Marriage Monday, and it’s a blog-whatever-comes-to-mind theme.
With it so close to Valentine’s, that’s an easy one, right?
But I have to tell you.
I’m just not feeling Valentine’s Day.
Honestly, I’m not feeling much of anything.
We go through seasons and we seem to be in winter.
Numbing, never-ending winter.
I think it’s grief, literal grief from a family loss, and grief from a lot of change that came on pretty fast.
Too fast if you ask me.
And today at church I was reeling.
And God met me there.
So, my brain is still mush.
How about I share with you my favorite couples and why?
In random order, here they are:
Andrew Paxton and Margaret Tate, The Proposal. This wasn’t an Oscar winner, but I don’t care. I have to watch this romantic comedy everytime I see it on my channel guide. Margaret is tough and unlikeable until she slowly reveals the layers on why she acts the way she does. You can’t help but root for them.
Bob Rueland and Grace Briggs, Return to Me. This is my favorite movie of all time. Sweet, romantic, funny, and a beautiful soundtrack. Grace needs a heart transplant and receives one, and that’s where the conflict begins. My favorite line comes from the late Carroll O’Connor. He tells Bob (David Duchovny) “When Grace met you, her heart beat for the very first time.”
George W. and Laura Bush. Yes, I’m a Republican, but this is about marriage. They have the perfect story for a bestselling romance. He was a wild, partying rich bachelor and she was a librarian with a personal heartbreak. (She had been involved in an auto accident as a teen that resulted in a fatality.) When he needed taming, she was there with her gentle way, and he listened. Swoon.
Clark Kent and Lois Lane. This couple has had my attention since middle school. He’s the best thing for her and right under her nose. She comes off as independent but needs his rescue every time.
Jesus and His Bride: Oh, I know. Not a typical couple. The Bride is His church, and I don’t mean the building. I mean me. And you, if you know Him in a personal way. The closer you draw to Him, the more you learn. He is romantic, passionate. Hysterical. Kind. A gentleman. Patient. Rich.Forgiving. No matter the season, all He wants is for us to save a place for Him on the couch so He can tell us about His day.
Now that’s love!
Well, wow. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to participate in Marriage Monday, and E-mom doesn’t mess around with the topic.
As in, as a Christian wife blogging on marriage today, why am I still married?
Why haven’t I divorced?
Is commitment a key?
I’m not one to hide behind fancy words or wear a mask when it comes to my feelings. I’m authentic in the what you see is what you get because I promised God I would live a surrendered life to and for Him. I long for women to live free in Christ. And it has to start with me.
I didn’t enter marriage as a secure woman. Rejection was such a part of the “old foundation” that I daily waited for 10 years for the moment my husband would realize what a failure I was and let me know we were done. It was such a fear before he came along I resisted relationships and tried to end them. I tried to break up with my then fiancé/now husband several times before the wedding simply because I was scared.
But in His love, He knocked out that old foundation through Beth Moore’s Believing God and a deeper experience with the Holy Spirit, along with a lot of time. I became solid in who I was and am, and who my Savior is. When rejection came from other sources, it basically bounced off me and I was thankful for the experience.
I started to forget about my husband rejecting me.
And not long after that he entered a burnout that had disaster written all over it for both of us.
He was working 70 hours a week. He went on a business related trip that to this day I feel he caught a spiritual flu. It might not make sense, but being run down in body and spirit, I felt like he was vulnerable. I honestly think he was contagious to what I call the corporate spirit. It’s my own term where appearances matter more than people. A critical nature develops. Perfectionism. Not a lot of compassion.
It wasn’t his fault. He wasn’t just working, he was serving in ministry in a place that was meant for a full time pastor. We had a pre schooler with special needs and a son that deserved his attention.
Day by day, week by week, month by month, and yes, in three years, the man I loved was fading fast. He was tired, striving to please, and feeling in need of having things done as he wanted, when he wanted. Afterall, that’s how corporate mindsets work.
Marriage doesn’t deserve to operate in a corporate mindset, though. As you can imagine, we weren’t walking in unity. As I learned with FamilyLife, if you aren’t in unity, you are in isolation. The stressors built and one night it exploded like lava out of a volcano.
Let me stress, I do not believe this was his fault. It was burn out and a spiritual battle that left us pretty beat up and left for dead.
But in the culmination of that season he did what I always feared.
He let me know I was this and that and we were done.
And you know what?
I had total peace. I mean I literally felt supernaturally protected, like a wall surrounded me where nothing could truly get to me. Not those words.
It was an agonizing night, but for me it had been going on so long, I kind of knew this night would change everything. For better or for worse.
