I have been pondering marriage a lot the last couple days and wanted to share seven thoughts I have after seven years:
1. Adapting to my husband makes him and me happier. I am seeing with each passing year the benefit of adapting to Scott. I am also seeing the detrimental affects of not adapting to him and pushing my own agenda. As I adapt to Scott's vision for our family and home I find there is less and less strife. No husband is going to have the exact same agenda as his wife in all things and we must submit to them as unto the Lord, ultimately doing it for God and leaving the results up to Him. I am a lot happier when I walk in my God ordained boundaries. Scott leading and me following works best because it's God's best.
"Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord.” (Eph. 5:22, amplified)
2. Nagging isn't good. It's bad. Real bad. Not sure when you are nagging? Give your husband the freedom to tell you when he thinks you are. :) For me it is best to present my side and drop it. (Lord knows I need to improve in this area!)
"Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife." (prov. 25:24)
"It is not the nagging, but the behavior, that shows Christ in a life. The quiet winsomeness of a wife speaks eloquently of Jesus Christ." Jay E. Adams
"A gracious wife satisfieth a good husband, and silenceth a bad one." George Swinnock
3. Our children are watching us. As Rhea is getting older and understanding more I am sobered. Big time. She is watching. So is Ricky... and Johnny... and soon to be Charis as well. Our children are learning from us every moment they are around us. Rhea is learning from me about how to be a mom and a wife. Am I a joyful mom? Do I whine and complain about my house-wife duties? Or do I do them promptly and with thankfulness? How am I treating my husband? With respect? With love? Kids notice these things. They are constantly, sometimes sub-consciously, taking mental notes that are shaping who they will be as spouses and parents some day. Generations will reap what we sow.
4. Marriage is a GIFT from the Lord! The more I concentrate on his strengths the more I see what a gift he is! So many of us focus on our husband's flaws (which they all have... which WE all have). what fun is that?! That never gets me ANYwhere. Marriage can be such a gift or such a burden. The more we as wives seek to honor our husbands the more we will be blessed and enjoy marriage. The more we resist our man and push our way the more of a burden marriage will be. It's our choice. I have met some women out there married to JERKS! LOSERS! and yet, by God's grace and their desire to please Him they are living happy, fulfilled lives! I have also met some women married to hardworking, kind men and they are miserable. It's all about our focus. Our hope is to always be in God. Our identity is in Him, not our husbands.
5. I am much happier when I accept my husband for who he is! Don't try and force your husband to be someone he isn't! My favorite "wife verses": "Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives." (1 Peter 3:1-2). Reminds me of the Jay Adams quote from earlier. No man is perfect in all ways except our Savior. Be thankful for the man you got! Praise him for his strengths and ignore his weaknesses.
6. Marriage is good for lots of things, like showing me what a selfish/self-righteous person I am. Unfortunately marriage has brought out the worst in me at times... I have done and said some pretty ugly things. All my ugliness, however, brings me closer to Jesus, makes me more thankful for His sacrifice and makes me more dependent on Him... that's always a good thing. Marriage is best when I put Scott's interests before my own. Marriage is not about me (although it does bless me!) It is about Him! It is for Him! It is a representation of Him and His bride!
7. Lastly, marriage doesn't last. It is temporary. In heaven we will no longer have the marriage relationship we have now (Matt. 22:30). Don't take your focus off the Lord! Your relationship with Him WILL last forever. Pour into that relationship the most and all your earthly relationships, including marriage, will be better. He makes all things better.