The Faithbook

A place of writing and reflection…

2 Years & 4 Things We’ve Learned About Marriage Thus Far

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For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This mystery is great—but I am actually speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each one of you must also love his own wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

—Ephesians 5:31-33

As of today, August 18th, my husband and I are celebrating our second year anniversary.

It really doesn’t seem like it’s even been that long. But then two years isn’t very long really.

I still remember getting ready for the big day when both our lives would change. I was calm for the most part until a moment of panic over rings struck right before the ceremony. (That was  sorted out rather quickly, fortunately.) The procession was lined up down the hallway as we waited to enter Charlie’s room. Guests were passing by and my maid of honor, Molly, was quick to remind me, “This is it. Now if you take off running don’t think I won’t tackle you.”

She was serious of course, to which I told her not to worry. I wasn’t planning on running.

I ran from a lot of things in my past, but this—a scary as it was—would not be one of them.

The full force of reality did not come crashing down on me until everyone had made it into the room and I alone stood with grandpa behind a pink curtain waiting for the entrance music.

That’s when the weight of it all came at me like a freight train.

I thought my knees would give out before I ever made it down the aisle. (So much for the heels I had decided to wear.) I was glad grandpa was steady as he walked with me. My other worry was if my nervousness was too visible. But I did find relief when grandpa presented me to Charles and he took my hands in his.

Mine were shaky and his were sweating.

We had practiced this days before, and knew full well what we were doing, and what was to happen when, but it was then that everything seemed to come together.

That was two years ago.

Now we’re parents and what our friends like to tease calling us an ‘old married couple‘ with a one-year-old toddler and another on the way.

Now we’re hardly what you would call marriage experts. If you want someone of that expertise you should talk to our friend Kathy Nick. Now that’s a woman with experience.

Nevertheless, there are lessons you learn after the wedding is over, and the honeymoon is done. And how you handle these will impact you both for the long run.

1. Marriage is a working mystery.

Consider is job numero uno for the rest of your life.

Sometimes it’s fun. Sometimes it’s kind of plain.

I say plain because some days are just day to day chores or hanging out at home. Other days are a little more intense like dealing with family issues. None of these are bad—but they are work.

Society here in America has a bad habit of giving any kind of work a bad name. It’s the last thing anybody wants to do. Truth is if you think of your marriage with the same mindset— boring old labor—it will become just that. And who wants a ‘boring old marriage‘ anyway?

Any relationship requires work, but marriage (the most intimate relationship you’ll ever have) requires the most work.

You’re two different people with two very different lives and mindsets prior to marriage and it takes both of you working together, with God, to make it work. Even the Apostle Paul was baffled by it calling marriage a great mystery (Ephesians 5:32). How on Earth could two people ever get along so well, knowing all our differences?

Loving work and a miraculous God, thats how.

And guess what? You’ve got the rest of your marriage to work on it.

2. There’s not much room for selfishness in a marriage.

When you get married it’s not just about you any more.

There’s another person (and kids, if any) involved now.

It’s not the single life you had before any more where you could make plans as you saw fit, spend how much you wanted on whatever you wanted without having to ask permission, or stay out all the time for however amount of time.

How you lived your single life may not have been bad—you could have been one of the best behaved single people out there—but that soon changes when you add another person to the equation.

Selfishness can quickly harm any relationship, marriage, or otherwise and takes many forms, and so we must learn to guard against it.

Sometimes it’s getting your way over your spouse’s reccommendation. Sometimes its making one do all the  chores (or preventing the other from sharing in the work).

A marriage is meant to be about helping each other, not control. It’s not ‘my way or the highway‘ either. (Ephesians 5: 21-33) Marriage is ‘we‘ not ‘me‘. It’s going out of our way to love and honor our spouse, not just spoiling ourselves.

3. A marriage requires respect of the bedroom.

Yes, I said it.

The bedroom.

What happens in there (or any intimate time) should stay there.

It’s not a bragging competition or a place of comparing your relationship to other couples. It is a time there for the two of you and no one else. Intimacy of this kind requires you both to be completely open to each other in no way as you could have with any other person.

It’s a precious gift the two of you share with each other; not some right of passage to man or womanhood.

You tremendously violate your spouse—and their trust—when you use this time to brag to the girlfriends or home boys about ‘how you got it’ at home. It’s not their business in the first place. Secondly, you hurt your spouse (and even your view of your spouse) when you compare yourselves to others.

It’s called intimacy for a reason.

Now I’m not saying all your affection should be reserved solely for this as I do believe it should pour out in public life. People (and especially your kids) should be able to see you that like each other, but they don’t need to know every detail.

That’s for you and you alone.

4. Your view of marriage should come from God, not the TV.

Or media.

Today’s morals are so warped by what we see on main stream media.  And reality TV is quiet possibly the worst.

They highlight all the drama, but fail to show any real sense of ‘reality‘.

There are a few shows out there that might let us see a good thing or two—or actually show spouses loving each other in the very least, but even these are off some where. Self-help books can be great too, but even these can be found lacking.

People are imperfect, and being thus people will always show some flawed aspect of whatever it is God has designed.

Even our parents before us have given us a flawed view of marriage, no matter how good they handled things, how little they argued, etc. No body is perfect and so we must learn to look toward the One who instituted marriage in the first place—God.

He does not install something in our lives without giving us some form of instruction, but you won’t find it in a written manual. You have to get it from Him and from His Word, the Bible.

Even in all marriage’s mystery God still planted us some helps in His word. From Genesis to Revelation He shows us our flawed method of relationships side by side with His desire for what marriage is to be.

The only way you’ll find this out, however, is by reading, praying, and asking Him for help.

Every marriage needs help and that’s what He’s there for.

All you have to do is ask—and be willing to follow through with what He recommends.

Once again we’re no experts, nor do we claim to be. We still have a long way to go and a lot of learning to do—about marriage and about each other. But hopefully what we’re learning can add to someone else’s marriage whether present or future.

 

Copyright The Faithbook 2014

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