Year {Three} Lessons

img_2307

{Three} beautiful years of marriage. Redemption. Blessings. Loving like Jesus. Choosing to forgive. Learning to trust. Letting go of control. Perspective. Grace.

Grace upon grace up grace.

Many married and singles gave my husband and I advice prior to marriage and we’ve given some advice since getting married to those about to embark on this exciting journey. And while it was all good, well-meaning and full of truth, you just don’t know until you are there.

You don’t know how to process hurt. You don’t know how to rebuild trust. You don’t know how to love unconditionally. You don’t know forgiveness and grace.

And I’m still learning. But I’ve also learned.

These three years of marriage have revealed places in my heart where I need God to do some work. They have taught me the power of prayer and the desperate need I have for an intimate relationship with Christ. And most of all, they have shown me what it means to truly love unconditionally and show another imperfect human grace. Marriage is teaching me to love like Christ when it’s easy, when it’s hard, and when it hurts. And if in my imperfect attempts to love like Christ, others can see the love Christ has for us, it is worth it. One-hundred times over it is worth it.

1174927_10151786992474824_144751109_n

I am thankful, blessed, and humbled that I get to be a part of my husbands story. What an honor it is to encourage him, to walk beside him, and to do life with him. God’s grace shows up each and every day through my husband and the way he loves me and encourages me, forgives me and gives me second chances. I can wake up with praises on my lips because yes Lord, your mercies are new every morning.

Three lessons for three years:

{ONE} Show Grace 

This one is hard for me. In the thick of marriage, it’s easy to forget that you are living life with another imperfect human who makes mistakes and can’t read your mind or meet your every need. Expectations get in the way of reality. And we forget to be gracious.

Recently my husband shared a situation in which he felt I was gracious to him. (Remember how GRACE is hard for me?!) I was so humbled by this – it wasn’t by my own strength – I wasn’t gracious. Christ’s work in me allowed be to be gracious. When I choose to show my husband grace, I choose to love him like Christ loves me and I am allowing Christ to work in my heart. That is what I want my part in marriage to be about.

As wives, we don’t always want to show grace. We want to be right. We let our pride get in the way. We ignore the nudging of the holy spirit. And in those moments, we have to show ourselves grace too. It’s okay to mess up. Because that’s where God can do the most work! And that’s part of marriage too – drawing close to the Lord and asking him to cover your ungracious moments with his mercies. Forgive yourself and humble your heart. Reconcile with your husband. And learn from each day how to show grace in big and small ways.

{TWO} Laugh Often

Learn to laugh at yourself and laugh with your spouse. Does your spouse like bathroom humor? Lighten up and laugh a little, even if you’d rather turn up your nose at such silliness. Because you know what? Sometimes just seeing your spouse laugh is good medicine!

I’m all for deep, intimate conversation and there are days when I really need that. But sometimes there are days when I pursue that kind of conversation with my husband and he completely shifts the mood. That used to frustrate me to no end! But what I’ve learned is he’s pretty good at reading my mood, and he’s pretty good at knowing when I need to laugh! It’s okay for the mood to be light in a marriage!

Enjoy each others silliness. Be immature together! Let yourselves laugh – just like meaningful conversation develops intimacy, after three years of marriage I one-hundred percent believe laughter does too.

{THREE} Pray Continually

I can say – from experience – that this is huge in a marriage.  Early on, my prayers for our marriage and for my husband weren’t powerful or meaningful in my heart. I believed God was listening but I just didn’t pray often and I didn’t expect God to answer. I didn’t recognize the privilege of praying for my husband with bold expectation that God will answer.

As wives, we should be covering our husbands in prayer. We have the unique  opportunity to be their biggest support, the ones who see them at their best and worst, and the ones who know the deepest places of their hearts. We know better than anyone else when and why they struggle – and the amazing thing is God has given us direct access to him to plead and fight for our husband’s hearts and minds. Pray to cover him in protection.  Pray in the thick of hurt and temptation. Praise God for good things. Plead with God when things are hard.  And watch what God will do in your husband and your marriage.

In the past year I have asked God for bold things. And although he doesn’t always answer my prayers immediately or in the way I had hoped, I have seen his redemption and blessings in many areas I prayed boldly for, specifically in my marriage.

I think it is also so important to pray together. Start small, over breakfast or dinner. Before you go to bed. Just carve out time to pray together. There is no formula – we don’t need one to talk with God. Praise him for good things, ask him for things you need, look for wisdom and discernment in decisions you need to make as a couple. It can be hard to pray in front of each other, but the more you do it the easier it gets. Over the last three years, our prayers together have changed and become more intimate and more meaningful. I believe this had a huge part in changing the dynamic of our marriage.

{The Privilege of} Marriage

Marriage is a privilege and a blessing. Not only because I get to do life with my husband, but because God is using him to shape me into a more Christ-like person. Every day I have the opportunity to choose to allow my flesh to control my words and actions or to allow Christ to work in me. God has entrusted us with a relationship that has capabilities to further his kingdom by displaying the mercy and grace of Christ daily to both each other, and to those we encounter. In no way do we have this adventure figured out! But we do have the love and grace of Christ in us. That’s how we made it to one year, to three years, and how we will make it each and every year after this. Because God is good. God is love.

17781_10151787098904824_1357155731_n

Thank you for loving me. For encouraging me. For making me laugh. And for reminding me of the most important things in life. I’m so thankful, humbled, and blessed to do life with you.

Happy {three years} to my best friend!

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Year {Three} Lessons

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s