Today is my wedding anniversary – nine wonderful years!
When my husband and I decided to marry, we agreed that divorce was not an option. Thankfully we both come from parents who are still married to each other, as well as all four of our grandparents (most are gone now, but they were still married when they passed). I think that agreement has been key to sticking it out when arguments come and the tension is thick, for days or even weeks, and learning to work out your frustrations with each other and not by leaning on other people. I think we’ve learned a lot in the past 9 years, though I know there’s much more to learn!
We’ve had our ups and downs just like anyone else, but through it all, I’ve not had to worry if my husband was going to give up on us, or if I was going to give up on our marriage. Did it cross my mind? Sure. In the heat of the moment, all kinds of things cross my mind, but it is immediately snuffed out by the reminder of our agreement before marriage: Divorce is not an option. Plus, the thought of being a single mom is enough to fizzle any amount of discontent!
Sometimes I wasn’t sure if we were really meant to be married to each other, but I must say that I have learned that we ARE meant to be together, and we are LEARNING to love each other beyond the physical sense because GOD put us together and wants us to STAY together.
In the last few years, I have truly learned how selfishness can root itself down deep in a person, so that you don’t even recognize it. And selfishness is exactly what our American culture thrives on, and I would say it’s a major cause of divorces today. How often do we hear or even tell ourselves “I deserve …?” When it comes down to it, one or both people decide to live for themselves instead of each other. The biggest decision of any marriage should be that you love that person so much that you will sacrifice yourself/your time/your space/your wants/your needs for the betterment of your spouse. And your spouse should feel the same way about you. Forever.
Here’s some things I’ve learned as a wife (and mother) in the past 9 years:
always help around the house. Well, mine doesn’t, but he will do one or two things if I ask him nicely. Last week I was rounding up the kids for bath time and bed time and I asked him to sweep the dining room. He did!
- Husbands are helpful fathers. Hmmm, not always. My dear husband loves his children, but he firmly sees it as the mother’s job to care for them. While this is sometimes frustrating, I have also learned that it IS my job. God blessed us with these children, and as set forth in his Word, it is the mother’s job to rear the children and by doing so, serve the Lord. That being said, my husband is very good with helping with homework, bath time and bed time! I know I am blessed to have a husband that will pitch in from time to time!
a man’s job my job to take out the trash. Apparently. Now, my mom takes a full trash bag out of the can and puts it by the back door, then my dad comes along and takes it to the barrels outside. My husband prefers to keep stuffing trash in there until someone takes it out, and I mean out of the can, and out to the barrels outside. I’ve tried the leave it by the door method. In that case, he simply moved it out of his way and went on about his business. 🙄 This used to be a real issue for me and the cause of quite a bit of bitterness, but one day I just decided to accept that he will not do it. I GET to go outside, breathe some fresh air on the walk to the burn barrels (we live outside of town), and enjoy the day God’s given me while I take out the trash. Then I get the satisfaction of putting a clean empty bag in the trash can!
a man’s job my job to unstop the toilet, regardless of who is responsible for it being in that state. I’m still trying to figure this one out. I’ve tried to use a plunger before, but I have yet to be successful.
- Husbands know how to say “Thank You” and “I’m Sorry” when appropriate. I’ve learned my husband is a man of few words, and he has his own ways of saying these things without actually saying the words out loud. ;)
- Flowers and/or gifts on anniversaries, birthdays, and Mother’s Day are standard. Well, no, that hasn’t happened, not even once a year, but you know what? It makes those times when he does so much more special! And, I gotta give him credit for not going out and spending a ton of money on these flower things that wilt three days after you buy them when we really don’t have the extra money to be spending it!
- A good car and a nice house come with as a package deal when you get married. Wow! Wouldn’t that be nice? It took some time for us to realize that this was not the case, and that most of our income was going to debt payments, not buying new things! I heard it said once that young people want nice things immediately after college or marriage, not realizing that it took their parents 20+ years to get to that point. Unless you are richly blessed with no debt and two good-paying jobs, the car/house/marriage package doesn’t exist. It didn’t for us, although we did try, by buying a home and new-to-us truck just 6 months into our marriage! We drove that truck til it died, and we still live in the house we bought (we never plan to leave), but it was hard to pay those bills on the income of two young 20-something-year-olds!
- Housework – it’s really not that hard to keep up with the housework, after all, houses magically clean themselves right??? I don’t know why I had this preconceived in my head, as I remember well all the chore lists my mother made for my sister and I through the years, but after having babies, I realized that housework DOES pile up. In fact, the only thing “magical” is how fast the house gets messy again! I hate dusting. I will not tell you how long it’s been since I dusted. Ahem.
- God will take care of you. Every. Single. Time. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been in the red on the bank account, or something on the house breaks and costs hundreds or thousands of dollars to fix, and every time God has provided!
I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me. Psalm 120:1
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.
Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Titus 2:3-5
Bonus Lesson: Life is what you make it. One day it hit me that I am in control over how I feel about my day. If something happens and I end up being woke up in the middle of the night, and it takes me forever to go back to sleep, that might make me want to be in a bad mood the next day. But I can choose to have a great attitude the next day!
It’s as if Lysa is reading my mind! Hop over and read her devotional on marriage today!
Have a glorious day!