A Few of My Favorite Things

  • God and all that goes with Him
  • Time Spent With Family
  • Bedtime Prayers
  • Family/Group Hugs
  • The Beach
  • Good Friends
  • Good Music
  • Laughter

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Marriage and Mary and Martha

“Whose that old fella you’ve got hanging around with you?” It’s a question some of the sweet older gentleman at church ask me. I know what my response is supposed to be…in fact I know what it used to be. “Just some old fella I picked up on the side of the road and decided to keep around.” Well, I’ve decided to change that up some because would I want my sweetheart to answer the question that way?! No! In fact, my feelings would get hurt.
It’s so easy for us to get caught up in the negative. James3:17-18 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. The young girl, my sweetheart dated would not have said anything negative about the love of her life, let alone allow someone else to. What changes when we get married and have that ring on our finger? Why do we feel like we no longer have to work to please the sweet man who makes us swoon? (smile, wink) Do you remember that first year of marriage, when if dinner didn’t turn out just right you would sit down and cry; and bless his heart, he would try to eat whatever it was you fixed because he couldn’t stand the tears.
The gentleness and the mercy were hard at work back then. What about those dirty socks that would be piled up beside his chair or the empty glasses that never made it back to the kitchen? Did you happily carry those to the proper place and be thankful that you were the wife and keeper at home. Do those same things irritate you now? I have to be honest there are days it does; and love his heart, he’ll come home from work to a foul tempered wife and have no idea what happened between when he left for work and when he got home. So I’m sowing seeds of discontent instead of peace and the fruit I’ll reap won’t be peace.
I’m going to say something that some of you may not agree with, but it’s not your sweetheart’s job to make you happy. His God given job is to love you. Colosians3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. Ephesians5:28-29 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. Happiness and contentment are a state of mind. You can have the most attentive husband, the nicest house, the perfect children, and the newest car and still not be happy. Choose your friends wisely. If your girlfriends complain about their husbands, it’ll be easy to follow the crowd. Decide that the only person you can change in your marriage is yourself, and quit trying to change your sweetheart. Remember that you can catch more flies with honey, put your claws away and heap on the sugar.
The best piece of advice on marriage, I received from my Grandmama on my wedding day…”Love doesn’t just happen, it’s a decision you make every morning when you get up.”Titus2:3-5 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. There will be times in your marriage when you may not like your husband, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to pack up and leave. It means, it’s time to get busy working on what needs to be fixed. Do you feel like you don’t know him anymore? By the time he walks in from work are you so tired that you want to dump the problems of the day in his lap…and then wonder why he spends more time at the gym, track, hobby, or work? (This is the one I struggle with. I’m blessed with the fact that my sweetheart gets to come home for lunch. I noticed he started cutting his lunch short. I needed to make that time at home more pleasant.) Proverbs 21:9 Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman. We know what pleases our sweethearts and what doesn’t. (O.K., sweet ladies, I hear you, I’m doing all the work and my husband doesn’t even try, so I don’t think I should have to try anymore. Sorry, wrong, you choose to marry this fella and so long as you stay married to him you are commanded to love him…not lust, but agape love. The kind of love Christ has for us, the kind that put the sinless son of God on the cross as the sacrifice for our sins.) So, Let’s decide to be happy and content. I’m not going to compare my marriage, family, home, etc. with anything but the Bible. If I do that then, I’ll have more than enough to keep me busy working on changing me.
God made our husbands sensual creatures, and I know that when we have newborns, toddlers, teenagers with schedules that don’t seem to ever quit, and in my case chronic pain sex is very often the last thing on my mind. Trust me, even when your sweetheart is tired, it’s on his mind. If you have small children a scheduled bedtime is important because that’s mama and daddy time (be careful not to use this time to plug into FB) even if you’re too tired to do anything but sit on the couch and hold hands that touch is important. Wear clothes you know he likes, even when they may not be the most comfortable “mommy clothes”. Find small ways to touch him intimately during the day. You’ll find that this will help you warm up and be ready for intimacy.
Finally, the hardest thing of all is choosing between several good things. I love the story of Mary and Martha, because I’m a Martha. I find myself getting caught up in the details. Luke 10:40-42 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. "But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." It’s so easy for us to get caught up with the projects at home, at church, in the community, and with school. In and of themselves none of these are wrong, but are we allowing ourselves to become worried and troubled in the process. Do we get so busy with wanting things to be just right at home and school that we lose sight of why it’s important to us to begin with? Is our work in the community pulling us away from our family so that they don’t see us? Do we get so busy caring for the souls of other families that we’re not sure where the souls of our family members stand? We must be careful not to use our children as an excuse not to go to the nursing home, gospel meetings, or Bible studies; however, we must be certain that we are caring for those souls that God has given us direct care of in our home.

So now do you want to know how I’ve changed my answer to the question at the beginning of the article? I pull my sweetheart back over, and I say, “Insert Name, Look into those eyes, don’t you see the ocean when you look into his beautiful eyes! Every time I look into those eyes, I fall in love all over again!” Guess what ladies, it’s true. It gets better and better. My sweetheart still opens my door for me everywhere, we hold hands whenever possible, and at the end of the day while we watch T.V. he puts his head in my lap and I play with his hair or rub his back. I love this man, we’ve had some rough times and I’m sure there will be more…that’s life…but you decide that no matter what you don’t have an out. The “D” word is not in your vocabulary. The best part about the rough patches is you come out stronger and more in love on the other side….if you decide to. May God help us to be the wives He wants us to be, and may we bring Him glory in all we do.

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