. It does change someone. Much like being a soldier does! I read a bible study called When War Comes Home and it really helped me understand where he has been and how I could be more sensitive to the trauma he experienced. Maybe there is something similar for wives of law enforcement? Thank you and your husband for serving our nation in a different way. LEOs should have a national day of recognition too.

  6. My husband has worked second shift since my oldest was in kindergarten. (She is now a senior in college)
    When he is home it is hard for me and the kids to divert to him. Getting them to respect his decisions is extremely rough. I am glad you were able to figure it out!

  7. I love this Jennifer! I have noticed in my own marriage that when I pray for God to change something I think is wrong with my husband, God shows me how to change myself instead and it’s beautiful. Happy 9th Anniversary! Here’s to many, many more. And thank you to your husband for serving and you for serving him!

  8. Ah, I love this…I didn’t see where you were going with it at first, but what a beautiful perspective…if only we were keener to look for how God has and can answer our prayers, sometimes the answer comes in the least expected ways!

  9. Amen! Marriage is a beautiful picture of the gospel where two people can practice to show unconditional love and show grace in the face of our partners shortcomings. Glad to hear that your marriage is ever growing sweeter. Happy anniversary to both of you! πŸ™‚

  10. Such a sweet post. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on 9 years. It is so great to know you have gotten through some rough times and God brought you to the other side. πŸ™‚

  11. This is such a beautiful post! My husband served in the Navy and God used that in numerous ways to mold me, my husband, and our marriage! This is such a great perspective, being beautifully taken for granted! This post truly resonated with me, thanks for sharing!
    God is GREAT!
    -Heather

  12. I absolutely LOVE this! This is such a beautiful perspective and shows just how radical and transforming God’s love can be when it shines through us.

    Thanks for getting personal with us! This post is inspiring to me.

  13. Wow! Praise the Lord that he worked so amazingly in your marriage!!!! In today’s society it’s rare to see people actually work through their marital problems and it’s beautiful to hear the testimony of those who have!

    1. I agree people move on way too quickly the second they aren’t happy, and the miss out on real joy and true love. God told me not to give up, and I’ve never been happier even though our lives didn’t get easier, our marriage did.

  14. This was beautiful! I work from home and therefore end up doing most of the housework. It’s hard at times to feel like all the work I do behind the scenes isn’t appreciated, but this is a great reminder that we are called to serve one another and sometimes the way I can serve best is to have everything ready and clean for when my husband needs it. You really hit home with me on this post!

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