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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.

Getting your date GROOVE on

Heart drawn in sand.

I (heart) you!

Romance

“My lover is mine, and I am his.” Song of Solomon 2:16a NLT

Ladies, women, wives – lets not underestimate the power and necessity of keep the fires in our marriages burning. Make an honest effort this week to create a romantic escape for you and your partner. You don’t need to make it a “week-end getaway”, or spend loads of money on a “date-night”. It is important that we find (and create) opportunities for romance in our everyday lives. Try these tips to incorporate more 00h-la-la in your oh-so-ordinary:

  1. Set aside time. Communicate with your husband and agree on a time that would suit you both.
  2. Take care of the children. If you are lucky enough to have a support system in place (grannies or friends) that allows you to arrange sleep-overs, make the arrangements. If not;  move up bedtime with a couple of minutes, make sure meal- and bath time is taken care of quickly and start your time together once the kids are settled.
  3. Make an effort. Touch up your make-up, put on something that makes you feel good and will catch his eye (even if you are staying in), spritz some perfume and relax! Remember how easy dating used to be?

If you are uncertain or need something new to put some spunk into the rest of the evening, here is an absolute GEM I  stumbled across.  It is called The Great Date Experience.

THE GREAT DATE EXPERIENCE

Most of us want to spend time with our spouse, but most of us don’t spend time with our spouse. When we do get time together, a lot of us experience the classic, “What do you want to do? I don’t know, what do you want to do?”

In 2009, MarriedLife rolled out 6 Great Dates in the Great Date Experiment. Well, the experiment worked! So in 2010, we brought you the all-new Great Date Experience! If you missed one, click on the year and download an experience you won’t forget…oh yeah!

Copied from MarriedlifeOnline.

Getting some Oooh Laa La going

The concept appealed to me straight away. I am sometimes stuck in my marriage because I am desperate for fun, new ideas and great opportunities to connect without repeating same-old-stuff. It is also a dangerous (even scary) thought to trawl the internet looking for ideas. This, however, was a breath of fresh air.

Since I only stumbled upon it now, we started with the 2009 series, the first of which is entitled “Nurture Romance“. The results, well, speak for themselves :) You can click here to visit the MarriedLifeOnline page, scroll down to 2009 and start dating your hubby again for some real ooh-laa-la!

Thanks for sharing my Cuppa.

Feel free to leave you comments or own ideas on romance for us to read.

 

Peaceful Wife

Become Empowered, Healed, and Confident in Christ

With a Cuppa Coffee

Hearty chats for women about this, that and whatnot.