As a friend and I were enjoying a long catch-up session, she mentioned the difficulties and strains of marriage.

As she talked generically about her struggles, I secretly wondered if she gets frustrated with her husband the way I get frustrated with mine. I thumbed through filed memories of my last few arguments with Ken, and tried to picture my friend and her husband having similar interchanges. But I couldn’t picture it. They always seem so loving and happy.

So I said, “What do you struggle with in your marriage?”

She smiled and said, “I want him to be just like me!”

The words sank deep into my heart. I knew instantly that this is my own struggle. I want Ken to be just like me. Whenever I accuse him of something, my accusation is rooted in the idea that he’s done something that I would never do.

  • I would never arrive home five minutes after our guests were to arrive.
  • I would never fall asleep on a guest in my living room, even if I was sleep deprived. 
  • I would never send our three-year-old in a public bathroom unsupervised. 
  • I would never wait till the summer’s half gone to power wash the deck.

When I turn into the ‘Control Girl‘ and rant or argue or pester or get angry or withdraw, what I’m trying to do is take control of my husband and make him become more like me. Which sounds strangely like God’s role.

God wants to conform each of his children into the image of his Son, Jesus. (Romans 8:29) He wants to make us just like Christ. But rather than ranting or withdrawing or flashing his anger at us, God waits for us to yield. He actually does have control over all things, and yet he gently asks us to be the clay in his hands, so that he can reshape us to look like Jesus.

Interestingly, though God is in the process of conforming each of his children to look like Jesus–the firstborn, he does not do away with our differences. He doesn’t have an indistinguishable row of clay pots in mind. Rather, he smooths out the imperfections of each uniquely formed vessel.

For one of God’s vessels to reach out and try to reshape another vessel to be just like her…. That’s just wrong. I’m just wrong. How utterly foolish and presumptuous I am when I try to take my husband into my own hands and make him just like me. Good grief; am I presuming that I have no flaws? Or that my design his better than his?

My husband is uniquely crafted by God. He’s not perfect. He is gradually being reshaped into the image of Christ by the skillful hands of God–which is where I need to leave him.

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