She's pinning the wedding dresses she adores on Pinterest. She's searching for the perfect wedding ring... pinning possible choices in bridal bouquets, wedding reception locations and honeymoon locales.
She's not engaged
She gushes to her friends about how each guy she dates is "the one" and hurries to become exclusive with them... eventually the dizzying courtship taking a fast track destination to splits-ville. Devastated, she mourns the loss of why she isn't married already.... day and night it plagues her why she doesn't have a "Mrs." attached to her name... she doesn't understand why oh why God is not furnishing her a husband already and if He's going to, why on earth is it taking so long?!
Whether a woman is twenty two or thirty two or older we can take heart in knowing that getting married is not the be all, end all to life. That may seem foreign to someone who desires to get married right now and have a family.... there is such a thing as a woman's biological clock after all. But even in that there are many important things to consider.
Having been married I can say that although in a healthy marriage it certainly brings blessings, it's also not the easy path. It's a lot of hard work; it's two people coming together, two lives blending into one which requires (if it's going to be successful) mutual compromise, sharing, communication, sacrifice and purposeful love shown every day.
Marriage is not a
self serving relationship.
Marriage is not a romance novel although there may certainly be glimpses of romance here and there (as women we hope so!) if romance is made a priority. But on a day to day basis it's important to remember... marriage is not a sweeping production or a chick flick.
Marriage is not to be viewed as less important than the actual wedding day. So much attention (and money) is often spent on the wedding day preparations that a lack of sight of what this day is truly about is often unfortunately lost. If more money was spent on pre-marital counseling than the wedding day it would be interesting to see if the currently high statistics for divorce went down. As women it's important to remember that marriage is about much more than the dress we wore the day we said "I do" or the exotic locale we flew to for our honeymoon or worrying what our friends thought of our wedding reception or how much money was spent. Those superficial things are fleeting and yet marriage is to be for as long as we live....
Honoring God and each other. Keeping the vows you each made in the presence of your mind as you make decisions regarding your marriage and how your individual actions could affect your spouse. Praying together brings you both closer to God and in turn closer to each other building a stable bond. When we honor God through wise choices; staying faithful to our spouse, not dabbling in addictions like porn or drugs, and instead live in a serving, gentle spirit that lifts us up in light, not darkness, good things happen in our marriage and life ultimately bringing glory to God for all to see.
Having A Sense of Humor:
Finding laughter in the midst of sleepless nights and baby raising. There will be macaroni and cheese puked up, there will be high temperatures at 2 am, there will be less than attractive days when your "shower" was fresh deodorant, your hair is askew like you'd shocked yourself and at 3 pm you look down to see there is something questionable spilled on your shirt and yet you have not a clue what it could be nor when exactly it happened. When we marry and look our best we don't always anticipate our spouse seeing us look our worst but it's a true reality one day along with graying hair and failing health.
Communicating With One Another In Openness, Patience and Trust:
Communicating is important to a healthy, close marriage even when it's hard, when you're tired or cranky. There will be times when we don't agree with our spouse or we've had a terrible day and maybe need some space or alternatively, comfort... when we don't need a situation fixed but instead want to just be held. There may be occasional times when you're so angry at them you can't see straight, when you are exasperated. There needs to be grace and a knowing that you each always have each others back. No one is perfect and there will undoubtedly be times each of you and your patience will be tested. But if the overall picture is one of kindness and patience toward one another that is a sweet victory. Alternately, there will be times and seasons in life when you feel like you are both so in sync with each other it's like you're floating along water seamlessly without a care in the world.
Sacrifice and Authenticity:
Sacrificing for one another and building each other up. Having conversations where each person feels heard, each spouse is encouraged and every attempt is made so each person's dreams are pursued and no one feels like they've been neglected or used. Each person should feel free to be themselves and not be changed by the other.
Leading In Love, Not Control:
Having a husband who leads. We want to make certain the man we marry knows the difference between leading in love and controlling like a dictator in the name of "knowing what's best for us." This is easier achieved when we choose someone who prays for God's guidance and lives in God's word. Sometimes we may be sold a facade of a Godly man but we need to use discernment in determining whether he's truly living by God's word. If he has a bible is he reading it? It doesn't do much good if it's gracing his bedside table and unbeknownst to us never opened. Do his actions match up what he preaches from his mouth or are there things that leave you questioning? Are there little things that make you have an unsettled feeling in your gut? There are marriages where one spouse was snowed and the true dark identity of who they married was revealed once settled in the marriage. Make sure you make every effort to truly know the man you are anticipating saying "I do" to.
Are You Bearing Fruit?
Like a flourishing tree a good biblical marriage must bear fruit and that begins with the people in it. Is each person living a life in which they are peaceful, loving, filled with joy and gentle? Is your husband a man who is slow to anger or a man who is harsh and brash? Is he continually raising your blood pressure and stress levels by acting out of control; unwilling to curtail his temper, his road rage and a superior attitude? Is he kind to you and to others or is he rude and dismissive? It's important that we choose a Godly man because if we don't we may be living a marriage that resembles a nightmare in which we and then subsequently our children are subjected to chronic abuse whether that be emotional, verbal or physical or a mixture of all the above.
When we focus on getting married, idolizing marriage and material things like wedding gowns, cakes and rings, we may erroneously lose sight of the fact that marriage is not the be all end all to life. That being single does not make us less than. God wants us to follow Him whether we are single or married. He can work wonderful things through us regardless of whether we are a Miss, Mrs or Ms. The goal in life is not to have a dream wedding and then assume our work is done but to know that God loves us no matter what course our life takes and that if we are allowing God by surrendering to Him to refine us to His desire....
that alone is a dream come true.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2013
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