Is Marriage What You Thought It Would Be?

1525362_754230801271844_1053880033_nToday we celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. On our wedding day 20 years seemed so far away but we blinked and we have arrived.

Of course we arrived over a longgggg bumpy road. Sometimes the trip was lovely and sometimes it was not. We have been blessed with many magnificent moments. We have also been blessed with a fair share of yucky ones.

If you have a few years of marriage under your belt the realization that it is not the fairy tale you dreamed has probably slapped you upside the head a few times.

Our culture portrays this illusion of how marriage should be.When we grow up we have this kind of warped perception . We think we can fill the void in each other.

We all saw Jerry Macguire. The “You complete me” line made us swoon. That line, among many other things, set an unobtainable bar.

I don’t know about you, but we went into marriage expecting the other person to make us happy.

When we fell short we felt cheated.

We started to blame the other person for our discontent.

I am sure our marriage story is like most. There was lots of finger pointing, feeling victimized, feeling like we are the ones who did the most, plus a thousand other small petty grievances. All of these perceived slights led to lots of disappointment and ugliness.

We were expecting the other person to do what God wants to do for us. How much pressure is that? How could we not flounder? Everyone comes into marriage flawed and with some type of baggage. The other person is not there to fix us. Sure they can help us unpack some of that baggage, but the fixing is ultimatly between us and God

After quite a bit of time in marriage counseling, going to bible studies and being surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, we finally realized the only way to be complete was to rely on Jesus. It took a ton of pressure off.

Our marriage isn’t what I dreamt it would be, it is so much more. What started off as selfish and self serving has turned into a partnership led by Christ. We have learned to serve one another. One of the best pieces of advice I have ever heard was this;

Every morning when you wake up ask God how you can serve your spouse instead of going into the day wondering what our spouse can do to make our life better.

Just changing that mindset can change a marriage. Marriage isn’t meant to be self focused it is meant to be selfless.

So cheers to 20 years with Mr. Incredible. I have been blessed with an amazing husband and father. We walk hand in hand down a much less bumpy path, content to know that Jesus has our back. After all He is for us.

If we have come this far in 20 years I can only imagine what I will write about in another 20 years.

Here is a fun tidbit. As my littlest cherub watches me finish this up she noticed that the verse I chose happens to be the same as our anniversary date. Coincidence? I think not.It is more like a little hug from God!

Ephesians 5:22-33

Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.

 Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.

No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become “one flesh.” This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.

What Should the Spiritual Leader of Your Home Look Like?

images (1)During our women’s bible study we spiral off on many tangents. Last night we started discussing how we gals are primarily the spiritual leaders in our home, not our husbands. We went back and forth about the issue. Some of us lamenting that we wanted our spouses to step up and others being glad to carry the torch.

The thing we did not address is what does it mean to be the spiritual leader of a home?

I was one of the lamenters.  I have this idea that my husband should lead us in prayer and devotions. He should be the flag bearer to get us to church. We will all hold hands as he recites scripture. I am sure there are plenty of families who live that scenario. We are just not one of them. I doubt we ever will be. So by my husband not living up to this ideal, in my mind, he has failed.

Well thank goodness I have friends who are wiser than me. I don’t know what I would do without my girlfriends. One of these wiser friends went home and was chatting with her equally wise husband. I just loved his perspective as to what a spiritual leader should look like. In a nutshell – A man can be a spiritual leader by the way he lives his life.

Based on that thought when I re-evaluate what attributes I think make a spiritual leader I realize my husband possesses quite a few.

A spiritual leader is a man who loves his family passionately.

A spiritual leader makes time for his families activities, games etc He is present.

A spiritual leader hugs his almost grown man children all the time.

A spiritual leader dances around the house with his daughter.

He prays for his family all the time. It just isn’t out loud  while we are all holding hands around the table

A spiritual leader leaves you and your family no question about  his faith

My stereotype ideal of a spiritual leader is not at all what a spiritual leader needs to be. If your family knows your husband stands strong for Jesus that is all the leadership we need.

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

 

Now I Know Why Old People Drive So Slow

oldwomandrivingI am one of those people who can be an impatient driver, especially when I am behind someone (usually elderly) who is going slightly below the speed limit with their turn signal incessantly blinking.

But recently I have developed this theory of why the elderly drive so cautiously.

Since my oldest son has started driving I have this hyper awareness of how other people drive. Now every time I drive I feel like I have developed some type of spider sense. It is like I see everything that could happen. There are the people who race up to stop lights, the zig zaggers in traffic, the motorcycles that are going 40 miles an hour over the speed limit. Each situation makes me wonder how my son will navigate the array of dangerous drivers.

Now when I drive I audibly gasp multiple times, even when I am by myself. I drive so much differently than I did a year ago, slower. more cautious, turn signals, basically the way  we are supposed to drive before you have 30 years of driving under your belt and sometimes use your knee to steer so you can drink your coffee.

I can only imagine it is going to get worse.My hyper driving sense is getting more keen each day. My son is getting more comfortable driving each day, which means I am getting more uncomfortable driving each day.

Sometimes the circle of life is funny, not ha ha funny, but dang it funny. I also have a new respect and patience for elderly drivers. Heck they are just trying to survive the ride from point A to point B.

I get it.

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