I am a strong proponent of not living in the past, but it is good to visit there sometimes. So I paid it a visit today. I took a stroll down the proverbial memory lane, with music as my guide. Memories of when my husband and I first started dating, our wedding, and other highlights of our time together, brought both smiles and tears(happy ones). I sung in and out of tune, reminisced, and got that “old feeling” back. That feeling I had when I first fell in love with him resurfaced. Not that it had gone anywhere, but sometimes it gets buried under the complexities of “life”. No, can’t live there, but it felt really good visiting.
He loves me, he loves me not,………………………………he loves me.
Remember that little game we used to play as young girls, the one where we would individually pick petals from a flower, chanting he loves me he loves me not, to see which one the last petal would land on? Now that we are grown and have put away childish things, to what or to whom do we turn for the answer to this burning question? Relationship books or magazines with those awesome relationship quizzes, relationship experts, and our trusted friends are many of our go to sources. However, God gave us the ultimate guide for determining a man’s love for you. If your man passes this fail proof test, then you have your answer, he loves you.
1. Is he patient with and kind to you?
2. Is he jealous?
3. Is he rude to you?
4. Does he demand his own way?
5. Does he regard you with irritation?
6. Does he keep a running tally of everything you’ve said and or done wrong in the relationship?
The correct answer to number one is “yes”. Numbers 2-6 should be “no”. Tally up your score; Does he love you or love you not?
After the wedding ceremony, the reception, and the honeymoon are over, then comes marriage. Many months and sometimes years of preparation go into planning the perfect wedding ceremony. More often that not, this same prepping does not go into the actual marriage. Many fail to look past the dress, flowers, rings, reception food and music, as a result they are disappointed when the “happily ever after” is replaced by the reality of marriage. Marriage is a beautiful thing, but it has its ugly moments as well. It is a merger of two into one and sometimes the merger seems like a hostile takeover. When uniting 2 people, 2 minds, 2 hearts, 2 souls, the sailing isn’t always smooth. There will be wild waves and tossing of the sea. If you’re not steadfast and fully committed your boat may very well sink.
I am not a marriage expert, but on today I celebrate 15 years of marriage. A marriage that has endured and weathered some of the most turbulent storms, yet one that is without regret and one that I would do all over again. I entered my marriage very much aware of the fact that it would be work. Marrying a service member and becoming an “instant mom”, I knew overtime would be required. Fifteen years in and I’m not ready to retire yet.
A falsehood about marriage that I am glad that I learned early is that it is 50-50. Fifty percent of anything is half of it, so if I am giving 50% of myself in my marriage I am only giving half of me. Half hearted effort usually results in failure. If you give 100% and your spouse does the same, you both receive the best of one another.
Enter marriage with your eyes wide open: realize that there will be storms and be prepared to endure them, know that it is work and be ready to give 100%, and most importantly (and what I believe has made the biggest difference) submit your marriage to God.