In school, I was driven to achieve. I took detailed notes and studied them faithfully before each test. When I received each ‘A’, it was like a GOLD STAR in my heart.
Without realizing it, as I entered the full-time workforce, each baptism, each rededication, each successful counseling session, each new Bible student took on the form of another GOLD STAR for me in the eyes of people around me.
When the Lord blessed me with children, each triumph my children achieved in school or the gym resulted in another GOLD STAR on my resume.
But when I tried to apply this aptitude to my marriage, my efforts fell flat. Homemade meals meant to impress were burned. I lovingly did the laundry but did it wrong, resulting in damaged clothes. Even what I thought was helpful advice given by me turned out to be less-than-helpful. I missed my GOLD STARS.
What was motivating me at this point in the early years of marriage? I would like to say it was my deep love for Lisa, but that answer is not totally correct. In the background, it was my need to succeed. My need to accumulate more GOLD STARS.
You see, at an early age, I bought into the lie that SUCCESS EQUALS VALUE. That I was ‘less’ if I failed; if someone didn’t like me if I wasn’t the best. So, I held on dearly to each little GOLD STAR. Each one a life buoy to hold me up until the next one. And in between? Lots of non-star-worthy moments.
A wife needs a husband motivated by love and dedication to her, not one obsessed with achievement. I came to understand that after a few years of marriage.
Our value in marriage is not determined by our successes, but upon the love and forgiveness, Jesus has shown to each of us.
No GOLD STARS here, but lots of hugs, love, apologies, and second chances!