Today is “National Face Your Fears Day,” and I want you to know that I am afraid of spiders. Little spiders, big spiders, all spiders. Not a fan. And I don’t care how much I am supposed to embrace my fears today, because I will not be going up to a spider and saying, “Hello, can we be friends?” Not gonna happen. Nope.
Some fears are okay not embracing or resolving, but if the fears start to hurt your marriage, then you might want to face them. Many times fear can hold you back, especially when it comes to having a successful marriage. I know it took me a long time to really trust my husband because of the way some of my past relationships had been. I was always afraid he wouldn’t come through and would find faults in him just to justify my fears. Trae also had his own set of fears coming into our relationship. Most importantly, we were both afraid of getting hurt in a relationship since we had been hurt before. Pretty common theme and fear among most couples, but the thing is that we almost let those fears ruin our relationship before it even started.
Since we didn’t want to face our fears and risk getting hurt, we were not the nicest people to each other the first months of dating. We both recognized early on that this relationship was different from other ones, which only intensified the fears. No joke, we did everything we could to push each other away. Trae will agree with me on this one. Yet, somehow despite all our best efforts, the relationship worked.
We eventually had to put our fears aside and embrace this relationship. Thank goodness we did, because I love being married to Trae. If we hadn’t been willing to put our fears aide, our relationship would not have worked. It was very hard to not let the baggage of a previous relationships rule how we go into new relationship. But we have to remind ourselves that everyone is different, and who the person we are in a relationship with now will not act like an ex. I still have to remind myself of that fact on a occasion.
Fear isn’t something that I can flip on and off like a switch, but I can work at overcoming it. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” Fear will keep us timid and keep us from having the power to truly love. The first step of getting over fear is to recognize it. It won’t be an easy thing to do, but honestly ask yourself, “What am I afraid my boyfriend/ significant other/ husband will do?” Once you answer that, then ask “Why am I afraid that this person will do that?” I had to be honest, and say that I was afraid Trae would leave because I had an ex boyfriend who broke up with me a lot even though he promised he wouldn’t and that we would always stay together. I let that fear rule our relationship for a very long time.
Sometimes I am still afraid that he will leave, but then I remind myself he took vows. He didn’t leave after I sang Disney songs for seven hours. And if he didn’t leave after the car trip, then he definitely isn’t going to leave. When I get afraid, I like to remind myself of this Bible verse: “I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4.
Also I make a mental list of all the positive things Trae has done and all we have been through in our five years of marriage. Reminding myself of how invalid my fears are helps to overcome them. So ask yourself “What are am I afraid of in my relationship?” and then take steps to overcoming that fear…
Unless that fear is spiders. Then stay afraid. Very afraid.