Did you read that last line?
Read it again.
For better or for worse.
We’re together and actually stronger because of that season because we didn’t make a commitment.
We made a covenant.
We vowed to God we would not break up.
Now don’t think those three years were fun, or that night was a great time. It was hard and awful. But when things simmered down I was able to give examples of things I knew he couldn’t see or didn’t realize he had said or done. When I calmly shared, he broke for the Lord and repented on the spot. He was devastated he said the very thing I feared every day for a decade.
And marveled that when he actually said them, I didn’t receive it, nor did I fear or quake in faith.
My two take aways from this is that if you struggle with rejection, let God heal you. For me, Believing God by Beth Moore was huge. His method for you may be different, but please don’t let rejection rule you. Know you are God’s beloved. His cherished daughter. You are royalty to Him. When you have His love branded on your heart, you’ve got no place for rejection, and it feels great. Trust me.
My second take away is live your marriage as a covenant. When you fight, don’t throw the divorce card down to trump him. It’s not fair, mature, and that’s not covenant living. You’re better than that, and so is your marriage.
That’s my take for Marriage Monday and why I haven’t considered divorce.
What do you think about divorce? What does commitment mean to you? What are your thoughts on staying together for the kids?
Feel free to share your comments, and definitely visit everyone sharing their hearts through Marriage Monday.
It’s Marriage Monday! Join e-Mom as she blogs today about money and marriage. When you complete your post, link up so we can enjoy your post, too.
I “Googled” how many times money was mentioned in the Bible. Depending on the version, it’s a safe guess to say over 100. It’s important. One of the statistics I’ve read about divorce is that a top reason for it is $. I’d say today’s topic is one I don’t want to take lightly.
I’m doing something different today. Don’t gloss over it because I don’t have a novel of a post for a change or because my offering seems only to be two links.
I believe these two links will not only strengthen your marriage, they will transform your faith. Our financial crisis was a stressor in our marriage. I felt the burden was all on me to prove “them” wrong, because my husband was at work. I was also the one who felt that phrase come back to me every time I prayed.
I’m being vague, I know.
Because I believe you will find a very specific God who loves you, your spouse, and wants the best for both of you. Especially in a crisis.
Read this first.
Then click here.
I’m happy to be able to participate in Marriage Monday. Today’s topic is all about romance. What’s your experience with romance in marriage? This tends to start off strong from the husband early on, but fades, often leading to disappointment.
I can’t say I have great advice for anyone. But I can share my story and maybe you can relate and not feel so alone. Or, perhaps you are a newlywed and can draw something from this post that will help you implement strategies to keep romance in place.
I still tear up watching Almanzo fall in love with Laura Ingalls and show such vulnerability on her 16th birthday on “Little House on the Prairie.” I warped my VHS tape of “Sixteen Candles” when Samantha walks out of the church and finds Jake waiting…for her. “Never Been Kissed” when Drew Barrymore’s character waits on that baseball diamond and he shows?
Be. Still. My. Heart.
And that’s where I’ve had to set up realistic expectations. Because many of my favorite romantic moments came from great imaginations, writing, and acting. Cinema. Books. But marriage contains what entertainment doesn’t.
Clogged toilets. Laundry. Groceries. Paying bills.
Once the wedding presents have nicks and smudges, it’s normal for the romance that came from dating and those early married years to cool down. I didn’t think about this. After all, my husband even created a computer program chronicling his love for me. He wrote a poem for our first anniversary with a dozen roses. In my mind, he made “16 Candles” Jake Ryan seem like a romantic wannabe.
Fast forward. Two kids. His job demanded a lot of time. Active in ministry.
I went from receiving a poem to getting e-cards.
And for a season, even that disappeared.
I felt rejected, and that quickly turned to resentment. During those years I grew in the Lord and a lot of the baggage I brought to the marriage disappeared. I didn’t need a lot of romance, but I was hungry for anything that would help me see I was viewed as something more than the family secretary, bill payer, laundry master, and diaper changer.
My advice is if this is you, be realistic and understand romance has seasons, it ebbs and flows, but if it feels forgotten, don’t be resentful. Be communicative. One day I blurted how frustrated I was and that if anything happened to me, the only grief would be because he would wonder where dinner was. That got his attention and he stepped it up. But I should have spoken up sooner, and without volcanic anger spewing everywhere.
I also felt like romance was a tit-for-tat competition. If I wasn’t receiving romantic gestures, I didn’t think it was necessary to give them. It’s not a game. It’s a marriage and wives, as hard as it is, we have to initiate a lot of things. I think romance is one of those areas I have to initiate. I have to realize my gesture might not be returned.
