christian marriage matters

Because your Christian marriage matters

Marriage Can Be Messy

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While watching Tyler Perry’s movie ‘Why DidI Get Married’ I couldn’t help but wonder how many people ask this question of themselves every single day.

Whether it be the petty arguments or the issues with cleaning up, cooking or worse yet in-laws or money. There are a million reasons for couples to question their motives for getting married.

Marriage can be messy. I heard Lysa TerKeurst say this at the end of an encouraging word she was sharing and I thought, ‘wow she is so right’!

The fights you didn’t even know were fights until you found yourself breaking stuff and wondering what happened later. The disagreement that was never meant to lead to a week without speaking, or calling him a name so out of your character it surprised you that those words were still in you.

I remember an argument that progressed between my husband and me. I should add my husband is often the more wordy one in our arguments. I am the one who shuts down and simmers. Usually while I’m simmering however he is throwing shade in order to re-engage me. Well in this particular argument I don’t know what he said, but whatever struck a nerve I went from 0 to 10 in a millisecond. My saved, sanctified, Holy Ghost filled self who hadn’t used as much as a curse word in years commenced to cursing him out with every word I could think of. It got so good to me, I didn’t even take a breath. I sunk to an inappropriate low that hurt my heart, his heart but most importantly the heart of God. It was so embarrassing then because I thought I was delivered from that level of conversation. As the title says though, marriage can be messy. My mouth made a complete mess of everything we had built over the course of quite a few years. Remembering this now is a little comical and we often share this issue with couples both for comic relief and to let them know they are not alone. We also share it to give those who haven’t gone there a heads up on what not to do.

The key being, messy issues will occur in marriage but love, the Lord and forgiveness are the heavy duty paper towels that can clean it up most effectively.

It’s difficult to remember you’re in love when your spouse makes you angry, but it is vital. Remember your goal shouldn’t be to injure but rather to get to the root of the issue. Your spouse is not the enemy, he/she is the love of your life (and you want to keep it that way).

Then for those issues that you can’t seem to come to a resolution about, first and foremost pray, HARD. Pray earnestly for your spouse for this issue and for your relationship.
Finally forgive, forgive and forgive again.

Marriage can be messy but you can clean up the mess with love, the Lord and lots of forgiveness.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

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Make It Last Forever

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As my husband and I approach our 27th year together and our 20th year of marriage the same question is posed

‘How do you make it last’

Honestly I don’t really know the answer to that. Let me rephrase that, I know there is not one simple answer to that question. My hubby and I have been through thick and thin literally. We’ve been happy as larks and so angry you could cut the tension with a knife. Through all of this we’ve stayed together. So this is my feeble attempt to answer the question. Since you know me as a list girl, I’ll do it in the form of a list. Mind you this list is in no way prioritized, just written as things come to mind:

1. Fall in love with the same person over and over again. We love each other: This is the easy default answer. Most couples think they’re in love, but truthfully you don’t know you’re in love until that love is tested. Until some crazy chick decides your man should be hers or some maniacal man decides to fight you in the parking lot for your girl. Until your family decides they won’t talk to you if you’re ‘with HER’ or they keep attempting to pick a fight with him just so you see ‘how much of a man’ he really is. And don’t forget that for better and for worse, sickness and health statement. Until you are awakened by a spouse who can’t walk asking for a bowl of ice cream in the middle of the night, or worse yet cleaning up vomit from a sick wife whose been wiped out by surgery. Until you’ve gone through the weight gain weight loss cycle There are so many things that have tested our marriage, but they secure the fact that we really love each other. I wouldn’t want to live without him and I know he wouldn’t want to live without me even if living together makes us crazy.

2. Strive to make one another happy. If you have read anything I’ve written in the past, you know I’m a girl who thinks spousal happiness is priority. I believe as the saying goes. ‘Happy wife, happy life’ and I’ll make one up ‘happy hubby, life is lovely’. Don’t even talk about my rhyming skills, you get the point.

3. Choose your battles. There was a time when our marriage could best be described as a battle of wills. We were willing to fight about any and everything just to get our way. We eventually learned life is too short to be miserable. We learned to choose only the battles we felt needed to be fought for sanity’s sake.

4. Be teammates. We have learned that it’s us against the world. I’ve had friends stop talking to me for absolutely no reason. I’ve even had friends start talking about me when I thought we were close. Through all of that my husband has been the one constant in my life. He is, as the kids say, my ride or die and I have to treat him as such. Teams succed when they work together so that’s what we had to begin doing. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it.

5. Date: we have always found a way to get away alone. If that meant driving to a park and sitting and looking in each other’s eyes. or just shutting our door and reading a book, we love being together. Our newest adventure (now that we are empty nesters) is traveling the world side by side. We love it and use the time to build our relationship. I’m not saying you have to plan some dramatic adventure but rather im saying date at least weekly. That date can consist of going out for dinner and a movie or just putting a blanket on the living room floor and eating your romantic microwave dinners there. Pour life into your marriage in these times so when the going gets tough your marriage will have strong legs to stand on.

6. Sex is key. that sounds raunchy and inappropriate but one of my favorite scriptures is:

Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled
Hebrews 13:4 NKJV

Sex is the one thing that makes your marriage different than any other relationship you will have. It seals you and makes the two become one. Neglecting this area of your relationship is not only unhealthy but it can be dangerous. God smiles on your sexual relationship with your spouse and created it with the purpose of developing an unbreakable bond between the two of you.

What ideas do you have to, in the illustrious words of Keith Sweat: Make it Last Forever?

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People Watching

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Today I spent about an hour in a department store looking for coats because of the unseasonably cold July days we’ve been experiencing. Yes, before you ask I bought a coat on July 29,2014 (who does that)?!

While shopping I was touched by a man standing outside the dressing room (emotionally not physically in case you were wondering). He looked to be in his late 40’s and he was standing and waiting for his wife to try on a few things. She came out in every outfit they had chosen together to meet with either his approval or objection. Not so abnormal I’m sure, but what amazed me was his reaction to the items he liked. The wife was no spring chicken and this husband wasn’t doing a Donald Trump. He was however so in love with his wife of more than a few years that everyone could feel it. Rather than just give a nod or a disagreeing shake of the head, he would say things like ‘oh you look beautiful in that’ or ‘honey that was made specially for you’. The wife would emerge from the dressing room in a shy, slumped over unassuming manner and his response to how she looked would change her demeanor, her facial expression and even her posture.

They had two teenage daughters who were unaffected by their discourse which made me assume this is the norm. Then I received the revelation. This man has loved on and almost overly affirmed his wife for so long the girls don’t know any different. Think about the expectation of excellence in marriage he has set for these growing young ladies. It makes me sit back and wonder, ‘what if every marriage was like this?’

I’ll leave you with this:

Let’s use this couple’s example of love and selflessness (cause I’m sure he could’ve found something better to do than hanging around the women’s dressing room) to improve our relationships.

Serve more than you’ve served before, love more than you’ve loved before and do more than you’ve done before. With that, go forth and be the world’s greatest spouse.

May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
Proverbs 5:18 NIV

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