First of all, thanks so much for getting married and adding three glorious, ADULT events to my offspring saturated calendar. My eyebrows and mom jeans closet are grateful for a reason to wax the ladies back into place and locate a dress that does not require kid proofing. For these, I am indebted to each of you.
You are absolutely beautiful, very accomplished young ladies. I am excited to watch you, listen to you, laugh and cry with you in the coming years about this great sending out from and clinging to that is your marriage. Our God is just about to launch you down the aisle into one of the great lessons of life.
Personally, this lesson has afforded me the immediate result of realizing how purely selfish I am straight through to the core. Naturally, God, who is LOVE and SELFLESSNESS, has designed a fantastic antidote to self obsession.
Enter husbands. Enter marriage.
I am cognizant of the fact that I am only nine years ahead of you on this venture. Please understand, I am not claiming mastery of such a complex lifetime undertaking. Each marriage is vastly different. However, like the cookies I often scarf in secret, there are a few key ingredients that, when omitted from the recipe, cause those little chocolate delights to just not taste right. So it is with marriage. Remembering to consistently include a few key ingredients into marriage seems to perpetuate attitudes and hearts turned toward each other.
Without further ado, following are seven nuggets I have learned through trial…and trial..and many errors. May they assist you in causing the roots of your marriage to grow deep and strong within your covenant.
1. GET YOUR SEX ON.
‘Tis true, the devil will do everything he can to get you into bed before marriage and everything to keep you out after the rings have been placed. It seems there is an unexplainable hardening between husband and wife when too many days pass without a toss in the hay (wherever that hay might be located). It feels like a subtle, almost undetectable separation. Something’s amiss. 90% of the time once the act has been completed, there is a softening in mannerisms toward each other once more. This doesn’t have to be a drawn out affair. If it has been a while, simply knock off a quickie before the water boils for dinner, just to get the poison out. Seriously, does the trick. We have all heard the sages discussing how important it is for a man to engage in this physical act within the God ordained confines of marriage-turns out it’s true.
2. DON’T DO THE DISHES FOR YOUR HUSBAND.
Do them for God. When I begin to notice that I am doing everything for my husband it always follows that I notice what he is NOT doing for me. It turns into a 50/50 relationship mentally. If I surrender this all and work at completing the tasks for my Father in Heaven, the 50/50 scale tips to a 100/100. Inevitably, my attitude takes an upturn causing my mate to help a little more or be more appreciative (or maybe I’m just more pleasant to be around-which well might be the case).
3. LET HIM JUMP OFF THE CLIFF.
Men need to chase, conquer, kill, adventure. Whether that is on the golf course, in a duck blind, or jumping from a helicopter with a snowboard attached, let him go. Many a quarrel would have been averted if I had only listened to the women in my life on this subject. Acknowledge with him you realize this time is important and negotiate a plan that allows him to escape the pressures of his life; because being the head of a family truly is a heavy weight for men. Let him go, but here is the key: when he returns, BE GLAD TO SEE HIM. If, upon his return, he is greeted by a wife with a scowl and a list of why the weekend was so difficult without him, he gets the message that the, “Sure, go” that was on your lips when he left was not what you really meant. I failed MISERABLY at the return greeting for many hunting seasons. It has taken quite a bit of time to rebuild this bridge.
4. PRAY FOR HIM.
You very well may be the only person praying for him. Our husbands battle against the current of a very dry, manipulative, lust filled world the moment they step out of our homes. The only protection he has is from above. Storm the gates of Heaven on his behalf. Pray Scripture over him (Maybe not while he is awake, might freak him out, unless he is open to it). No need to tell him you are engaging in such activities. Just pray and watch the Lord work by protecting the one you love.
5. DON’T TALK WITH HIM ABOUT THE PROBLEM.
Bring the issue to your Heavenly Father for a time (a few days, a week) first. Ask Him to guide you, give you wisdom, the words to say to your man if something needs to be addressed. We had one instance where I felt we were sinning in a particular area in our marriage. I struggled with how I should broach the topic. I took the advise of a wise man and began to pray privately. I was surprised when one morning my husband woke up to tell me that the Holy Spirit had awakened him at 2 AM and told him he needed to fix the very subject about which I had been praying! God is good, trust Him. Words are ever so powerful. Choose them wisely when they are directed toward your lifetime roommate.
6. DON’T TRASH TALK.
Speaking of words-chances are there is at least one person out there speaking unkindly about your man. You should not be one of them. Even in sarcasm with your friends-my bent. Words have the power of EITHER LIFE OR DEATH. There is no gray area in the realm of words. Only speak LIFE about the man who has given you the keys to his heart and self esteem. Always Life.
It is not a naughty word. The Greek definition is filled with power and Life. Look it up and live it out. This one command, if heeded, will avert many an argument and strengthen your marriage beyond measure. In Ephesians 5:33, we are asked to RESPECT our husbands. Not love, respect. Conversely, our men are directed to LOVE us. My personal opinion is the Lord directs us to do the very thing that may not come naturally to us. We love naturally. We are ladies. Respecting a person takes intentional effort. Put in the effort, Beloved.
Lastly, dear Ladies, yes, YOU DID MARRY THE RIGHT MAN. How do you know? Are you married? Then, you married the right one! No second guessing, no falling out of love. Lust is a feeling. Love is a choice; we choose to love. The AGAPE love the Bible asks us to have in marriage has in its meaning that we WILL THE BEST FOR THE PERSON whom we love. This love, a covenant love, is work. It’s rewarding, but it is WORK.
Finally, a blessing, then I’ll stop typing…
May our Father in Heaven go before you and behind you in your marriages. May His Hand of protection be placed upon each of you (Psalm 139:5). May you be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry with one another (James 1:19). May you not often consider the years of your marriage (and life) because God keeps you so occupied with the gladness of your hearts (Ecclesiastes 5:20). And may you have lots and lots of children (Psalm 127).
Love, Chris’ wife.