But romance is about the heart, and I need to keep track of my heart motives.
Because when I’m operating with the right heart, there’s nothing more romantic.
It’s Marriage Monday! e-Mom wants to hear from you, so take a look, write your post, and link up.
Here’s your chance to tell us what you’ve learned about submission in Christian marriage.
I know that for some women, this is a particularly challenging topic. If you’re uncomfortable with this one, no worries. Feel free to take a pass this time around.
However, if you’re ready to dive right in—but stumped as to how to begin—you might consider selecting one of the following writing prompts.
1. Define the Greek word for submission, “hupotasso” [hoop-ot-as-so].
2. Tell us a story. Show how your submissive attitude blessed your husband on a specific occasion.
3. Expound this biblical passage: Ephesians 5:22-33.
4. Discuss what the Bible has to say about submission outside of marriage e.g. to bosses, political leaders, and other authorities.
Or, you can cover this topic from whatever angle the Spirit leads.
You don’t need to twist my arm to tell a story, and perhaps, this is a story you’ve heard before. But I think it breaks down how simple submission is and hopefully wiped away the many, many misconceptions about it. Too many husbands use the word to treat their wives like a doormat, and too many women live independently within marriage. Before I get into my story, let me say this, I love submission in marriage. You know me well enough to know I’m not a doormat. I get my say, a lot. And yet, it’s important I not trump my husband and take over. We are a team. Yet, submission in part means as head of the home, he’s got to answer to God about how he did. I don’t envy that. But I do want to encourage him in the role. And I believe I’ll have to answer to God about how well I cheered him on.
So here’s my story.
A few years ago we were invited to a wedding out of state. I felt because of the relationship my husband had to the groom, we should go. My husband, knowing what a toll a trip would take on finances and our time with two kids, felt we should decline.
It would be tempting for me to nag on him and keep at him about how important attending would be. Trust me, I wanted to. I could see long-term, and going felt right.
But I felt that gentle nudge of the Lord request I stay silent and be prayerful.
Less than 48 hours later, my husband approached me.
“I just got a call. We’re not just asked to the wedding, I’ve been asked to be in it, as best man.”
That changed everything. He saw what an honor the request was and we both agreed to make the budget work so we could attend and my husband be in it. We had the best time, despite the many miles and short time span.
That’s submission to me. We work as a team. I give my input, but he’s allowed final say. And 99% of the time, he agrees with my input and goes with it. For that rare 1%, it’s up to me to give him that freedom to do what he believes is best on behalf of the family. Sadly, a lot of husbands take this as a pass to do what is best for them personally. That’s not how it works.
When he does something different, it’s my job to let God be God. Perhaps his choice is best, and we’ll be blessed. If he’s wrong, it’s not right to say I told you so. It’s a teachable moment for all of us.
If I allow God to work.
How about you? What are your thoughts on submission?
Wishing you a wonderful day off if you’re able to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. day today.
It’s time for Marriage Monday. Join e-Mom and women from around the world, I suppose, as we blog twice a month about marriage. Today is a prompt for women only where you take the following prompts and answer as fast as you can. Let the other women get to know you. I look forward to reading YOUR answers!
I am….. feeling my age today. Thank you, Pilates.
I want…..the things on my mind to disappear with no effort on my part. I can dream, right?
I have…..so much editing to do it’s overwhelming.
I wish….. I had more time to read.
I hate….. that I have such sensitive hearing. So many sounds hurt my ears.
I miss….. my family.
I fear….. the health insurance process will never be a breakthrough in my life.
I feel….. down, but not out.
I hear….. things from 5 miles away, as well as every small sound you make.
I smell….. my grilled cheese sandwich.
I crave….. chocolate
I search….. for coffee places and their hours so I can plan a meeting.
I wonder….. who will be President.
I regret….. ever eating pizza at Pizza Hut. It does NOT agree with me.
I love….. my hair
I ache…..for people to live free in Christ.
I care….. when people trust me enough to share.
I always….. sleep with my thin pillow my husband calls a sheet.
I am not….. going to argue with a combative person.
I believe….. the days are over for living a lukewarm or dishonest life. You’re for Him or against Him.
I dance….. with my daughter for exercise.
I sing….. along to duets for a fun time.
I cry….. when I’m overtired and/or frustrated.
I don’t always….. believe God, even though I believe in Him.
I fight….. for the underdog.
I write….. surrendered.
I never…. eat brussel sprouts.
I listen….. to kids laugh and never grow tired of it.
I need….. words of affirmation. It’s my primary love language.
I am happy…..because I am blessed.