True Confessions of an IBC Staff Member

By Tiffany Stein
In eLetter
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True confessions of an IBC staff member: I love my husband, but I haven’t always liked him.

Prior to having children, I actively slept through alarms on my phone, and even fire alarms in our apartment building. Nothing would wake me. But then our daughter Emma Ruth came home and slept in a crib less than eight feet away from our bed. And I woke up every single time she moved. Coughed. Snored. Or whimpered.

She’d wake crying for a feeding, and I’d pretend I was asleep. Because every parent knows that the first adult to shift in bed has to respond, right? I’d wait. 30 seconds. A minute. Two minutes. Jason didn’t even stir. How dare he pretend to also be asleep! Didn’t he understand how exhausted I was?

Unable to bear her heartbreaking littles cries for more than a few minutes, I’d get up and feed Emma Ruth, sure that I was winning the award for “most self-giving spouse.” (Moms, you know what I’m talking about.)

Eventually Emma Ruth started sleeping through the night, and those sleepless nights were forgotten until a few weeks ago when I read an article saying that moms’ brains are uniquely hardwired to immediately go into “alert” phase and respond when she hears the cries of her children. Dads, on the other hand, didn’t wake up as often in the study, and their brains didn’t go into “alert” phase as quickly. Shocked, I asked Jason if this was true. Had he been pretending to be asleep, or had he actually not woken up?

He responded that he hadn’t heard a sound (noise-canceling AirPods might have also had something to do with that). And just like that, suppressed resentment and disappointment I’d been holding onto disappeared. I’d had unspoken expectations. I’d made untrue assumptions. I’d believed something to be true about Jason without even discussing it with him. I was the guilty one in need of forgiveness.

Let’s be honest. Marriage is a call to die to self. It’s a call to become one and to love each other with the love of Christ. And we all fail at it, daily—me included.

We are not perfect, and we don’t love perfectly. But thankfully, God has not left us alone. He’s given us the Holy Spirit—God with us—to teach us how to love one another. He’s given us the church—the body of believers—to encourage and support us along the way. He’s given us the Bible—his living Word—to show us his character and to invite us into marriages marked by flourishing. And if you’re married, he’s given you your spouse—to show you what it looks likes to love an imperfect person unconditionally and be transformed in the process. (Hint: Your spouse loves an imperfect person also.)

Marriage is hard, and there is beauty to be found. If you’d like encouragement, hope, and practical next steps for your marriage, join us for the Essentials of a Biblical Marriage class, kicking off Sunday, April 3, during the 9 a.m. service. Through a combination of teaching, discussion, and reflection, it’s my prayer that you’ll laugh, be challenged, and continue building with your spouse a thriving marriage that lasts. All imperfect people are welcome.

Tagged In:eLetter
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Tiffany Stein

Tiffany Stein

Marriage & Care Director

About Tiffany

Tiffany oversees IBC's marriage and care ministries. Her friends know she is an avid reader (especially memoirs!) and a good listener, but Tiffany also enjoys being outside -- hiking and gardening, especially. Married to hubby Jason since 2008, Tiffany is also mom to son David, who is now with the Lord. Her dog Teddy faithfully fulfills his life purpose as the family cuddle bug.

Why do you love working at IBC? "I love working at a church that genuinely desires for all people to know the love of God and to find a meaningful place of belonging."

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