Below is a post I was honored to share on Kelsey & Kendell’s blog (www.theradiantlifeblog.com) a few weeks ago about something so near and dear to my heart… Marriage! If you haven’t seen their site, I encourage you to follow them and I know you will find their posts encouraging. I simply wanted to re-share what I had to say, here. Enjoy!
I spent the better half of my teenage years reading things like, I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris and Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot along with several other Christian “marriage-prep” books (try to find that section in Barnes & Nobles). Which helped a ton, and I am a firm believer of reading these types of books as they will bring you insight, however they don’t totally prepare you for the major changes about to happen!
I married Charlie, my amazing preacher-man hubs, shortly after graduating from the Bible College we met at. This year I will be celebrating ten years of marriage and thirteen years of glorious friendship. I always like to point out the friendship key, especially for all the single ladies that are waiting for their Prince Charming to sweep them off their feet, he IS out there… and he is probably your best friend.
A few of the keys to unlocking true intimacy and creating a union so strong that no fiery tempest can abate it’s bond, are quite simple that you may have even overlooked them.
1. Friendship: As I mentioned before, my main-man was my friend first and from there it blossomed into an ever-growing love. Cultivate this! You should still be best friends, even after you’re married.
2. Communication: I would hi-lite the computer screen on this point, that’s how important it is. Ladies, if you don’t tell him, he is not going to know. Also, let go of the manipulation you may have inherited from your Mama (or your Auntie… we aren’t pointing any fingers here). I learned the hard way, early on in my marriage that if you want something, need something, whatever something, you go straight to your husband… don’t try to butter him up or coerce the situation. It may seem little, but in the long run you will lose respect for your husband because you have been slowly undermining his authority as the head of your home. Like in the bedrock of a stream, over time corrosion will take place in your marriage. Remember to deliberately choose honor which will then create and environment for him to love you as Christ loves the church.
Ephesians 5: 22-28 (MSG) says it so beautifully, “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.”
3. Teamwork: You are now a united force, no longer two single units operating on parallel planes. You have become one and it’s your job to act like it. Protect your unity!
Last, I will leave you with my definition of what marriage is…
Marriage in its truest union is when you can look beyond yourself, past the fog of selfish desires, peering deep into another’s soul. Find the spark that ignites their destiny dreams and be the one who holds the match that creates the flame.