Why Did I Stay?
by Kimberly Crews
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In the past I have written poems of testimony of the betrayal, manipulation and deception Iíve experienced as a wife; and, a lady told me that I was being a bit personal. I feel that no testimony is too personal if your experience can help someone else go through.
Iíve experienced much betrayal, manipulation, deception, lying, cheating and unfaithfulness in my marriage, and Iíve often wondered, ďWhy do I stay?Ē Why do I stay with a man who continues to neglect me and take advantage of the love I have for him? As I was pondering that question one day, God spoke into my spirit and said, ďBecause he needs you and you need him?Ē You knew my next question was, ďI need him? What do I need him for? Heís only causing me heartache and suffering?Ē
Then, God opened a door in my mind that brought me out of that rut of feeling sorry for myself and looking at my husband as the enemy. As I began to see what God was showing me, I was enlightened to see that I really did need my husband because I was impatient, judgmental, controlling, demanding, selfish, inconsiderate, and self-righteous.
I felt like as long as I was being faithful in my marriage and taking care of my home and children as I should, I was being a good wife; but, I was far from it.
My husband was saved, but he had some issues that needed to be addressed. My way of addressing them were criticizing him, telling him what he wasnít doing, putting him down, talking down to him, calling him stupid, threatening to put him out and giving him ultimatums. God wanted me to stop being all of those things because they donít relate to him in any manner, which meant that I was being separated from Him through my own thoughts of righteousness. The word tells us to lean not unto our own understand, but we are to acknowledge God in all our ways.
I wasnít being a good wife, a good friend, a good companion or a good lover. I am his wife, not his mother; therefore, I have no right to tell him what he can and cannot do. Man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of the man. God had to teach me to stop trying to chastise him and to begin bringing his trespasses against me and the marriage to Him. I had the right to tell him what I felt was wrong and unfair, but I had to be courteous, considerate, and respectful when I said it. After I told him, I needed to go to God and ask God to do the correcting because God is the only one who can.
I wasnít being a good friend because when my husband tried to talk to me about different situations, I would respond as a wife. I wouldnít see him as just a person who had a problem and needed help or just an ear to listen. Again, I would speak in a judgmental and critical manner. That made him not talk to me, and everyone needs an outlet. If he couldnít talk to me, he would talk to someone, and a lot of times men talk to women to try to understand; but, there are women who take advantage of that weakness and use it at their advantage. The very things that he is telling her that he canít get at home, she begins to give to him.
In a way, we opened the door; they donít have to walk in, but they usually do, not because theyíre men, but because theyíre weak and vulnerable at that moment. There are times that we, as women, find ourselves in bad situations because of vulnerability to anger, unforgiveness, resentment, and revenge.
I wasnít being a good companion because I wasnít by his side. Everything in the world came before him, and I expected him to be there, not only when I needed him to be, but when I wanted him to be. Anybody feels used when the only time you pay them any attention is when you want or need something. How many of you hate to see somebody coming that you know they donít call or come until they want or need something?
Men feel this way when we ignore them. And, as women, we feel this way about sex. We feel, a lot of times, that our husbands donít pay us much attention until they get that urge. We must understand that sex is a way of a man connecting with you and expressing his affection. It sounds stupid, but think about it; they donít communicate much, nor do they show much affection, such as kissing, hugging, cuddling, and holding hands unless it is a time of intimacy. When we neglect them of the opportunity to express their love and affection to us, they feel like we donít love them, nor do we accept and appreciate their love and affection. Be honest, if you feel that a person doesnít love you, you will back off, and thatís exactly what they do. Most men have strong and high sex drives; so, they will not go without sex. If you are not giving it to them, what do you think they will do? Especially when there are so many other women who will give it to them just to get what they want out of them.
I wasnít being a good lover because I would use withholding sex as a way of chastising him and making him pay for whatever he had done or had not done. According to the word of God, I was wrong because once we become one, my body is no longer mine, but belongs to him for his pleasure, and vice versa.
God needed me to stop using my own thoughts and ways of doing to be the wife that I wanted to be, and be the wife he needed me to be to this man. After all, there was a mission that God was trying to accomplish in this manís life, and if I weren't what and who I needed to be in the mission, I was hindering its success.
You donít want to be a hindrance to Godís plan in any way because God will move you. God needed me to draw my husband, but I was pushing him away from me and away from God with my self-righteous talk and criticism. I had the nerve to even tell him that he was a hypocrite and playing church. I paid for that one dearly. I was talking Christian, Christian, Christian, yet living so far from it because I wasnít being compassionate, understanding, forgiving, humble, comforting, encouraging, and most of all, loving. I was being everything, butÖ I knew the way, but I wasnít living it, which pushed my husband farther and farther away from God because he felt like if all Christians are like my wife, I donít want any parts of it. No one wants to go to the church and be criticized, and forced into another personís way of living because they say itís right.
