We had Krystal's bridal shower at the church last night. It was beautiful and turned out perfect! Yesterday I sat down and wrote her a long letter about marriage and just some advice and wisdom that I feel like I've acquired over the last 4 years. As I was writing it, my mind wandered back to that first year of our marriage and how easy it all was. I loved him so deeply, much like I do now...but also much differently. It was almost a fairytale idea of marriage and how life was going to be for the next 80 years. The idea of "working" at marriage seemed silly and I have often thought that even since that first year. However, as time has gone by I realize that it is not such a silly concept..."working at your marriage." Now, after all of this time and all of these changes, I realize that we work at it every day. I make a choice to wake up every morning and love this man and work to make our life the way that it is. It is not always easy.
I look at Krystal and I know that she is not naive. I know that she is a godly woman who will be directed by the Lord in her marriage. So while writing to her I stated some pretty honest things that would seem to be common sense but are much easier said than done, in my opinion. For instance...
-Never sleep apart.
-Always greet one another with a kiss.
-Forgive no matter what.
-Listen with acceptance.
-Make it a point to pray for your mate every day.
-Pray that God would change YOU and not your spouse.
-Pray that God would continually teach you how to be submissive (this is my biggest struggle).
-Always talk through a disagreement until it is solved.
Of course there were many more things that I wrote, all of which I cant remember. These are a few that stand out in my mind and I tried to include scripture to back up my thinking. God really desires for our marriages to resemble our relationship with Jesus. I explained to her that many times they are. Many times we don't make time to spend with Him. Many times we ignore Him. Many times we betray Him or even argue with Him. It is very much the same in our earthly marriage with our mate. At least in my life the two seem to match very often. It is also refreshing, however, to understand that because our husband's love us, they too are forgiving, accepting, rewarding and patient....much like our God.
Daniel and I have been struggling for awhile now spiritually. I do not mean that we have fallen away from God or that we have become wretched sinners. In fact, we have both felt very close to God. We have, however, felt very distant from our church and I believe the enemy has really torn our spirits about certain things. This past week we watched "Fireproof" for the first time. Although it spoke volumes to both of us about our marriage and how we want to set out every day to make time for one another and improve that which is already great...it spoke even more to us about the Lord and our love for him. My exact words after watching the movie were that I want to have a passionate love affair with Jesus once again. My heart became inflamed with fire for Jesus all in a few moments and I felt alive once again! After prayer and patience, God really changed our hearts. This Sunday we got up and went to church and God did an awesome thing in my heart. I realized that we dont need to change churches or even become distant because of how we are feeling...we need to seek Jesus and let him light us up once again!!! It is an awesome thing to know the love of a King who is concerned in our walk with Him.
So we have started reading the book "The Love Dare" that is derived from the movie. It is like a devotional for us and we are both diligent on doing it every day. In a way it is going to keep us accountable in making sure that we are setting aside time each day for one another and for this marriage. That alone takes effort and passion because it is not easy. But we are determined to stay passionate and empowered in this marriage. If our relationship isnt on track, our children will know it and our love for God will change as well. We have experienced that and we don't want to go back. We have set out to make it a point to cherish each other again...and so far, it is going great!
Last night as we were getting ready for Krystal's shower and I was making sandwiches I realized how much my heart longs to serve. I just love doing that in any way. Yet, I have struggled so many times in my marriage learning how to serve my husband or submit to him. It is my greatest challenge and I have prayed about it for the past 4 years. I have concluded that I will probably always pray about it because God will constantly have to teach me how to be better. But I am willing to run that race because I am striving to be a good wife. I love this man and because I know he is giving as much as I am--I know that I can feel secure in serving him. And I'd even go as far as to say that even if he wasnt giving the way that I am (and there will surely be times when he will not)--I will still set out to accomplish my goal of being the kind of wife that God would have me to be. It is not an easy task because we all know that I have opinions and a strong will, and because of that I sometimes lack self control. However, I am asking God for wisdom in my life and in my marriage and I can see that He is fulfilling that within me! God is an awesome God!!!
Thanks for reading this if you did. I love being able to find time to share my heart with you all. I hope that your lives are as touched by God today as mine has been this past week! I love you all and Happy St. Patrick's Day!