So you are a June bride? Do you think you have this marriage thing by the tail? Marriage can be such a wonderful journey when you are with the one God chose for you. Your man can be sweet as sugar and you can be landing on cloud 9 with every touch of his hand. Yep, I remember those thoughts and feelings well. I feel blessed to say I still have them often, but I have them in a more realistic way after 30 years with my husband.
Newsflash: Sometimes the overt affection diminishes following a hard day in the classroom or office.
Your spouse may not feel like doing what you desire him to do the moment he steps in the door. If you don't understand this beforehand, you can allow your feelings to be bruised especially in the early months and years of marriage. These things are inevitable ... in every marriage. No one on earth feels lovey-dovey and touchy-feely all the time. No one wants to have deep emotional conversation all the time. It doesn't mean your marriage is headed for disaster, it's just reality of life. There will be days when your husband doesn't want to rehash work or hear about your friend who broke her toe within the first ten minutes of arriving home. (There are movies that try to portray the perfectness of home life and couples who try to make you think their lives are always romantic and perfect. Ignore them. They are not showing the true picture.) This is what God has allowed me to gather over the years:
Serving Is Better Than Being Served:
I wish I had known in my early marriage how hollow “being served” was. I wanted my husband to cater to me the way my dad always had and the way he had when we were dating. I wanted him to jump to his feet on command and lavish me with "acts of service" (BTW... my love language).
Fact is, after a long day at work and the responsibilities as a provider and husband, his energy and immediate will to serve was spent. He had been on 110% go in serving people for 8 hours before he got home. His desire was to unwind behind a newspaper for the first 30 minutes at home and I wanted conversation and cuddle. I wanted to be the center of his attention as soon as he walked in the door and he had difficulty changing gears. This discrepancy caused frustration in him and hurt in me.
Maybe it would have been better for me to have served him at that time of day and been patient in my requests for what I needed. I have learned not to “expect” service but to concentrate on serving. In the end, this allows my husband a moment to recharge and eventually have a much greater desire to fill my love tank at the end of a long day… a totally “win-win” situation.
So you see, there are lessons to be learned in every aspect of marriage. If you take the signals from that special someone as they truly are meant, it turns out that silence may not be because he doesn't love you today. It may just mean he needs time to unwind. He needs to be served with the love and understanding of his precious wife.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve…” – Mark 10:45.
Walking the road with you,
(Moms and those of you who have been married a little longer, if you have some advice learned the hard way for our June brides this month please share it with us below. The bible challenges us to pour ourselves into these young women and we would love to hear what you have to say.)
I don’t want to burst your bubble, my dear, but marriage has a tendency to be, well, let’s say a little less perfect than the Cinderella’s story. Barbie and Ken don't really exist in real life either. I'm so sorry to be the one to have to say that. Don’t get me wrong I would do it all again for sure and besides all the wedding festivities were a blast! One thing I would pray for though is for God to bring others into my life (sooner rather than later) that would help point me and keep me pointed in a direction more toward Him. Of course, that would mean that I would have to be less stubborn and actually take to heart what they tell me instead of brushing it off as a “they don’t really know what they are talking about” thought. So here are my thoughts as to what I have learned the hard way:
Kindness And An Effort To Be Yielding Is Better Than Having To Be “Right”:
If I had the chance to start my marriage all again, I would try to be “kinder” and more accepting of my husband’s viewpoint instead of always wanting to prove myself “right”. It took me a long time to learn that always being “right” in a marriage is self-serving and more times than not leads to unresolved conflicts and growing distance between spouses. God’s guidebook says “For the husband is head of the wife even as Christ is head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior”. –Ephesians 5:23.
I wish I had known that as a wife I sometimes needed to just take a step back and “allow” my husband to lead even if deep inside I truly thought I was right. I often missed the whole point. I battled my cases and fought to have him see things my way. You can guess what eventually happened… he stopped trying to lead. He lost his desire to do so because he knew to keep peace he would have to give in to my desire to be “right”. It was so unfair of me to put him in that position by taking away the job God gave him to do. I professed to be a Christ –follower but who was I kidding? As far as I was concerned I was always right so where was the need?
My husband did not regain the desire to lead until I stopped thinking I had to win the “right-ness” battle. Not too many years ago a cherished Christian friend shared this wisdom: One of my most important priorities as a wife was to encourage my husband to lead our family in Christ-like values… that’s encourage MY HUSBAND to lead. Not lead myself. That was a concept no one had ever explained to me. She said that if I failed to step back and open the door for him to lead then I was blocking God’s work in my husband. I realized it was in large part my fault that he wasn’t stepping up to the plate. I was complaining to God about a situation I had manufactured. Yuk, don't you hate getting slammed like that!
At times, it was difficult to lay down my personal thoughts in order to allow his door to open, but I tried hard to do it. I still have to try hard to do it. It goes against my nature, but the more I intentionally work at it, the more God takes over in leading my husband and, in turn, my husband leading his family. You know what else it has done? It has released me from so much anxiety about my marriage and my life in general because I know his decisions for our family are coming in large part from our Father. In living out this truth, I gradually began to feel greater contentment in my life, more confident in my husband’s decisions, and more assured that Christ was in control of it all.
Yes, it's biblical truth that being kind and yielding is so much better than being right. I just wish someone would have poured out that bit of wisdom to me decades earlier than they did.
So to all of you June brides, I pray that you have someone in your life that will pour themselves into you. I pray that when you become wives and mothers apart from the familiar settings you grew up in that you will seek out those now Godly women who have gone before you and may have learned things the hard way. I pray you take their learned lessons to heart. The words they share could be priceless to your marriage.
Women of God surround themselves with those who can help them stand back up and refocus upward.