I wanted him to live the way I thought he should live because I thought I was righteous, yet I was far from it. Therefore, God needed things to happen in our marriage that would change me, and He needed those changes to draw my husband, not compel him.
I am so glad that I learned these things, and Iím still learning day-by-day, but things are becoming better for us and between us. If you are going through some things in your marriage, take a little time to look within yourself to see if the problem is all your husband, or if you and your attitude are contributing factors to the way he acts and treats you.
Men are like children, and they act out or misbehave when they want attention or feel neglected. Your husband may need your time, attention, love and affection. Donít close the door to him because there are too many women out there with their doors wide open ready to welcome him in.
Ask God to show you what He sees when He looks at you. You may be shocked to know. Donít just look over what other people go through because borrowed sense is better than bought sense, which means that you donít always have to learn from your own experiences; you can learn from someone elseís experiences.
As my mind wonders back in times of the past,
I often wonder how did my love last;
How did it survive such turmoil and strife;
How did it survive with such betrayal in my life?
As I pondered those thoughts and such more,
God opened my mind to a closed door
That had never been opened before today,
And He answered my question: Why did I stay?
Why did I stay in a marriage on the road to destruction?
Why did I stay without any reluctance?
Just how was I able to bare such pain?
What kept me from going completely insane?
For, I am doing the very best that I can
To be a good friend, wife, and lover to my man,
But he seemed unacceptable and unappreciative of all I tried to do
To be faithful, honest, supportive and true.
There were times that I was taken for granted and mistreated,
And for all that I gave, I sometimes felt cheated
Because I didnít receive the same in return;
And regardless of how untrue he was to me, I felt that I didnít learn
Anything through the betrayal, lies and manipulation;
Never even considering that this was playing a part in both of our destinations
To spiritual growth and success.
Now, I realize that it took some of the worst to bring me to my best.
You may be faced with the same question today,
And you may be pondering the thought of ďWhy did I stayĒ;
But, the answer to your question is quite simple and true,
And it all surrounds the fact that there was something God was trying to show you.
You may wonder why you stayed after he was unfaithful so many times,
But, if you would take a closer look, you will be sure to find
That God was at work on His plan in your life,
And to accomplish His goal, you would have to sometimes suffer pain and strife.
It was Godís plan for you to forgive him for all that he had done
So that you can feel the pain He feels when you choose to do wrong
Betraying the love He holds so true for you
And not being appreciative of how Heís there in whatever youíre going through.
Yes, it hurts God every time we betray Him, leaving His side;
But, His love for you never dies.
He forgives us and continues to love us in spite of
Us neglecting and trampling all over His unconditional love.
You may wonder why you stayed after you were disrespected
And the love and care you needed was continuously neglected.
God was working through those burdens although you couldnít see.
He was using those trials and tribulations to make you what you should be.
God knows exactly what we need to be molded into vessels for good use,
And sometimes to mold us, He has to allow us to suffer pain, suffering and abuse
By the ones we hold closest and, oh, so true
Because these experiences will bring us through
The fire of preparation
To bring us into sanctification.
There is simply no way we can truly know
The roads Jesus traveled and the places He had to go
Unless we go through some of those same valleys and travel those dark roads.
We canít experience His strength unless we carry His heavy loads.
Therefore, to make us like Christ as we travel the road of life,
We must bare some of His burdens and experience His heartache and strife.
So, when you begin to ponder the question ďWhy did I stayĒ,
You can affirm that God helped you so that He could show you the way
To the forgiveness that He gives to you
By allowing you to experience betrayal and allowing you to go through
Much heartache, disappointment, and pain;
Therefore, forgiveness to you shouldnít seem uncomfortable, illogical or strange.
God has unconditional love and care for you,
And to allow you to experience that love and care, there were things you had to go through,
Such as manipulation, mistrust and deception
By working through your own love and affection
Allowing those you love most to do things that really hurt you;
This allowed you to feel the pain that He goes through
When you, the one He loves so dear,
Walk away and refuse to hold Him near
Accepting and caressing the love He has so true
And embracing the plan for success and prosperity He has for you.
So, when you ask yourself ďWhy did I stay?Ē,
Turn around and ask God, ďWhy didnít You walk away?Ē
Iím sure His answer will be that He just couldnít leave you
Because He looked beyond your faults to see your need for Him to help you through.
I know that February is symbolized as the month of love because of Valentineís Day, but in marriages, love should be celebrated and expressed every day. A marriage cannot grow without love. If love dies, so does the relationship.
Men usually donít listen to what women have to say; so, I decided to address the women. We need to stump divorce, separation, infidelity, and adultery out of our marriages. We have the power to take control of our marriages, itís up to us to use it. Satan canít just step in, someone has to let him in, and although you may be going to church, Bible Study, Sunday School, and reading your Bible every day, you may be the one letting him in with your own understanding of what a marriage should be.
God has His own plan for your marriage, and you canít make your plan His plan; you MUST follow His plan.
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This ministered to me in a very deep way. Thank you!