Last night, I was a bit enigmatic in how I stated the blog would continue in the near future, and I was that way for a reason. Indeed, all we do is for a reason even if we do not know the reason at that time. The truth is, a lot of my prayer requests have been centered on one area in particular. This blog is not about me. That’s why I try to make it a point to not give personal details about my life. This time, I’m going to make another exception because I will be away for awhile and I want my readers to know why.
As it turns out, this Saturday, the Deeper Waters blogger is tying the knot.
That’s right. I’m getting married and I will be away on a honeymoon. For those concerned, I proposed to my wife while I had a good and steady job that I was sure would last, but this economy hasn’t been good for us. I got laid off nearly three months ago and I’m still looking and being disabled, I do have an organization helping me to find a job. Meanwhile, the people of God have been generous and that has enabled me to be able to pay for a honeymoon. Some people gave us money so we could specifically have one. We are learning in this hard time to rely more on each other and we know we will get through somehow. God has always provided for us and we see his hand at work in bringing us together.
I will not tell my wife’s name on here, but I will say she is a wonderful lady growing in godliness every day and I am growing in that way for her too. Hence, I’m going to write about marriage and some thoughts that I’ve had. My wife deserves simply the best and I look at myself and want to be the best for her. It’s been said that marriage brings out the best in people, but it also brings out the worst. I see in myself many attitudes and characteristics that need to be fixed.
Today I told a friend that if he plans to get married, start working on personal holiness now. I wish I had been doing this years ago. It was no big deal then, but now it is one. It takes something special like a great girl sometimes to wake us up to that reality.
Realize you have the right to be gloriously imperfect as well. We all have the desire to be perfect to some extent, but we won’t be this side of eternity. A friend of mine in counseling told me he has a friend who counsels a lot of Seminary students. All of them believe in total depravity and all of them seem surprised when they find out they’re totally depraved. You are. You are a fallen and sinful human being and while I am not Calvinist, I do agree that your natural inclination, and mine of course, is to sin. Realize you are a work in progress.
You also will see a distance away off in the future you want to reach. It can be hard when you look at the huge distance. Know that Scripture says God will get you there by his power in Christ. When it’s hard, look for the signposts you’re on the right way by seeing how much you’ve changed.
For your spouse, choose your battles wisely. There are some fights that will happen inevitably. Some arguments however are not worth it. Do you really want to argue over something tiny? Are there not times that you should just let things go with your spouse?
When you get a criticism from your spouse, even if it is said in anger, always take some time to consider it. Sure. Maybe your spouse was extreme, but there could be some truth to it. Really take some time to look. Don’t immediately jump to being defensive. Be glad your spouse points out things in private before someone can embarrass you with them in public.
Always keep these two things in mind. Your spouse loves you and they would never do anything that would maliciously intentionally hurt you. Then in whatever it is your spouse does, go back and look at the action in that light and see if you can see it differently.
Always be ready to tell your spouse you love them. Even in the midst of a disagreement, I still stop and tell my lady that I love her. It’s good when you are having those times to be able to stop and say “First point. I love you.” Once you have that, everything else will be easier.
If you are a man, realize that your wife doesn’t always want you to fix her problems. Sometimes, she just wants you to listen. I do that often with my wife where she will call me and be upset about something. My first goal is to try to fix it and then I stop and realize she just needs someone to be there. I can tell her I don’t have any magic words to make the pain go away, but your wife won’t want that. She’ll just want you at that time and to know she has a place of security.
Seek wisdom of others. We are actively talking to people who have been married some for a long time and some a short time. They have things that they can teach you. It is foolish to think you will go in knowing everything in advance. You can learn from experiences, preferably other peoples’.
Pray together. I cannot tell you enough how important this is. We have a tradition of calling each other every night and saying “How may I pray for you tonight?” and sharing our prayer requests. When you pray together, that makes it even more special as you get to see your spouse’s heart and your spouse gets to see yours and you realize you are growing closer to Christ together.
Love and adore your spouse always. Men. Make it a point to avoid desiring other women. I think in our culture the female faces a lot as she gets this idea of beauty thrown at her and television and movies don’t help. I think men do their wives a huge disservice when they make a big deal of a lady they see on TV or in the movies. Now if you’re with a friend and he introduces you to his girlfriend or wife, there’s nothing wrong with saying he’s got a pretty lady, but remember also that your wife is to be the desire of your eyes.
Also, follow the biblical principles. They’re there for a reason. A man is called to lead his wife, but if he is to be the king of his castle, he is to treat his lady like a queen. A wife is not an object and even in marriage, you can treat your wife as an object, such as one who is there simply to fulfill your sexual desires.
And speaking of sexuality, I am saying this as a virgin at this moment, but keep in mind that sexuality is not merely designed to fulfill your pleasures. It’s also about showing your spouse how much they mean to you. I believe sexuality is the closest form of love to the Trinity on Earth. The union where the two become one is meant to be a shadow representing the love that takes place in the Trinity. The shadow’s not a bad thing however! Don’t think I’m putting down the shadow! In fact, I’m exalting it. I’m saying this is what God gave married couples to reveal what union with Himself is like.
Always remember that sex is to be something special, but it is also something sacred and you are to honor your spouse sexually. You can dishonor your spouse sexually without ever having an affair. It can be the constant admiration of others, or the treating your spouse like an object.
Accept your spouse as Christ has accepted you. If you are tempted to be critical, remember there is plenty of yourself that someone could be critical of. If you are tempted to be angry, remember there is much about you that God can deal with you for and chooses not to. If you are attempted to discourage her, remember that you are to lift one another up in Christlikeness.
So dear readers, I will be away then for a time and I do not have any definite time I will be back. My wife will be wanting me to keep up ministry however, but this is not the end.
And to my future wife, I thank you for just coming into my life and as you rightly correct me, you did not turn my world upside-down. You turned it right-side up. You got me to stop looking at myself all the time and look at you and look at my God all the more. You have made me see more and more that any fear I have in my life can be overcome. You have changed my views on so much. I do not know how it was I actually thought about anything in the past before you came along and I thank God that he brought you into my life to shape me into the man I am becoming.
To my Princess, as I call you, I love you. It will not be long before we are husband and wife and I look forward to spending the rest of my life adoring you, loving you, honoring you, taking care of you, and helping you be the woman God made you to be and that you are becoming more and more everyday.
Though I just said it, I have to say again before I go, I love you.
And dear readers, we shall continue sometime in the future. Pray for us on this journey.
And once again Princess, I love you.