Friday, December 27, 2013

5 Things I've Learned About Marriage

Sean and I have been married for a little over four months - and in that short amount of time I've watched as he has become an even dearer and closer friend to me as we've grown together! And we have indeed grown. It hasn't all been easy, and they call marriage "sanctifying" for a reason - but the Lord has been so incredibly good to us and I'd love to share that here.

5 Things I've Learned About Marriage

1. Don't expect your spouse to be Christ. So many times I've found myself restless, confused, or troubled about something and have wrongly looked to Sean first to untangle the questions circling my head. He's understandably felt burdened by my expectations upon him, leaving him discouraged when he can't ultimately bring me the peace that only the Holy Spirit can. Sean's my closest friend and I tell him everything, but only Christ can bind my wandering heart to His.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." - 2 Cor. 12:9a

2. Serve, love, and give freely with zero expectations. Daily give of yourself to your spouse, even if they don't always reciprocate. Volunteer to do the dishes, or to make coffee, or to just sit and read with the other. Don't feel like watching that movie he's been dying to see? Do it anyway. Feel like your spouse doesn't always listen to you? Listen to them anyway. Are they thinking deeply about something and just need to talk? Be an ear without interrupting or correcting. Live sacrificially, serve selflessly, and love recklessly. 

"Be devoted to one another in love...outdo one another in showing honor." - Rom. 12:10

3. Never complain about your spouse to other people. This means even your mom or your best friend. It can be very tempting to "share" what's been going on in your marriage and subtly communicate disrespect toward your spouse and even be fostering bitterness in your own heart. Always be looking for something admirable about your spouse to share with others, so that they might think highly of them! The Proverbs 31 woman had a husband who was spoken highly of in the gates - I can only imagine that a large portion of that honor was due to the way she spoke of her husband to other people.

"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." - Eph. 4:29 

4. Counsel each other (and be willing to accept rebuke!) Lately Sean and I have been discovering the different ways we need each other's words; what we need to hear, when we need to hear it, and when we just need silence. We'll be honing those skills for the rest of our lives! Secondly, following counsel is the messy and often difficult practice of humbly accepting rebuke. Apologize without defending yourself, and purpose to put into practice that which your spouse pointed out needs to change.

"She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue." - Prov. 31:26

"...the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice." - Prov. 27:9

and finally,

5. Be joyful. This is something I have to often fight for. In the midst of certain circumstances it can be tempting and sometimes desirable to wallow in self-pity or to become discouraged. Sean often reminds me to fight for joy and "don't let life handle you!" He wants so desperately to know that I am happy with the life he's given me in Tennessee - and I am! But it's kinda hard to express that when I'm in the middle of complaining about something. Wives: your husband wants to know that he married a happy, thankful, and content woman who is trusting in his leadership and grateful for him! Husbands: show your wife that you delight in her and her friendship, and that she brings you joy! Don't be harsh with her, but love her as Christ does.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." - Rom. 15:13

1 comment:

  1. Oh Beka!!! I have tears in my eyes as I read that post and write this comment. Oh what Joy I have that I have been blessed to watch you for so long, from late night talks, to now seeing you married and learning and growing with your HUSBAND!!

    This is my favorite post from you yet! I praise God for the growth I see in you. The Lord is so good!

    John 15:13 "Greater love has no one that this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."

    I am abundantly blessed to see Christ nurturing that love in your soul to love Sean like that.

    I love you Beka, this post is just beautiful!


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