RSS Feed

Tag Archives: key to success

Single digit marriage wisdom

Our single digit story begins

My SAMM and I have been married for 7 years. We are still celebrating our single-digit achievements and in many ways we are still working out the kinks, hang-ups and stick-ups of being married. Neither one of us would be willing to claim that we have a perfect marriage. Neither one of us would even be willing to declare it idyllic or picture-perfect. There are probably wiser, more experienced, more successful couples out there who could give sage advice, but we have learnt so much in our time together that I fear I might explode if I do not share with you the joys, trials, woes and the wonderfuls of what being married is to me (and us).

Some history

Just as I met with teenage angst, anger and attitude; my mother was met with the trials and challenges of being a single parent after a divorce. Despite a good relationship with my father, I have very few recollections of ‘happy marriage‘ in our home. I do, however, have a very well defined understanding of what happens when marriage doesn’t work. I know from early on that I DEFINITELY did not want a broken marriage but I had no understanding of how to put a successful marriage together.

And then I met my SAMM. His parents are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary this year. For him there was (and is) no question – marriage was designed to last.

Married couple walking off into the sunset.

Us! Walking off towards the reception on the day we got married.

So here’s what happened…

He pursued me and I established parameters of independence and self-reliance. He tried to lead and protect and I tried to prove that I could do it all on my own. We fought wars of territory, testosterone and self-righteousness. We were apparently determined to be two strong-willed, independent people linked by bank accounts and a marriage certificate.

I was led around my myths from the big screen, personal assumptions and gross ignorance. I knew nothing of successful relationships yet never even tried to read a book or question a friend about growing, nurturing and sustaining my marriage. Until a friend (older, married, mother) shook all my preconceptions out of a stale-heart that was in desperate need of a reawakening. (You can catch up on this story here.)

So what now?

I finally realised that:

  • We (woman) are designed to be pursued, romanced and adored. We aren’t brainwashed into these feelings by Hollywood and fairy tales – NO! Our Father created us with these qualities and longings in our hearts. That still is great news for me. This simple truth set me free to shake off the burden of self-reliance, self-protection and self-preservation. I could finally admit that I wanted to be loved, adored and protected BY MY HUSBAND. This desire didn’t make me weak, it made me ‘woman’ as God designed me to be.
  • We can’t be two separate people in one marriage. We needed to be two complimentary people committed to the same marriage. We needed to find a routine, a dance, that allowed both of us to add our strengths and capabilities to the pot of our marriage to give it an opportunity to become the relationship God offers us. This meant that I need to relinquish my attempts at leadership to concentrate on other areas like supporting, honouring and loving MY HUSBAND. In turn, he has stepped up as a strong, reliable and wise leader for our family.
  • Honour, respect and support is not archaic or out-dated. The concept is foreign because it isn’t often modeled in the relationships around us or encourage by a world focused on self-gratification, self-reliance, self-destruction. If our marriages are to be successful then we need to make RADICAL changes, we need to implement UNCONVENTIONAL strategies and pursue INNOVATIVE techniques that will strengthen our marriages and our partners while disarming the enemy at EVERY opportunity.
  • Love is more than butterflies. I suppose I am lucky in a sense because my SAMM still gets my motor racing but our marriage cannot be built on the assumption that the butterflies have enough wing-power to carry us the distance. We needed to learn that love is about putting the needs and desires of your partner ahead of your own selfish ‘wants’. Not because love needs to be pathetic or wimpy in any way but because LOVE IS POWERFUL ENOUGH to facilitate change. Change in our hearts, change in our lives and change in our world.

Here’s what I know for sure

Marriage isn’t for weaklings or wimps. We need to fight for this beautiful institution that allows us to bring honour and glory to God as we pool the balance of our separate selves to become what He called us to be. Man and woman | husband and wife.

Being married might at times take work and commitment but it is a RICH blessing that continues to give much more than it demands. It gives us opportunity to find a true sense of self and belonging, it is an opportunity for a life-time friendship, a chance to love and serve not because you have to but because you WANT to. It is an opportunity for us (ladies) to be open our hearts to romance and passion and intimacy.

My SAMM and I aren’t experts by any stretch of the imagination. But we ARE convinced of the value and joy of marriage. We ARE committed to succeed more than we fail. We ARE ready to encourage other single-digit couples to pursue God, prioritise each other and commit to a marriage that is MORE, DEEPER and STRONGER than any story ever told on the big screen.

My single digit perspective

“A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds. Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it. Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long. ” Prov 31:10 (MSG)

I want to be a GOOD woman. I will remember that I AM worth more than diamonds because my Father says it is SO. I want to be a BLESSING to my husband and my daughter. I want to be GENEROUS, KIND and TRUSTWORTHY. I really simply want to be all these things and more because I resolutely believe that God wants this for you and me.

Single-digit-novice, double-digit-expert or triple-digit-sage; learn where you are now. Change what you can now. Be all that you can be now.

We really don’t have the perfect marriage. But we do have a WONDERFUL, BLESSED marriage because God opened our eyes and hearts to the possibility of love and relationship beyond ourselves.

Thank goodness.

Fix your coffee, take a breather, mull over it and let me know what you thought of this Cuppa!

I would love to hear your thoughts on marriage, relationships, romance and God’s design.

Wives, submit….

Ephesians 5:21-33

The Message (MSG)

21Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.

22-24Wives, 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.

 

Submit? Seriously??

I don’t submit easily. I find it particularly difficult to hold my tongue or to consider another’s perspective before I give my own. When I read this scripture in Ephesians, I initially wanted to rebel and argue. Again the same phrase plagued me “This is archaic. It won’t work in my marriage!”

When I started exploring the concept of submission, I quickly found that two things that made a big impression on my life:

  1. Submitting does not mean that I don’t have an opinion. It does not take away my independence or my spirit. It does not mean that I follow instructions like a mindless robot. It does not mean that I can’t contribute to decisions or offer advise in my marriage.
  2. Submission is however more concerned with turning my focus from my own needs and wants, my own opinions and my own ideas and in the same process creating a space (and place) for my partner to offer his. Submission, especially in my daily walk, is about more than just me.

And isn’t that the concept of love that we so eagerly pursue? A selfless act that looks to satisfy that other significant person in our lives? So then, it really isn’t all that archaic is? As we work at building our marriages by striving for selfless, giving love we are also working at turning our focus away from ourselves.

This might not initially seem like the most modern concept but I do believe that God has tasked us with building strong marriages where we both – husband AND wife – encourage each other, council each other and use our combined skills to honour each other and so to honour God.

Now what?

  1. Pray for your husband today.
  2. Try to offer kind and appreciative words when you speak with him.
  3. Offer advice and council, not criticism or opinionated rantings (for me the difference can be found in tone and manner).
  4. Smile, love and have fun with your husband. He is after all going to be your friend and partner for a long, long time! And if it doesn’t feel like that for you today, please leave your prayer requests so that we can unite and pray for you! Luckily our God has the power to be change even a heart of stone to one of flesh!

See you for another cuppa tomorrow, ladies!

the peaceful wife

Helping wives go from hurting and frustrated to empowered, healed, and confident in Christ

With a Cuppa Coffee

Hearty chats for women about this, that and whatnot.