Friday, January 31, 2014

My marriage

{Continuing on with Courtney at Women Living Well and her online book club!  Chapter 6 and Chapter 7 covered this week!}

This week Courtney blogged about marriage.  She discussed the biblical way a marriage looks and gave us things to think about as we face this age of media and distractions!  I won't even try to repeat what she said but seriously... check it out because it was gooood and she ties it all back to scripture!

December 1999
My husband Jay and I got married 14 years ago!  We were not Christians back then.  In fact we eloped {on his Christmas leave!} because we had already lived together so it was just a formality for immigration. I hired a minister from the yellow pages, had 5 friends witness it in my living room, and had my family live on speaker phone!  I wore burgundy since it was before Christmas and didn't care at all about traditional white.  I also purposely asked the minister to leave religious phrasing and bible verses out of our ceremony.  Even references to our rings being symbols of our "vows", was replaced with them being symbols of "our love and commitment to one another".  The focus was on us and our friendship and our future together.

The minister did ask if he could read a benediction and I agreed.  He closed our ceremony with this:
"Now may the Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. Amen" 

I remember when I first read that in the bible years later, I was like "What?!  That was a bible verse!" {Numbers 6:24-26 to be exact}  I had no idea!  But now I am glad {and grateful} that God's word was indeed spoken at a ceremony that meant more.. so much more than I realized that day.

Young pups at 22
God was working in our marriage long before we recognized it.
It was a miracle that we BOTH came to faith in 2000, just months apart.
And now we are committed to our marriage because we FULLY believe that "a strand of three cords is not easily broken" {Ecclesiastes 4:2}.  That means our marriage is between me, him and God.  I really don't think know for a fact that we wouldn't be where we are today without Jesus as the cornerstone.  {I can be pretty mean and stubborn!}

Jay and I have very traditional roles.  I have NO expectations for him to do dishes, laundry, bathrooms or anything inside the home.  When he comes home from work, he's done.  I want his home to be a haven and I want him to look forward to returning home after a long day at work.
And on the flipside, he doesn't criticize me for what I do and don't do when it comes to housework.  I appreciate that he doesn't nag me either!  Because I am no perfect housekeeper.  I'm going to bed tonight with a sink full of dishes.  Don't judge!  haha!
Our marriage did not always look like this.  When I worked full-time, I nagged him A LOT to help me out around the house.  We definitely fought more because of that power struggle.  Having these clear, defined and traditional roles has really helped us become more of a team and me more calm about things!

"A wife's quarreling is a continual dripping of rain." Proverbs 19:13

We've gone through a lot in our time together and although things are great now, one of our biggest struggles is probably being intentional about spending time together.  We both have a few different hobbies and limited time to do them so we can easily put our marriage on the back burner as we pursue our individual interests. It's easy to see how people grow apart.  Having regular dates, conversations and being mindful of what we're doing in the evenings is important.  I don't want to grow complacent sitting side by side on our individual ipads and iphones.

I blogged last year about a lady at my church who talked at our MOMS group.  She compared marriage to gardening.  {Click HERE to read that.}  I just love the analogy that weeds grow in gardens and likewise in marriage.  We have to weed and put in time and effort to have the pretty, blooming garden we want!  And I know that just because we are good today doesn't mean we will be next week.  We have to constantly check in because weeds grow fast!  {Especially with a hormonal momma bear in the house!}

Courtney said in her book on page 81 that men "married us because they loved the sparkle in our eyes when we smiled at them.  They loved how we made them feel.  They loved how we respected their thoughts and wanted to hear and understand them."  I don't know why it's so easy for those things to disappear after marriage but with a little loving effort, our marriages can be strong and good, the way God intended them to be!

{And a lot of fun along the way!!}

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kbmama said...

Really great post Mary!

In Light of the Truth... said...

You guys are adorable! Love your story!