As we continue on this journey of “Self-Examination”, I wanted my last two #WifeyWednesday posts for this month to be personal. Just wanted to share what I have learned and experienced in my marriage thus far. I was going to save this for the end of the year, but it fits perfectly with our blog series this month.
Marriage was instituted to glorify God. One of the main things I have witnessed as I have counseled others and have even struggled with, is the notion that marriage is to glorify God. Our idea of marriage has been misconstrued over time & not in line with God’s purpose for marriage. We have turned marriage into “what’s in it for me”. Hard lesson: it is not about you. Marriage is more than a than a contract, a piece of paper, or pledge. In marriage you are not only committing to each other in companionship, you are committing to each other in everything. Nothing comes before your spouse.
In a nutshell, marriage is to represent how Christ loves the church. Marriage unites two sinners and shows the relationship between Christ and the church. It is put on display in front of the whole world to see. Ephesians 5:25-27 states “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word.”.
My husband and I grew up with great examples of a healthy marriage. Both sets of parents have been married for over 30 years. We understood that marriage would take “work” and “sacrifice” in order to be successful. One of my mentors drilled into my head that marriage is about sacrifice, not compromise. There would be moments ahead where we would not be able to compromise, and would have to sacrifice.
Prior to getting married I knew that marriage would take “work”. As I described to one of my mentees, marriage is the type of work you enjoy … not the 9-5 job that you hate. With that in mind I was aware that there would be days where I would feel overwhelmed but I would need to push through. I have heard people say “marriage isn’t what I expected”. The question is what did you expect (moment of self-examination). Are the expectations you have for your spouse fair? Can you live up to those expectations? I learned from the beginning that I could not place my happiness in the hands of my husband. That is so unfair. He is human just like me. There will be moments where he “fails” me.
In the beginning we struggled because my love language is “quality time”. My husband works late nights and due to his photography business, he also works weekends. In that instance I felt as if my “needs” were not being met. I had two choices: 1) Be angry and hold it against him 2) Communicate and work through it. “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down” (Proverbs 14:1). I choose to be wise. Instead of nagging I prayed that he would work less hours, prayed that I would continue to love in tough times and sacrificed my own time for him. After some time, he is the one that came to me with solutions. We made sure we did our best to never skip a date night (#FridayNightDateNight) and established good communication when one felt “neglected”.
Let’s be real. That small incident could have grown into something much larger. If I chose to be angry .. everything he did thereafter would make me want to explode. If he left the cabinet doors open, forgot to take out the trash or did not help me cook during the week … my anger and frustration would just build. I wouldn’t love him with sacrificial love. This is what self-examination is all about. Looking at yourself and understanding what you are capable of doing, BUT choosing to do the right thing.
For my followers who are single: Please remember a man who will lead you to God and not to sin, is always worth the wait! Be patient in your season of singleness. The person that God wants for you will bring you closer to the God. You will see biblical traits in them (fruit). You have to examine their lives because that is the person you are going to be with until death. You need someone who is going to run the Christian race and keep up with you. If you think that you have found the one keep praying and God will tell you in prayer and thorough confirmation. If you are waiting for a spouse, keep praying that God sends someone your way. While you are praying for someone, someone is also praying for you. Trust in the Lord.
For my followers who are married: Is your marriage a reflection of God? Since we are made in His image (Genesis 1:27 ) your marriage should reflect Him. Are you being selfish, stubborn, belitting? Always ask yourself if your actions are glorifying God. Learn to makes sacrifices and love in that manner. Stop thinking about the things you aren’t getting, and focus on what your spouse does very well.
My prayer is that God will teach us how to build up our relationships, friendships and marriage, & keep us from tearing it down. Whether in word or in deed, we need to seek to honor each other and glorify God daily. May we have the strength to walk in sacrificial love, and a deep desire to press on in faith. Even on the days when it doesn’t feel good to do so, may we continue to walk in His will.
I will most likely do a video at the end of the year to celebrate my one year anniversary of marriage and share some more insight on the things I have learned.
For His Glory Only,