“What marriage has taught me about us”

Marriage is the place where we should be able to flourish.  Marriage is the place where one can build up or tear down. 
Marriage is the place where you can know sin or grace. 

One of my friends recently called me and told me that a couple that got married around the same time my husband and I did, is now struggling in their marriage. The struggle for them is so real that the newly married woman decided to go stay with her mom and has been questioning her husband’s walk with God. This led me to reflect on my own marriage. My husband and I get along really well and recently we have heard rude comments that we are in this place because it’s fresh and there are no kids. When people say comments like this, I think to myself, “what makes you think that my marriage is meant to look like a failure?” Statistically speaking more than 50% of marriages fail and they say the first year is the hardest. I have had reasons to dislike my husband but I didn’t get married to be always happy. I got married with the intention to serve my husband, grow together, and honor God through our covenant. We have been married for about 7 months and I absolutely love him even though I struggle with him taking the lead. You see before getting married I was the definition of Miss Independent and often called a free bird. Being single the whole mindset of independence can be helpful. But once you get married I learned that this is not helpful because it’s no longer “I got this” but it’s now “we got this.” Marriage is teaching me about respect, why Jesus was right, and how to become less selfish.

Without Jesus, I would dislike my husband and try to run away as fast as I can. Not because my husband isn’t great but because change and discomfort can make one run fast. My childhood was not easy and when things got tough, I ran away mentally.From a young age, I had the desire to meet someone who would love me and call me his wife. Finally, the day came and I met the man that would become my husband. I knew going into marriage, that it wouldn’t just be “I” any longer but “us.” Going into this meant that I was going to have to be less selfish because now I had to look out for someone else other than myself. That is tough!For most of my youth I have been doing life on my own because my parents weren’t really around. By learning to make my own decisions I learned to rely on myself. When we got married the first few weeks where really hard on me. I would cry and get frustrated because I was uncomfortable with change. Change such as a new place and not living the independent way I was used to. So many things changed for me before getting married. I had just moved from South Africa, I was there as a missionary on my own. And before that I lived in sunny San Diego. In San Diego and South Africa, I lived a pretty bold and free life. If I wanted something I made sure, I found a way to get what I wanted.

But then marriage happened and everything changed. I went from doing whatever I wanted to do, to now having to ask my husband for permission to do things. I asked for permission for simple things such as can I purchase this or can I go to a certain place. I didn’t ask for permission because my husband asked me to do so, I did it because when I read the bible I am called to honor and respect my husband. A way in which I do this is by giving my husband a place and a voice in our marriage. My husband has said, “no” to many requests I have had. Hearing him say,” NO!” has made me cry. I think I cry because of not being used to hearing the word “no” this word makes me feel as if something is wrong. Now as an adult when I hear “no” I want to throw a fit like a little girl. But I am learning even through the discomfort that my husband is the leader and that I can trust his judgment. My husband’s role in this marriage is to be the leader and I have learned that we work best as a team when he is the one leading and I submit. God entrusted us both with one another and we believe in the biblical teaching in how a wife is called to respect her husband, to honor him, and submit to his direction from God.

I have seen that marriage is about allowing our relationship to reflect Jesus, to die to self, to love one another, to serve one another, to speak truth, to honor, to respect, and point one another to Jesus. With ultimately getting to that place of understanding that marriage is not meant to fulfill you because only Jesus can fulfill you. 

The way we look in our continued grow together as a couple is by submitting ourselves to Jesus. To see him be the foundation on which our marriage and everything we do will stand. There have been times when my husband and I misunderstand each other and during these times I am constantly reminded to ask the holy spirit to intervene. When God is invited into the midst of an argument or misunderstanding he has shown me his “Will” provides a presence of peace and clarity.

I am in this marriage to win! My husband is not my enemy, he is my friend, my lover, and my adventure partner in this thing called life. We realize that marriage will have some good seasons and some not good seasons that come along but we look to embrace Jesus as our savior. Marriage is about discovering each other, not assuming, and asking questions instead. Marriage is about honoring one another and cheering each other on. Marriage is about being okay with change and growing together through the change. Marriage is about speaking truth and encouraging one another. Marriage is about laughing more rather than taking everything so serious. Marriage is about coming together and becoming one rather than arguing and pulling apart. Marriage is a covenant, a place where vows were once said, and a place to reflect to the world what a Godly marriage should shine like. 

Ephesians 5:22-33 New International Version (NIV)

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

10 Ways to show your Husband Love

#1 Respect & Trust: A man’s biggest desire in life is respect and a woman’s is love. A woman tries her best to love her husband, without realizing that his biggest desire is respect. The bible even tells us this: Ephesians 5:33 However, each one of you also must love his wifeas he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.I added trust also because trust is in the same category for men as respect. Men do not feel respected when you do not trust them. So, ladies next time you want to not trust your husband or yell at him remember that love for men equals respect.

