So, it's my man's bday. You know that has me thinking about him. How great he is and how much I love him. He's pretty darn terrific... I like him, I think he likes me. I made it official by posting about him on FB. He is my #1, my best bud and I am so thankful that he is my baby daddy... but that's just part of the story... How can I still be happy with this guy after 14 years?
Is it because he's perfect? Nah. Is it because I'm perfect? Well, maybe. HAHA. Is it because we just have flawless chemistry that keeps us madly in love? Does he do things that make me crazy? Yes. Do I do things that drive him nutty? Of course. Is he prince charming? Am I Cinderella? Has this been "happy ever after"? No.
It's been good, it's been bad. It's been easy, it's been hard. It's been close, it's been lonely... and that was all this week. There are times we have strayed apart, there have been times when I've been bitter. There has been hurt, but there has been healing. There has been disillusionment and then there was light.
We have been students, not teachers. We don't have it all together. I don't profess to be a marriage scholar, but I would like to share a few truths I've picked up along the way... Lasting love is not about feelings. Lasting love is about making a choice to put the other person first.
Focus on the positive. Keep at the forefront of your mind why you married this person. The world will remind you every day that your spouse doesn't measure up. The world is offering a mirage of perfection that can never be attained. There is no perfect person, no perfect relationship. There are two imperfectly flawed humans merging into ONE.
"But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his Father and Mother, and cleave to his wife; And then they are no more two, but ONE flesh." Jesus, Mark 10:6-8
My husband and I are opposites in most everything, but crazily after 14 years we are starting to understand each other more and more. In the beginning I could only see my way... My way was always best. If only I could make him see how much better my way was. I didn't take into consideration that his thoughts and insights could help me see a situation more fully and completely. Take discipline for example... I am a control freak. I want things done the way I want them done, when I want them done... or there is hell to pay. My man on the other hand is more merciful. He wants to get to the heart of the situation and is willing to give second chances. I'm learning from him that I can chill out and give my kids a break and everything is going to be ok. There are times that we must discipline, but now we can do it together and both feel like we are making the right decision.
I've come to appreciate our differences and consider them more valuable than the things we have in common. He has offered me a new way of seeing the world, and I'm a better person for that. Two=One.
What about the times when we don't see eye to eye and I cannot bend? I pray. God listens. He speaks to the heart without motive or condemnation. When my heart is burdened by something that needs to be said or done, I am...
"Anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication WITH thanksgiving let your requests be known unto God. And the peace that passes understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:6-7
You see sometimes the way we see things is blurred by things we can't see. It's so much easier to see what another person is doing wrong and sometimes we are blinded by our own sinful heart. I am learning to never confront my husband in the moment. I know I need to take my heart and hurt to God, allow him to search my heart and make it right before I bring my heart to my man.
We have to communicate in our relationships, but I try to apply this verse before I do...
"A soft answer turns away wrath: BUT harsh words stir up anger." Prov. 15:1
I know in this day and time what I'm about to say is backwards and outdated, but it's my favorite verse in the Bible pertaining to the marriage relationship and I claim this promise in my life and I have seen miracles in times that I thought were hopeless.
"Wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if they obey not the word, they may without a word (from us) be won by the conduct of their wives;..... But let the hidden (woman of your heart),... the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." I Peter 3:1-4
Look I know what you're thinking... I just took us back 100 years. Listen to me before you fire that shot. I'm just as much a modern woman as you. I'm NOT saying get in the kitchen and be barefoot and pregnant and let the king rule the castle. I'm just like you... I'm a woman with a lot of opinions. I'm NOT quiet. In fact I'm the loudest person in this house. What I'm talking about here is that God made men with a certain quality that can not be ignored... They need R.E.S.P.E.C.T...
Having a meek and quiet spirit means that I trust God so completely that nothing my husband can do or not do can make me afraid. I can trust that God has this. When I know that God is in control I can let go of control. I can talk and walk and treat my husband with respect. I don't have to belittle or condemn or judge. I don't have to worry or be anxious about the decisions he makes, because I have a relationship with the One who can change his mind, if that's what needs to be changed. Because sometimes it's not him that needs a change and if I leave room for God to work in our marriage then I don't have to clean up the messes that I might otherwise make.
Is any of this easy? You know the answer to that. I believe that lasting love is best accomplished when you first fall in love with the One who never changes, never fails, never leaves or forsakes. When we are loved by and in love with a perfect, grace-filled, mercy-full God, then we can love like he loves and we can trust Him with the rest.
So, Happy Sappy bday to my best friend, my road dog, my baby daddy... The FB pics tell a story of lasting love and friendship, but the back drop is the real focus... A good, good Father put two very different people together and made them One... What God has put together, let no man put asunder.
Let our marriages reflect this verse:
"This is a great mystery: but I am speaking concerning Christ and the church." Eph.5:32
Husband and Wife is supposed to paint a glorious picture of Christ and his bride... What lessons have you picked up along the way that help the world see our Savior through your marriage?