This past weekend, Ben and I celebrated our first anniversary on a cruise in the Caribbean! Someone tell me where the time has gone?!! I can hardly believe it was over a year ago now that we were standing in front of all our friends and family vowing to each other our lives and unconditional love . . . sharing our very first kiss and embrace.
Over this last year, the Lord has taught me a lot, and I’ve learned so much from my wonderful husband as well. I was talking with a friend recently about some struggles she was having at the time and it allowed me the opportunity to sit down and write some thoughts down about my marriage that she’s graciously permitted me to share with all of you.
I’ve found it’s good to step back every now and then and evaluate my motive behind the things I do in my marriage: is it because I truly want to see my husband succeed and be that help he needs? If so, as much as possible, I need to do what I can to make his interests mine; get into what he likes; whatever bandwagon he’s on, I’ll jump on it and enjoy the ride. If that wagon changes next month and he’s on to something else, that’s where my priorities should go, too.
More than any other relationship, I want to keep the peace in my marriage. This works when I turn any frustrations in my head to speaking the truth in my heart: that my husband, under all his decision making, really cares for me and wants to impress me; that he wants our marriage to be a raving success. I’m the queen in this man’s life, and my opinion of him matters more than all the employers he’s ever had his whole life combined. The respect I communicate towards him (or lack of it), can either build him up and give him confidence to be who he was made to be, or tear him down and cause division between us.
Whatever bandwagon he’s on, I’ll jump on it and enjoy the ride.
Sometimes when a man is feeling challenged, he may test the waters a little to determine if his woman is really on his side. He needs to know you are there to support him, no matter what. This hasn’t really been the case for us, but we have found great benefit in knowing our roles in this new life together. Even things as simple as organizing responsibilities and purposefully organizing who’s in charge of what in your life together will allow each of you to give the other space to do their “tasks” their way. That doesn’t mean there can be no future input whatsoever from the other, but it gives a starting point. If there is a disagreement on something, do as much as you can to talk it through and work something out with which you’re both comfortable. However, if you can’t come to an agreement, in the end, because your man is the man in your house (and you wouldn’t want it any other way), what he says goes. If you don’t get things your way, just remember, true submission is a bowing of the heart, not a verbal agreement to do things his way. Be happy to make your man happy. Be on his side when his plans work out, and when they don’t.
True submission is a bowing of the heart, not a verbal agreement to do things his way.
If it’s not clear to you already, draw out from your husband what direction he wants your family to go. That’s his job and responsibility as the man. Your job as the wife is to support his leadership and do all you can to see plans succeed by bringing your gifts and abilities to the table. Meet for coffee
somewhere and assign roles in your home. Organize yourselves to be a lean, mean working machine! Know where you’re strong, know where
you’re weak, and where he’s strong and weak, and set yourselves up for success by playing to your strengths.
One of the most important things I’ve learned this year is not just the importance of communication, but how beneficial it is to communicate carefully. It’s amazing to me how differently a comment is received by a man when it is said blithely vs. when it is said carefully and with respect to his place in your life. I try to leave room for there to be more to the story than may have occurred to me before I let my opinions slip out. If I come across as accusing, I find my husband will immediately jump into defense mode, so instead I try to say things in a way that gives him room to look into his heart, and me to look in mine, for us both to be honest with ourselves as I share how something makes me feel. Instead of saying things like, “You are so insensitive and unloving to me!” or, “You always do that! Why don’t you ever listen to me?!” try this approach: “When you said _______, it felt like maybe you were____” or “I was wondering if next time we __________ we could do it this way?” Practice makes perfect. Build habits of speaking with respect, and you won’t be thinking twice about it in years to come.
Build habits of speaking with respect, and you won’t be thinking twice about it in years to come.
The reality is, you’re not always going to be on the same page as your man. You’re two different people with different strengths and weakness, different points of view, and different upbringings. It’s all beautiful, really, how God draws two reckless human beings into one life-long marriage and points them on their wild journey together to learn to die to self, give without holding back, and love with no expectation of return.
Learn to die to self, give without holding back, and love with no expectation of return.
Happy anniversary to the man who wins my heart over and over again every day, who has guided, guarded, and nurtured me since day one of our journey together. I love you with all my heart!