At some point during the "pre-marriage" process, someone looks at you and says "Marriage will change you." You scoff it off and assume they're bitter about their marriage (which might be) or they're crazy. Either way, you ignore it, move on and prepare for you're happily ever after. I won't say that I didn't believe this warning, but I thought it was more dramatic then necessary. MAN WAS I WRONG!
Joshua and I, at this point have read SO many marriage books, I now can't remember which one gave me which piece of advice. Somewhere I heard it said that whenever there is relationship-shifting change, the relationship gets rocky. Joshua and I are in that season right now! Let me tell you, since October 22, 2011 we have dealt with more then I thought we would. I'm not going to have a pity party, because honestly I think all of these will make us stronger but here is (chronologically) an idea of what has happened.
1. A Honeymoon
2. Change of jobs (Joshua)
3. Holidays (sharing with other families)
4. Holidays (Christmas shopping and the financial aspects)
5. Graduation (Joshua)
6. New Year, New Start
7. 1st Car Accident
8. Car getting totaled, finding a new one
9. Wrecking THAT new one
10. Having an accident in the rental (a minor issue - not even a scratch)
11. Health Issues (Abbi)
12. Pre-diabetes (Abbi)
13. Needing to lessen working hours, to deal with Health issues (Abbi)
Needless to say, Joshua and I are IN that season of change! Let me use a few "book" terms to describe what's going on. We are on the "Crazy-cycle" (Love & Respect). We aren't meeting each other's needs (His Needs, Her Needs). It's a challenge everyday, and not just everyday, in those heated battles over will. Where my submission gets challenged, my letting him step-up and take that role! Years of understanding that "I deserve this, I deserve that" are being rewritten. They're being rewritten to say "Maybe I don't deserve this and that but I do deserve a man who unconditionally loves me, will stand by me, be my best friend, laugh with me." That is what I deserve.
Proverbs 27:17 says "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."
Joshua and I are taking a class at the church we're attending, it's called "Pursuing a cross-centered marriage" and it is wonderful. They gave the image of what would it look like if you were to watch as iron sharpened iron? Would it be beautiful? Or would it be so painful to watch, so vivid, cutting, tearing, reforming; that you couldn't watch the process? I'm sure it's the latter. If God were to sit us down before we got married, actually sit across and have coffee, and explain "Here all that is listed in Column A is the changes you have/will make to be married to this person for your lifetime. But here in Column B is all of things you will get out of it." With some variation would Column A and Column B look much different? I'm learning NOW in this stage with Joshua how to try and be less critical. Isn't that both a painful change but a beautiful one?
Whatever stage of relationship you're in, remember it is painful, terribly. But I can not explain the peace I have knowing this man loves me with everything he has. He is the closest imitation of God (in love) that I have on this earth!
Think about printing these out and keeping them close to your heart as you pray for your marriage:
"Being a Godly Wife" was adapted from Butler, Party of 3 and her post about being a Godly Wife.
Please go read the entire post for a more detailed explanation of what she says! It's amazing!