Monday's Marriage Moment
"A Note To My Single Self"
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word - Ephesians 5:22 - 26
In case you haven't figured it out by now, I love being married. I love being able to share the ups and downs of life with my husband. I love that I can lean and depend on him. As much as I love it, I am the first to admit that it is not easy. I wish that someone would have pulled me to the side before I said "I do" and told me the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I was not prepared. I have faced many bumps and bruises along the way because I went into marriage naively and selfishly. I don't know that there is a class or a series of counseling sessions that will prepare you to be a wife, but I believe that knowledge is power. So, this morning, I write this letter to my single self in hopes that it will encourage a single person and remind a married person of what God's idea of marriage really is.
Dear Single Me,
I will be the first to tell you that marriage is great. God certainly knew what He was doing when he created two people to become "one flesh". There is great joy in oneness. As you anticipate the joy and wonder of being united with your spouse, you should also prepare yourself for all that comes with it. See, Christ chose marriage to reflect His relationship with mankind because it is a living metaphor for sacrificial love. All of those wonderful attributes you read in 1 Corinthians 13 must be played out between a husband and wife on a daily basis. Long after the wedding dress has been put away and the ceremony has ended, the love you feel for your spouse must endure. You think that love is that warm, fuzzy feeling that you get when you hold hands or look into each others eyes. Love is more than that. Paul describes love as patient, kind, forgiving, and sacrificial. Love believes the best. Love esteems others higher than yourself.
Single Me, God's order is very clear -- God, spouse, family, then everything else. You must love God first. He has to be the priority in your life. Why? Because your relationship with Him determines how you will relate with others. If you haven't solidified your relationship with Christ please take the time to do that before you try to build a life with someone else. Your boo can not be your god. Your job can not be your god. Abba Father, God Almighty, is the only one who can have that role. Choose now to make Him Lord of your life and determine that no one will take His place. Next in order is your spouse -- not your mom, not your best friend, but your spouse. He/She must be the next priority in your life. They have to know that they are important to you. This will require you to make some hard choices. You can't choose your friends over your spouse. You can't choose church over your spouse. You can't choose work over your spouse. Single Me, it has taken me years to get this principle right. Please don't make the mistakes that I did. Trust God's order. You and your spouse must be a team. You must support each other. You have to be on the same page. If you can't see yourself living out Ephesians 5:22-26 you may want to wait before marriage.
Single Me, this last one is pretty big: don't live life based on your feelings. You will be madly in love one minute and wanting to physically harm someone the next. Love is so much more than a feeling. It is a choice. You must choose to love sometimes without the feelings to back it up. You may not feel like cooking dinner, but if that is what is needed you have to do it. You choose to do things because you love your spouse not because of emotions. So, when you get angry or frustrated don't lash out based on those emotions. Respond in love. When you want things to change, act in love. Remain patient. Remain kind. Don't lash out or have a fit. Don't keep score. Choose to love and believe the best.
Single Me, I have seen the other side. I know that God has a good plan. It doesn't mean that you won't experience challenges or trials, but it does mean that every victory outweighs every struggle. I want you to choose God's way now. Don't waste days, months, or even years trying to do it your way. His way produces peace. Enjoy your marriage, and enjoy your life!
Happily Married Me