Wednesday, January 06, 2016

What My Husband Has Taught Me Through Marriage

Marriage is no easy task. I am fairly certain most will agree. Some, have married their best friend while others, have married an individual the exact opposite of him or herself. When I go to a search engine and look up information about marriage, numerous articles are presented. Some stating the divorce rate in the United States is on a decline. Others offer up the top reasons why marriages fail and suggestions on how to keep them solid. Regardless, I think it is safe to say, no one plans on getting divorced when he/she gets married. Further, couples might not have a full grasp on what it takes to stay married. For me it has been, and continues to be, a constant adjustment or adapting to this “stranger” I vowed to “honor and obey” for the rest of my life. I will say, I was relatively young when I got married, 22 years old, and only knew my spouse for one year before tying the knot.

From time to time I think about what I have learned, thus far, from my marriage. Today, I have chosen to focus on what my husband has taught me and tomorrow I will highlight how God has grown me using my marriage of sixteen, going into seventeen, years.

I am, by far, a stronger person now than I have ever been and I have my husband to thank for it! I have been well informed limitations are only in my mind. When I challenge myself, push the envelope, keep going when I want to quit, I reach new heights I never knew were possible! This is not in a prideful way of seeking power but rather in an endurance and durability type way, if that makes sense. I have discovered tenacity, perseverance, and determination I otherwise never would have known. I have found my strength is not in myself, though, but in Christ who gives it to me (Philippians 4:13).

My husband has shown me the art of independence…how to not fear, how to be fully accountable and self-sufficient, how to not let unexpected life events deter me but instead keep pushing forward without looking back. I know, without a doubt, where there is a will there is a way and many times I have to think outside the box and be a little creative. I have learned if an emergency situation was to arise and my husband was no longer able to work, protect, or provide for our family, I can hold down the fort.

Selflessness and Service
I believe finances are a sticky or even "hot" topic in any marriage. My husband has impressed upon me how important it is to have and follow a budget and to know your limitations...for many reasons. Not only to help "keep the peace" but also so one can serve others. If there are no funds available, how can one assist those in need? As I mentioned before, I was fairly young when I got married and was used to spending the money I earned however I saw fit. I had only myself for whom to care. Marriage, to me, is about collaboration and that may take a lot of practice!

I read, somewhere, church is "a hospital for sinners"...and marriage is made up of two sinners. Further, that sin could be ANYTHING ranging from lust to deceit, from ungodliness to hatred, from gossip and/or slander to drug abuse and/or alcoholism, from selfishness to adultery, from pride and/or discontentment to verbal, mental, and/or physical abuse, from worldliness to a lack of self-control. All sin is "big sin"...just a tiny drop contaminates everything!

With that said, selflessness and wisdom are HUGE in marriage. Biblical men are called to love, as they would their own body, and lead their wives and families whereas biblical women are called to "help", like the Holy Spirit, and respect their husbands. Both rolls are VERY important and it is HARD, relentless work! I, personally, can see how an unequally yoked couple could, and most likely will, become overwhelmed and exhausted from battling sin. Selflessness, wisdom, service and forgiveness are essential!

I have learned to put my husband’s needs and desires first. Next, those of my children. And, lastly my own. I recall reading about “J.O.Y.” Serving Jesus first, others second, yourself last. My marriage, works the best this way although it is, admittedly, a challenge for me. Right after I graduated high school I moved out of my parent’s house and was on my own for four, almost five, years. I had my own place, lived over sees for a bit, only consulted myself, came and went as I pleased, and did whatever I wanted. I answered to no one but God and only had to care for myself. My children, all of them, are a true blessing and I would not trade them for the world! My marriage has taught me humility, service to others, and what it means to be a good steward…among many other things.

Closeness to God
I am closer to God, now, than I ever have been thanks to my marriage and my husband. I read a published photo, one day, that stated, “Marry someone who makes you fall in love with God every single day.” And I can honestly say, I have. I am more in love with God than ever!

I was very close to God while I was in high school. I made a convenient with Him that I would remain virtuous throughout high school, which I did. I recall sitting on the trunk of my parent’s car, many days, gazing at the sky. I prayed to God, in my heart, thanking Him and beseeching Him to make me a warrior for Him. My cup runeth over. After graduation I attended a university, wandered away and got “lost”. I moved a few times. Worked oversees for a bit. And ultimately remained “lost” for ten years. But, as is His promise, Jesus came and found His lost sheep, me! Since then, I listen for His voice, recognize it, and follow Him fervently.

Because of my marriage and my husband, I have grown in my faith by leaps and bounds. Not since high school have I felt so close and devoted to God and His precious Son! Further, I am abundantly thankful I can train my children up right, so they will not depart from it.

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