I have been reflecting on this little thing called marriage, lately.
Not gonna lie, I feel like this
No worries - this isn't going to be a debbie downer post... just being real and telling you why I've been reflecting on marriage recently.
So I have this best friend named, Scott and I'm so lucky to call him hubby :) I know... it sounds totally mushy- so if you don't like that sort of thing... #sorrynotsorry
This picture has to be one of my favorite moments with Scott and it was caught on camera...
Neither of us could wait to say our vows and swear to love one another for the rest of our lives and to make Christ the center of our relationship. Thank goodness God is the provider of that lifetime type of love. So glad it isn't up to us, because
our my selfish nature would take over in a HEARTBEAT and eventually destroy. #hardtoberealsometimes
Is marriage easy? No, you can look at the divorce rate in this country and see that it isn't easy. In fact, it is a lot of work. But work well worth the effort...
Marriage is just like the fairy tales growing up, right? Internet, no! However, I truly believe these movies have put an expectation down in our core regarding marriage and what it should look like. This is very scary because these unrealistic expectations will not be met. If you fall into this trap... please seek me out and we'll chat. #alottosayaboutthis
Is it rewarding? Absolutely! Being married has truly changed my perspective of relationships... of loving others... of Christ's love. I have been challenged so much by Scott in only the way a Godly leader of a husband could do. We both encourage one another to step outside of our comfort zones and that is simply beautiful to me. Not to mention... We have a ton of fun together. I love living life with him! He sees me at my goofiest and my grumpiest and still loves me :)
We have walked so much life together the last 11 years we've known each other. I have loved every second of it--some moments have been easier than others.
Here are some of the things I've learned in my nearly 5 years of marriage... nope- not even going to suggest I am an expert or have enough experience in marriage to really give any valid advice... but here is my heart anyway... take it or leave it!
-Communication is KEY. Ok girls, we just have to get over this notion that guys should always know exactly what we're thinking and feeling just by the way we are acting. Marriage has no room for drama queens.. or kings for that matter - hehe But seriously. Girls- guess what... the words you say are the words your husbands/boyfriends/fiances hear. Let's get over the passive aggressiveness and be open, honest, and real when we communicate with those we love.
-Be selfless. Going back to the fairy tales mentioned above- relationships are not all about me. I can get so wrapped up in myself and neglect any consideration for him--even in the silly day to day things in life. Being selfless is seriously a key to a healthy relationship. Both husbands and wives should put the needs of their spouse before their own. How beautiful is that? Lord- make my heart desire to serve others before myself.
-Realize that a marriage is an illustration of Christ's relationship with the Church. This is where that little covenant I mentioned earlier comes into play. When we 'say yes' are we saying yes to the idea of planning a wedding and going on a vacation afterwards? Are we saying yes to a selfish desire to gain a certain status? Sometimes decisions are made VERY lightheartedly, is it because we don't get what a covenant is? It is a much bigger deal than a promise. Do we truly get the commitment required by this covenant?
-Encourage one another. Know one another's strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to get excited with your spouse and encourage areas of improvement. Make it a point to build one another up... daily.
-Commit to giving and receiving honest, loving correction- this one is tough... especially for people like me who require an extra dose of gentleness in this regard. I need a huge truth/love sandwich when it comes to correction. Yes- pulling out the Laina logic here. Commit to one another that this correction is done out of love-- and be sure to give it with the love of Christ. If both parties are pursuing Christ first... they will not only automatically grow closer to one another.... but they will humbly approach correction whether giving or receiving it.
-Never go to sleep upset with one another. This has been huge in our relationship. Especially while I was working full time and a full time student. It seemed as though the only time we had to talk was right before bed. Well- when we are tired we both get a little grumpy.. which does not always make for the best attitudes to approach a discussion about a disagreement. So getting the issue discussed and getting on with life before we go to sleep has been HUGE for us. My nature is to hold a grudge... and not forget the instance, instead let it pile. Lord, you know this is something I constantly battle with, and I sincerely ask you for an attitude towards forgiveness like Yours.
-Know each others love language. I'm not endorsed by an authors-- nor do I think you HAVE to read a book to tell you how your spouse gives and receives love. While, these resources can be great starting points- it is not a one size fits all type of concept.
-Keep nothing from one another. This one can be touchy... some people will disagree with me here. I truly believe to have a healthy marriage- the dirt has to be discussed. Things from the past can really hurt to bring up and hash out. I truly believe an open and honest relationship is the healthiest-- and that means talking about each others pasts-- no matter how hard it is. Like I said.. marriage isn't easy. But to have a marriage that is an illustration of Christ's relationship with the church-- everything must be out in the open and forgiveness granted willingly and graciously.
-It is so important to invest in your spouse. Spend time with them, making them a priority- not an after thought to your day. Invest in who they are- not attempting to mold/change them into who you think they should be. Be in love with who THEY ARE.. not who you think they could potentially be- that will always end in heartache.
Well- I'm going to stop there for tonight... there is so much more I'd love to say... so I'm sure this will get brought up again.
What have you found to be key to any marriage? Even if you're single, engaged-- what have you seen in other couples that seem to be key elements to a healthy relationship?