Walking the road with you,
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation. -Psalm 5:3
Lord, You are my friend and my guide. Intellectually, I know You will bring me all the fulfillment and happiness I need during this season. For now though, my heart has not caught up to that realization.
My fears and my requests stem from a life that is changing. It stems from a life that at times can feel unfulfilled and empty. My children do not need me the way they used to. They are one step out the door with the other raised and poised. When the second foot comes down I will no longer be able to protect them the way a mother does; I will cease to know them the way I always have to this point. My door will no longer be a revolving one to a constant stream of their friends who add laughter to this home.
My children's hearts and thoughts will be shared with others whom I have not even met. Professors and casual new friends (with backgrounds that may not be of You) may influence their thoughts and actions more than this mother does. And yes, my goal for them has always been for them to get to this point –one of independence, happiness, and lives that are full of adventure. I’m happy for them, right? That was the plan. However, as they venture out with their own excitement, I feel a hint of uncertainty and, honestly, void of a purpose for myself. I feel scared of what lies ahead outside of the walls of this house for them and truthfully for me as well. It’s unchartered territory.
My request is for you to show me what my role is now, Father. Show me how to let go of my child’s hand and place it securely in yours. Show me how to place my worries there as well. Please give me new experiences and the desire to make new memories. I ask you to give me new reasons to keep my eyes focused on You and lead me to paths that bring joy back to this home and fulfillment to my soul.
Father, I ask for your protection on those who hold my heart as they turn this corner. Help them stand strong in the truths they have been taught. Guide them to new experiences in which they can grow in You. Help them to open their eyes to the things of this world that would cause them to follow the path You have for them and close them to the things that would lead them astray. Father, please mold them into adults who run toward You and seek friends and mates who do the same.
This season of change is celebratory yet difficult for this mom. My steps are unsure… but I trust YOU. I thank you for walking beside me in the best of times and in the worst of times. I know your character and promises will never change as I continue to praise You and lay my burdens before You in expectation of your never-ending love and guidance.
(This is a prayer I found in my journal as my first child left home. I remember the torn heartstrings so very well. To those of you who are currently watching the last foot of your child come down outside your own door, I pray you will read this and know you are not alone. God holds every tear and every anxious moment in His hand as if they were precious diamonds.)
Walking the road with you,
Jennifer is a precious friend who like many of us has been through some times of great brokenness and of scratching her way back up the mountain. I read this heartfelt post of hers on Facebook and immediately messaged her to ask permission to share it with you. She told me a leader in her present church told her “good leaders who make a difference must learn to be vulnerable.” Her obedience to act upon God’s whisper through that person in her church truly renews my motivation to share and continue sharing the things God has taught me through difficult times. I pray it will motivate you too!
This morning, at 5:30 am, as I was carrying Zoie down 3 flights of stairs, my heart crumbled before God. I asked, "How am I surviving? This life is too hard. I didn't choose this. I don't even know how I made it this far."
Ten minutes later, Zoie woke up confused and yelled "Mommy!! I just have feet! I think it's raining and I don't know how I got to the car without shoes. How will can I get inside without shoes?"
Instinctively I said, "Love, don't worry. Mommy carried you to the car. You didn't need shoes. Don't worry, because I will carry you into the house."
And as the words left my mouth it was as if God was speaking directly to my heart.
Friends, life is hard. We have things happen we never wanted to happen. We have responsibilities we never signed up for. We even find ourselves in situations we know are much bigger than we are.
But Good news- God carries his children. Take a deep breath, and rest in his arms. He is a good father, better than you can imagine.
PSF’s Dear Friend,
I know God is smiling over her obedience to share with the purpose of touching even just one heart with encouragement. These are the acts that allow people who are also struggling to trust your wisdom… because you’ve BEEN THERE and have not just grabbed the words out of thin air. I encourage you to listen for those moments and act on the opportunities to stand vulnerable before others and Christ. What a legacy to leave… thanks Jennifer!
Walking the road with you,
Let Your Faith Be Bigger Than Your Fear.
My children are all grown now and one son even has a child of his own. Not long ago, however, I was thinking about all the things I used to worry about when they were growing up. Will they be healthy at birth? Are they secure in their car seat should we have a wreck? Will someone make a comment to them that could destroy their self-esteem? Will their friends be a good influence? Will they be introduced to drugs and alcohol before they are wise enough and strong enough to say "NO"? Will they struggle with grades? Who will they marry? Will they be loved by that person as much as I love them? Will they grow into a person running toward Jesus and not the world? So many unknowns. I don't know about you but, in my opinion, raising a child is a job too important and too enormous to do by ourselves. Christ in His grace and wisdom gives promises and directions for us and for our children.
These are just a few of many He gives us to help in this very important job:
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness."2 Timothy 3:16
"For this child I have prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore, I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord." 1 Samuel 1:27-28
"For I have chosen him so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just" Genesis 18:19
"All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children." Isaiah 54:13
"For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope" Jeremiah 29:11
Basically He says to:
Pray for them, their friends and their future mates from the time of conception
Use scripture and the examples of Jesus as your basis for training them
Be confident that they are His children and that He loves them
Provide a good and just model for them to follow
Always know His ways are the best ways when it comes to helping pave the road ahead. Defer to Him with every decision, being careful not to take away the job which is ultimately His anyway.
Fervent prayer and knowing scripture while gaining wisdom from other seasoned, godly parents can help us parent out of faith instead of fear. Our children need to see us confident in our Heavenly Father and they need to see us looking to Him for guidance. Should they see us in our mistakes and shortcomings? Sure. I personally think it's important for them to see our struggles to a certain degree but more importantly to see us looking up when we have doubts and questions. That way they see that our faith is truly bigger than our fears or failures.
Walking the road with you,
Mom 2 Mom
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