Recently, I was asked to share something that I have learned from marriage. As I was thinking on this, I asked my husband how he would answer. He said, “That’s easy. First, think hard before you act. Second, things aren’t always what they seem. And, last, gravity takes hold. ☺ In other words, I have learned what’s really important.”
He went on to explain that when you begin this journey with another person, you start out with anticipation and great expectations. Then life happens: things hurt, things take time, and much patience is needed. The bumps and bruises along the way earn your stripes, so to speak. This thing that you two create called, Home, becomes something you work very hard for and something you must fight for.
Water plus a couple of earthy ingredients makes a totally new entity called cement. Dry leaves plus enough heat in the atmosphere creates fire, a totally new entity. A marriage of two people is much greater than those two people. The two of you will begin to build a home together, an entity separate from yourselves yet made of everything you individually have. This covenant that you are walking into demands all of you and all of him.
This home will grow more and more dear to you as the years and trials, joys and sorrows click by. As you travel the road of life together you find out what is really important, what’s worth fighting for: home. This new entity becomes more important than you ever could have imagined in your “perfect marriage” scenario, greater than your expectations or anticipations ever could have satisfied.
In this fight to create and sustain the life of this home and all that is wrapped up in the word, much effort will be expended. Trust God. Trust your husband. When you struggle so desperately for something, that thing becomes more precious to you than those dreams of who you thought you would be and what you dreamed your life would look like.
Dear young lady, you really have no idea what God will do between where you sit as a newlywed and in the years to follow. Time, if God allows, will teach you perseverance and build in you the strength you need to bravely face life with all its glories and all its trials. Tenacity, determination and raw, passionate, self-sacrificing true love will blossom, nourish and sustain your home.
What a lesson! In addition to sharing the learning of this important lesson with him, I have learned another. First and foremost, I have learned that God deals very mercifully with me. He has shown me the pivotal role a wife plays in the building up or tearing down of this dear and precious home.
Practically speaking, by commanding the wife in Scripture to “reverence her husband,” God is reminding me to walk humbly and gratefully with my husband.
I have learned that reverencing my husband with my words and my actions is of paramount importance to the health of our relationship. How alike is this truth to our relationship with God! Our submission to God is tied closely to our submission to our husband.
In practice, this means to speak not just softly in tone but kindly as well. Men are naturally competitive and we can incite this adversarial spirit by challenging them with our words and with our body language.
Use soft words and maintain soft body language; because life is hard enough. Smile at him. Listen to him without interruption when he speaks. Don’t demand, ask. Don’t nag, pray. Don’t challenge, respect. Don’t complain, be grateful.
As seasons of life change, Elizabeth happily remains desperately dependent upon her God. Two of her four children have now branched off to begin their own families. She is a homeschooling veteran and a faithful wife of almost 30 years.