Sunday, July 8, 2012

Second Anniversary Reflection & Video




video
Second Anniversary Reflection Questions
(Um...what a wild look on my face to start a video! Yikes)
    
      Marriage is challenging because it requires us to stretch to new limits of patience, selflessness, forgiveness, mindfulness or intention, love, and understanding among many other qualities. Our time dating was flawless, and I had expected marriage to be a continuation. It has proven to, instead, be a wild ride of thrilling highs and crushing lows. Our first year of marriage wasn't "newlywed bliss," but survival of our circumstances. This second year has taught us tremendously about applying 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 to move from just surviving to fully loving. It's a process and a work that produces a beautifully deep kind of love and marriage. Praise the Lord for lessons that shape us more and more to be the kind of people he created us and our marriage to be- even if the means of teaching is trying. 

 Expectations must be expressed and agreed upon, realistic, and within the context of who your spouse is
       The roles of "wife" and "husband" are significant and not to be taken lightly, especially within the context of a Christian union. However, I've had to acknowledge that we each had different views and expectations for those roles. After rounds of discontentment and disappointment I began to see how my husband was upholding his role but in his own unique fashion.  I wanted him to talk more, but have realized that he wisely reserves his speech to be of something meaningful and encouraging. Faith or God is probably mentioned more in church than in our home, we don't pray together or do family devotions, but I have seen over and over how he strives to truly display the character of Christ. In other words, I see how he values walking the walk over talking the talk. We don't go out and do many of the activities that others do, but I understand that within our personalities is contentment and beauty in taking advantage of small moments together at home. There are so many expectations I held my husband to without even realizing it, and am amazed and blessed to watch (often, in retrospect) those assumptions be transformed to exceed my expectations. Coming to admire your spouse and marriage for who/what he/it is and not your expectation is the making of a strong unit!

Marriage may not be entirely for our happiness, but instead for our holiness
     What do you do with the label of "newlywed bliss" when it feels far from it? When I see other couples exhibiting joyfulness, closeness and a smooth transition into marriage I wonder what did we miss because we're out of breath and climbing mountains. Bitter comparison aside, we haven't missed anything because God is teaching us lessons that are appropriate for us and us alone. No, our married life probably doesn't look like others and that's okay. We have our own lessons to learn and tests to take, neither of which   are guaranteed to be easy. I have personally learned so much from marriage and to be honest it has nothing to do with happiness. Instead, it has everything to do with personal refinement into more Christ-likeness. I enjoy how Gary Thomas says,  "What if God didn't design marriage to be 'easier'? what if God had an end in mind that went beyond our happiness, our comfort, and our desire to be infatuated and happy as if the world were a perfect place? What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than make us happy?" in his book Sacred Marriage. This perspective has been influential in accepting less than ideal circumstances and being open to whatever God has in mind to be gained from them. It's something that I'm don't do all to well and am in need of reminding often, but I'm grateful for those reminders as well. 

Always, always remember that if we have family, then we have everything
     Daring to go against the grain by practicing homemaking with less than ideal circumstances can be tough!  However, we have each other and together we can climb mountains far better than we could alone. I'm so grateful for his companionship and that together we are "family." I have a wordart painting I made hanging in my home that serves to encourage and recenter us and it reads, "If we have family, then we have everything." When stresses render life to feel like it possesses nothing, I'm reminded of the incredible value of family. It's what we're about and why we've made the choices we have.  As with anything, it's a journey to achieve maintaining this confidence during trials. Yet, I can look forward to this upcoming year continuing to learn to define having everything as having family, even if that remains defined as just he and I.

Two verses that have been close to my heart this past year:
"Love is patientlove is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seekingit is not easily angeredit keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (emphasis mine)

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 (emphasis mine)


Favorite Marriage Resources:
201 Great Questions for Married Couples by Jerry Jones {A few of the questions in the video came from this book}




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3 comments:

  1. Marriage may not be for our happiness, but our holiness. I will have to remember that. :) I remember our first and even second year of marriage was an interesting journey to say the least. :) It takes time to learn each other, but it sounds like you are on the right track. ~blessings

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for sharing your marriage story and for linking up at WJIM.

    ReplyDelete

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