How did *a* post turn into a *3* post series?! Thanks for sticking with me through my wordiness…I pray you’ve been able to walk away with at least a little bit of encouragement or with a new something you want to try in your marriage.
I also would love to hear back from you guys…got any marriage advice burning in your heart to share? I love to hear pearls of wisdom from other walking the same path I’m on!
So here we go…my top 2 pieces of marriage advice…
2) Laugh. Every. Day.
When I got married, my mother-in-law told me that she could promise me one thing…that her son would make me laugh every. single. day.
And the beautiful thing is that it’s true. (Turns out her mil said the same thing to her!)
I don’t know if I would have named laughter as something that was super high on my priority list for a mate or marriage before I met Chris, but now I can’t imagine how to do this marriage thing without it. Through the good, the bad, the ugly, Chris and I have been able to come together through silliness and laughter.
We’ve had plenty of tough days and hard conversations, but laughter reminds me that we in this together. We’re on the same team. It reminds me that he’s my best friend.
That’s not something I ever want to lose.
That being said, there have been situations in which we’ve had to train ourselves to look for the laugh, to let loose, to be vulnurable. One particular area we’ve both really had to work on is in the bedroom. Any married person out there knows that things don’t always go as planned in there, and at times you can find yourself in a bit of an embarassing situation. Instead of turning red and shutting down, we’ve trained ourselves to laugh it off. Same thing with my occasional habit of burning dinner.
The point is this: you can A) get mad or embarassed or annoyed or B) you can let it roll off and giggle about it like co-conspirators.
I’ll let you take a wild guess at which makes your day more fun. 🙂
1) Keep your eyes on Jesus…recognize that He is a part of every conversation and interaction
Whoa nelly. This is a hard one.
I first heard this truth in one of the “Love and Respect” lessons by Dr. Emerson. He was describing an all too common scene…a “discussion” between a husband and wife. It’s not going well (most “discussions” don’t) and at every word there is a chance to further stir up trouble, to cut one another down, to dig that hole even deeper.
It’s at this moment that Dr. Emerson says you need to remember who you are looking at. And it’s not your spouse.
He explains that in these moments, with your spouse or anyone else, you need to keep your eyes on Jesus. It doesn’t matter what your spouse says. Keep your eyes on Jesus. It doesn’t matter that they bring up old issues. Keep your eyes on Jesus. It’s not about reacting to their words or behavior, it’s about acting in obediance to what Jesus has commanded YOU to do.
YOU are responsible for YOU.
That’s it. Period.
You gotta know Jesus, know your bible, and pray for strength to follow His commands, regardless of what others are doing or saying. Moment by moment. Word by word. Action by action. Keep your eyes on Jesus.
I think my church girls and I learned this lesson when we gathered together one night to pray for our husbands. The goal was not to trash talk, not to ask God to “fix them.” It was really about lifting them up before the Lord as spiritual leaders of our homes…because our husbands and families are just flat under attack. The crazy thing is that as we began praying, we found ourselves more and more praying for ourselves. Praying that God would get us out of the way. That we would follow Jesus in spirit and truth so that in turn our husbands could battle the enemy instead of us. That we would keep our eyes on Jesus and let HIM decide how to move in our husbands life, instead of trying to tell both of them what changes needed to be made.
It’s easy to get caught up in thinking that my husband is somehow controlling my happiness or my behavior (I only said ____ because he ____. or He made me ____ when he ____.) but the truth is that I alone am responsible for my choices. To sum it up, it’s not about finding/being married to the right person, it’s about becoming a person with a right relationship with God.
Keep. Your eyes. On Him.
I’m not perfect at it, but I find myself seeking Him….looking to Him….more than ever before.
I pray the same for my husband.
I pray the same for you.
I could go on and on about that last one…God has just been teaching me so much. I’ll leave it at that for now, and wish you a happy Wednesday. Thanks for letting me share all of this with you…it’s been a great reminder for me!
KEEP CALM & STAY MARRIED
P.S. – And when in doubt…get a dog! Seriously, Chris and I have worked through issues we didn’t even know we had thanks to dealing with our pup. Raising a puppy has revealed layers of selfishness, assumptions…just all sorts of ugliness. But we’re getting there, and I’d like to think that the lessons we’ve learned will carry over into real human babies. Right?! 😉