Happily ever after! That is the fairy tale a child is taught from the time they are small in books and movies. This is not a post to blast the cultural norms of society and the lack of commitment to marriage, nor is this a post to boast about my own greatness in achieving some super human goal that unobtainable by the rest of you mere mortals. This post is to brag on the Lord and the wife he blessed me with and the marriage I have.
Pause and Consider…..
I’m usually pretty hesitant to talk up something as good for two reasons. Immediately after I do so it will fail, or it will be tested. I usually wonder if my marriage has been tested enough, but maybe that is the point, maybe it hasn’t been tested a lot because of the foundation. Or maybe the testing just hasn’t felt like testing because the way it is being handled? I don’t know, but I do know that this has been a wonderful experience and I couldn’t imaging life any other way. I think the reason it has been so good is because it’s built on the only one who is good. Anyone who was at my wedding can let you know that it was my prayer that God would be the very center of the marriage and that Savannah and I would be able to come together in Him and through Him. This is the only reason that I can so confidently say that my marriage is wonderful and the bond we share is stronger than anything else I know. Like one of my favorite rappers Andy Mineo says, I ain’t cocky, I just know that God got me.
We aren’t perfect people, we have fights, and just yesterday we thought a boxing ring might be a fine place to have our next date; but God is faithful. We always come back to Him, and we always come back to that foundational love. The cornerstone of our relationship, our vows to one another, our oath before God. If you haven’t thought about exactly what you vowed to do there in front of God and a bunch of witnesses you just might want to give it some thought. We might be loose with our words and short on memory, but I assure you the Lord isn’t. You said you were going to love this woman, you said you were going to take care of her, you were going to be there for her.
Out with the Bad Beans, In with the Good
I think a lot of folks struggle within their marital relationship because they are looking for that equal partnership, they are looking for that fairness situation. I scratch your back and you scratch mine. Jesus couldn’t make things anymore clear than what He did on the cross that life isn’t fair, so stop trying to make it out to be. Did Jesus say, “Father, I’m not dying for them they don’t do this, and they don’t meet this standard, and they don’t meet this expectation.” No, while we were yet his enemies He loved us and went to the cross and shed his blood for us, so that we might live. The whole, I do this and this and this; but she won’t ever do this is weak sauce garbage nonsense when brought before the Lord. Boys make excuses, men make plans. You better plan on loving your wife like Christ loved you, don’t forget that’s his daughter before she is your wife.
Sorry, kind of got off on a little rant there, it is just frustrating that so many of us as men fail to step up to the plate. We want to dodge responsibility and shrink back from our duty. Some of this can be laid at the feet of the way we were raised, but ultimately when you really get down to the truth of it, men love their sins. Wait I thought this post was about marriage, why are you getting off in the giggly weeds of sin? The two topics cannot be separated from one another. You will not experience the deep oneness and bond with your spouse as it was intended to be experienced while walking in sin. Just as Christ is keeping his bride the church spotless and sin puts a divide between you and the Lord, so to it does with your wife. It will drive a wedge and hopefully it is removed before you are split apart.
Spare Me the Speech, Just the Basics
Enough with the world ending dramatics and life shattering statements already Jeff you say? I’m trying to serve God and I just want some practical ideas of how my wife and I can grow closer, how I can be a better husband. Well shoot brother, why didn’t you just say so and you could have saved me a lot of typing. Here are a few things I TRY to implement into my own marriage that I think have been beneficial over the years.
- Do not fight or argue in front of your children. You either experienced fighting yourselves or have seen enough movies of kids listening to mom and dad fight to understand why this isn’t healthy. Not to mention you aren’t showing them that you are a single unified unit.
- When you fight and argue in front of your children (because try as you might you’re going to fail) be sure to go back and apologize to your wife in front of your children and apologize to your children. Tell them it was wrong for you to lose your temper like that and you are sorry and ask for forgiveness. This is not only verbatim what the bible prescribes when we sin, but this is also an example to your children and your wife of humility in action. Everything in you is going to scream and you are going to hate yourself, but suck it up buttercup, you said you wanted to be a man didn’t you?
- Make her a priority. There are a million things in this world that scream for out attention and our time. You are already on a limited amount of time here on this earth. Make sure that right after God (you are putting God first right? If not please refer back to the manual) your wife is the very next priority. Not your children, not your mommy and daddy, not the church people, not your hobby, not the fellas; your wife is the next one in line. There are some really good things in that list that all need attention and care, but none as important as your wife.
- Hear her. This one is really hard for me because I’m often off in my own little world thinking about who knows what. I tend to fade back and forth between talks with God and day dreams of utter nonsense (lol, I hate typing lol just so we are all aware, but I have texted it so much I don’t know what else to put or how to express my laughter to you, time to take a writing class). When she is telling you about her day take an interest in all the mundane details like you did back when you were dating. Then any place that you can interject and lighten her burden or go out of your way to get some small token item to let her know you are hearing her or show that you are engaged in what she has going on in her life.
- Do Housework. Jeff, that’s the women’s job, I work, I’m tired, she should take care of that. Again, if this is your attitude, you heart is in the wrong place go and talk it out with God. “Father, why do I have to die on the cross? That’s the sinners job, I’m perfect, punish them.” Is that the example we were given? No, we were called to serve. If Jesus Christ knelt down and washed feet, you can kneel down and fold clothes, sweep, bathe children and the fifty million other things your wife is doing while you’re at the recliner spa because you’re tired from work. Again buttercup, do you want to be a man or not?
That’s it for some basic ideas and tips on a better marriage. I’m not an expert but I know my marriage is great and I know it’s great because God is in the middle of it. You can take my advice or not, but I’m certain none of it is bad advice, choice is yours.