Marriage is an adventure! My husband and I graduated from West Coast Baptist College on May 6 got married May 14, went to Hawaii May 15, flew to California to say goodbye to my family May 23, flew to Texas to say bye to AJ’s family May 26, and drove from there to Rogers, Arkansas on June 1st. Needless to say, our first month was very busy! My husband and I got hired at Gospel Light Baptist Church as the Youth Pastor and Secretary.
We were so excited to begin this adventure together, but it was also in Arkansas (very far from where we both lived previously). In just our first month, we had both experienced at least 4 major life changes: graduation from college, marriage, a move to another state and a new job!
If someone would have told me in high school that I was going to get married, leave my family, move to Arkansas, and eventually teach I would have probably been an emotional wreck! Maybe it was the newly married excitement along with the peace of God, but I didn’t feel that way at all! I loved being married and going to work with my love every day! I loved being able to see him anytime I wanted just by visiting his office (right down the hall from mine).
I would say that really in our first year we grew a lot. I remember being influenced by other couples who would tease and criticize their spouse in a group setting and we would always leave from hanging out with them feeling frustrated with each other and not understanding why. We had to learn that we are each others #1, and other people don’t need to know anything about each other’s personal struggles or mistakes.
Intimately…we were newlyweds! Super in love, super young and a bit immature! Lots of dates and fun, but also times of selfishness and unmet expectations.
We had to learn how to communicate. It was easy to let the pressure of other people influence decisions we made. Instead of talking it over, we would go with the flow only to find out that one of us was not OK with it later. We had to learn to be selfless. Don’t get me wrong, marriage was blissful! But there were mistakes made along the way for sure!
Over this last year, my mindset has changed a lot about expectations. It should not be “how is my husband meeting my needs”, but “how can I exceed in meeting my husbands needs”. I am able to exceed in meeting my husbands expectations by first meeting God’s expectations. Most people don’t realize, but when they get married they have a built-in set of high expectations that all of the needs they have will be met in marriage. This is far from true!
In fact, God’s plan was not for every one of our needs to be met by our husband. There is not a husband or wife alive who can meet every need we have. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19). Only God can meet our every need.
If us wives are expecting our husbands to meet every need in our life, our marriage will not be joyful and fulfilling because he wasn’t designed to meet every need. There are some needs God gave us that He intended for only Himself to meet. There are needs we know need to be met by our husbands, but for us to be content we need to realize that there are some needs that God desires to meet.
As I have learned to rely, trust and follow AJ, my husband also desires to fulfill my needs of love and admiration. Are we 100% perfect….not at all! But doing it God’s way and keeping His order in the home gives you a trust in your spouse that many couples are missing out on today. Also if that wasn’t enough, it is so fulfilling!
Our love for each other has grown as we have each chosen to treat each other with selflessness. My love for my husband has grown as I have learned to trust my husband and have seen his love and faithfulness to the Lord and his love for me!
The good stuff of marriage—
Having a person you can rely on who is going to love you no matter what! Having a spouse who has seen you at your best and at your worst and has chosen to stick by your side regardless!
My favorite moments in marriage is when we are just cuddling and talking about how much we admire each other and how much God has blessed us. Also when we see fruit in our ministry (a teenager makes a good decision, someone’s gives their life to the Lord) it is so exciting and fulfilling that together we had a part in that!
We both love staying busy and being involved, but we also do our best to find time to ourselves. We get Fridays off, and when we are not traveling with our school’s basketball team, we love to spend it hanging out around the house, shopping together, or doing something fun together like going on a bike ride, going downtown, finding a new restaurant or coffee shop to try, or going to a museum with our camera of course!
We love vacations together and traveling. Since we live far away from both of our families, we usually spend vacation weeks with either side of the family. We love to take weekend getaway trips to Branson or Dallas by ourselves as well. I think one thing that we have in our marriage that I wouldn’t think would be unique (but it is missing in a lot of Christian marriages) is closeness and unity.
I thought I was strong before marriage, but I relied on only me! I thought I was strong, because I was not as emotional as the average girl. I thought I was strong, because the opinions of other people didn’t rule my life. I thought I was strong, because I didn’t have a problem saying it how it is.
And I was wrong.
I was prideful, but not strong. I was self reliant, but not strong. Anyone can make the decision to be prideful and think you are all that, but real strength is in humility. Humbling yourself to God and his will and direction for your life. Humbling yourself to your husband and following him (with a good and respectful attitude) even if you think he is making a mistake.
Anyone can follow peer pressure, but standing for what your believe in is true strength. This world may call you used, weak, or like a slave but being submissive, honoring your husband (when he doesn’t deserve it….does anyone truly?) and encouraging and supporting him when your flesh really doesn’t want to is true strength.
I want girls to know that–
Love is selfless!
Loving your husband when he is acting unlovable, when he isn’t exactly in the Prince Charming mood, or maybe something in his life gets stressful and you are taking the heat because of it. …that’s love! (ps: being responsible for a wife’s well-being can be a lot of pressure.)
When he gets home from work (or in my case basketball) and he smells HORRIBLE, but you welcome him home with a hug and a kiss and maybe a little snuggle…that’s love! When he is goofy and immature, and maybe does something stupid, but you still look at him and treat him with respect regardless….that’s love!
When you are an emotional wreck, because of something that happened or maybe because of the way you look and he is patient with you and encourages you…that’s love! When he tells you you’re beautiful when you know you neither feel, look, nor sound beautiful, because you are sick or just having one of those days…that’s love.
When you aren’t treating your husband with honor and following him, but he is kind and patient with you….that’s love. When you are in the wrong, but he apologizes because he loves you more than his point, and you are just that stubborn…..that’s love!