#2 Sex without conditions: I have heard in the past women manipulating their husbands with sex. Stories such as women keeping sex away from their husband if they don’t get their way. A husband should never have to be punished to go without sex. Now don’t get me wrong if your husband has done something to not want you to lay with him such as cheating, pornography, or physical abuse this is understandable and you both need to seek help. But if this is not the case then remember this: 1Cor 7:3-4 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

#3 Cook and get creative in the kitchen: It has been said that the way to a man’s heart is through his belly so ladies get creative in the kitchen and bless your husband with a nice meal. Besides a nice meal other things your husband will feel loved by you, will be making him new things such as desserts, smoothies, juices, and even tasty salads. 

#4 Share your emotions with him without complaining: Think back to when you were first dating your husband. The way you communicated with him about how you felt was appropriate rather than nagging or complaining. When a woman is first trying to impress a man, she tries not to seem like she is crazy with her emotions but once she gets married she feels like she has the right to act like a psycho with those emotions. Ladies remember yes, it’s okay to share your emotions and feelings with your husband but ask for his advice or a listening ear and do not over complain or take out your negative emotions on him.

#5 Allow him to be the leader: A husband wants to feel like a man and not a child. As women, we love to be helpful and remind our husband of things we believe are important but if we are not careful it can sound demanding rather than a gentle reminder. So, find ways to communicate and make sure he knows that he is the one leading your household.

#6 Remember that you are both in the same team: Don’t ever take what your husband says personal and instead ask questions if you do not understand. Rather than getting frustrated at your husband come together as a team player and find solutions.

#7 Conversations that stimulate him: Be interested in what he is up to whether it’s his job or what he is up to. Ask questions and remember that your husband is not only your husband but he should be your friend to.

#8 Be open to new sexy ideas he wants: Ask your husband what he finds sexy and be okay with asking him to be specific. Share with him you ask because you would like to surprise him with being sexy with the things he likes when he least expects it.

#9 Pray for him and grow spiritually together: The best way to show someone love is to pray for them constantly and to be growing spiritually together. When God is the focus of your marriage he himself will bring you closer together.

#10 Be responsible with your emotions: If you need healing from your past or the now rather than attacking your husband make sure you work towards healing. Guard your mind, heart, body, spirit, and soul through God so that you can be present and loving towards your husband. If you need help by speaking to someone remember that it is okay to go to a therapist.

Learning to respect God & my husband when I don’t get my way…

I usually write everyday whatever I feel God putting in my heart, so if I get a topic I write about it. In my time of being married, God has been teaching me an important lesson and that is respect. On my wedding vows, I used the word sassy and told my husband I would honor him, even when I wanted to be sassy, I would honor him because I realize he is a gift from God.
I have been married for 2 months and let me tell you, it has been a true testing of the words I used on my vows of choosing to honor my husband and God….

Marriage was the opposite of everything I thought it would be; when I got married I had in my head things would be a certain way, and the moment they weren’t I truly wanted to be disrespectful. 
For a moment, I was so upset with God and my husband. The old me would want to run away and not give honor to whom it is due, but God and my husband deserve my respect. 

When my husband and I got married, we came into the marriage with about $5,000 each, so we had $10,000 in total. My idea was that we could use the money to get started off on  the right track; we chose to move to Oklahoma because this is where it felt right. My husband’s parents live here also, so I had suggested to my husband we stay with them for little bit until we got settled down with jobs and everything. But, my husband’s timeline of a short time was 1 year; when I said a short time, I meant a few months. I was so upset when he mentioned 1 year, as I saw that being newly married it was important for us to have privacy and be on our own. From there it felt like things just weren’t going my way, from my husband wanting me to consult him with every decision I made, to not knowing how to communicate and taking things personal. 

Also, others things that made me so upset and added to my anger were that there was so many mosquitos, and also that during the summer when it’s so hot we would be driving around in a car with no AC.

Everything felt like it was going wrong and I was beginning to get so upset to the point I did not want to respect my husband because I wasn’t getting my way. But, I got myself to a place of surrender in prayer, and asking God to give me a heart for Oklahoma and my circumstances. Rather than complaining, I began to thank God for the things that upset me such as: “God, I thank you that we have a car to get around” or “God thank you that we can stay with his parents for this year and save.” The more I began to focus on the good, the happier I became, and also the more my marriage improved in a positive way. I began to listen to my husband, and to fully communicate my heart with him. Things have gotten so much better, and it’s because I chose not to get caught up in my feeling of wanting to be disrespectful, but I chose to surrender and ask God for His help.

I hope this post encourages you to respect God and your husband, in whatever situation you are currently going through. 

Proverbs 4:23“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”