Aug 22, 2009

till death do us part

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I am not claiming to be an expert on marriage nor do I think that hubby and I have it figured out. We only have a few years under our belts. I do know that we have a good marriage but a good marriage is one that struggles well. (struggle with our fleshly desires...which usually boils down to selfishness)

We have an epidemic in our country and even in our churches. When the going gets tough we opt for the easy way out. When I walked into marriage I had enough baggage lugging behind me to destroy several marriages over. I did not grow up with the example of a God-centered marriage. Actually several people on one side of my family have been married multiple times or if they actually stay married they have much negativity and the stench of sin is so strong it's toxic. I had never had an earthly example of what to do. I didn't know! My husband and I have contrasting backgrounds. He comes from a long line of believers and marriages that lasted lifetimes.

The first year of our marriage was challenging to say the least. Not because of my husband but because of my sin. I had unrealistic expectations. I had put the burden of my happiness on my husband. That's not the role God gave him....that's God's. God did not create marriage to make us happy but rather to make us holy. God uses our spouses to reveal to us our ugly side. Not because he has nothing better to do but because He loves us and wants to spur us onto holiness. I had a hard time seeing my ugly side. God asked me to confront my childhood victimization something I was NOT ready to do! Instead of changing I did the opposite. I started "bucking" the system God created. A lot of that came from insecurity and fear. I became the bitter wife that instead of running towards God I chose to be disrespectful to my husband. My attitude said I knew better than God and I did not want to face everything He wanted me to face. I realized that I was acting just like my mom. I was humbled. I did not want to become the wife she was and I did not want the marriage my parents had. (my parents do not read my blog)
I wanted a strong marriage. I wanted to do this marriage thing God's way not mine. With God walking me through...I cleaned out the skeletons in my closet. I apologized to my husband. I know that I will always have a battle with doing things the way I saw growing up. But that just means that daily I will have to find my strength in Him and surround myself with great wives and moms!

After that trial in our marriage the relationship with my husband is much stronger. We are best friends. Yes we still a few bumps but we have unconditional forgiveness. I daily work on showing him unconditional respect.

I was blessed to have the husband I have. Because through everything that we have gone through and will go through he is incredibly patient. He never raises his voice and never acts out in anger. I know that any decision big or small he has to make has been covered in prayer. I also know that when God leads my husband to certain decisions God is not forgetting about little man and I. He is doing what best for our family.

In our society there seems to be some confusion about love. Contrary to popular belief love is not a feeling but rather a choice. So the whole "we fell out of love" reasoning for divorce.....I'm not buying. You don't fall out of love but out of repentance. When our spouse does something that gets to us instead of acting in anger, we can choose to love them and show patience, kindness, or self-control. We make that choice.

Did you know it takes 21 days to break a habit? In our marriage I had a lot of communication habits that needed to go! I learned that words are powerful and there are consequences to my words. I could either build my husband up and encourage him or tear him down.

We now have a child! Children watch their parents and form definitions. How I treat "daddy" is how they will treat him and how I talk about him to them is important. Oneness in marriage is crucial to raising a child that will continue on the godly legacy.

We have a lifetime to make mistakes that we will learn from. For us divorce is not an option. The best person for you is the person you are currently married to.

Here are a few fun things that we do to keep our marriage strong. (I love hearing other ideas too!)

We pray together
We have a few minutes to "debrief" our day when he comes home
Go on dates together
Journal to one another
Write notes
Encourage one another
write notes on the bathroom mirror
we took the tv out of our bedroom<--- you will be amazed at the conversations you can have!
we use to say no tv, phone, or internet after 9.....we need to implement that one again.
serve in ministry together
we also pray for each other in our alone times with God

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Our journal
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Notes hubby has written me

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a fun box that has different date ideas... hey! hey! :)


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It has cards for the husband
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and there are some for the wife. No peeking at each others. So you can then be surprised!
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It gives a detailed description on what to do.

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We have this hanging in our living room as a constant reminder to our friends, family, child, and us of the covenant we made.
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I will write another post on some of our favorite marriage books.

8 comments:

  1. I really liked this post. I too believe that we are in this for the forever and this gave me some ideas of where I can take better care of our marriage. It isn't always easy to remember each other with our 3 blessings and all the life that they bring with them. Without us being a happy us they will not recieve that as easily in their lives since they will not know what to look for. Again thank you for the reminder through your life post.

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  2. i just ordered that same date box!!! :) I can't wait to get ours! :)

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  3. Monica
    My beloved and have been married 16 wonderful/ challenging years soon to be 17.
    There was a time early on in our marriage that I use to say it was harder to be a mom than a wife. Then real life hit, sin and pride came into play and I realized that being a mother was easy. Children love you unconditionally with little to no expectations, husband's on the other hand are not so easy. There are expectations, and disappointment, but My love and I learned early in our marriage that if Christ was not at the center of it all- we would fall apart.
    What glue is strong enough to hold to people together that think totally opposite, like totally opposite things and sometimes move in totally opposite directions??
    Jesus our Lord- His Words in the Word ring true- and when we Honor our husband's living the word within our lives, as wives. We find the peace and security that only Christ can give.

    My marriage is my treasure and I cherish it, take care of it, allow God to move us as intended!

    I love sharing about my beloved(can you tell?)

    Angie

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  4. Enjoyed your post. Haven't ever commented before. Sometimes I'm in a hurry and don't have time. I like your blog. The changes are pretty cool. Your photography is awesome. Love it. Glad your little guy is doing well. He's growing up so fast. Take care

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  5. OK. Gotta get that Date Box. Looks terrific!

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  6. I was wondering where you bought your framed marriage covenant? I really like your photography posts and these 'pillow talk' posts as well. thanks! erin

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  7. Santa and I will be married 21 years this year.

    The one thing I pass along to new brides at wedding showers is that you should not compare your life to another couple. What good will this EVER do? You are not married to her husband and she is not married to your husband.

    So many young women compare their marriage to another couple and often times become disappointed when their own marriage fails to "measure up".

    It's also easy to get caught in the whole "she-woman man haters club". If your husband is sooo awful, why did you marry him?

    Love your honesty in this post. Our spouse is the mirror to who we are.

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  8. As a woman preparing for marriage I found this very interesting.

    A lot of this is coming up in our pre-marital counseling as suggestions for the future.

    I think as long as we remember that a successful marriage takes hard work in addition to love it will help.

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