Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Set Your Anchor

Today my husband brought me home a cookie.

If I had to choose over flowers or a cookie... I choose the cookie. He knows me so well.

I was thinking about us and how our marriage ticks, what helps it tick and why after six years (which may be short to some or long) we still laugh, love and are best friends.

Last night in bed I thought about what is it that we hold valuable in our marriage that makes it strong. Then I asked Daniel what he thought. I asked, "If you were asked to give advice or pointers to a young man getting ready to get married, what would you tell them?"

He (eventually) numbered off;
1. Communicate
2. Listen
3. Make your spouse feel desired and needed
--He later added this evening
4. Watch out for pits
5. Always remember the Knight and Princess
6. You will learn patience- so be patient
7. Hold on and hold on tight song

My addition to that was/is;
8. Pray for your spouse, pray with them, and pray for yourself as a spouse
9. Say you're sorry
10. Forgive
11. Look nice
12. Date
13. Anniversary trips
14. Don't let anyone in the bubble of you and your spouse
15. Time/Share
16. Be financially wise

1. Communication is most likely every ones number one, yet one of the hardest things to do sometimes. 
The bible talks about speaking from the very first chapter of the bible. God spoke and it was. Words can build up and can tear down, words tie us together and expresses the depths of our hearts. We need our words to bind our relationships together and we need to be wise with our tongue, because words once spoken cannot be taken back. It should be used in a gracious way.
Colossians 4:6 "Let the words you speak always be full of grace. Seasoned them with salt. Then you will know how to answer everyone."
Daniel and I express with our words, even when mad or angry at each other, in a graceful way. We start our words by not placing blame but expressing our feelings and why we have them.
Communication is like a tennis match, you can't have a game and you can't have a solid and fair resolution if someone isn't hitting the ball back.
So speak full of grace and enhance your grace with salt to one another.

2. Listen. So much easier said than done. I seriously have a Attention Deficit issue and Daniel is very forgiving of me for it and I am sorry for it. He is an amazing listener and I appreciate being heard.
We all want to be heard, but guess what, so does your spouse. If we don't listen to our spouse we can't learn their wants and their desires, we wont know what needs to be done to help them tick. They wont feel wanted and the words will stop coming out if they keep falling on deaf ears- thus communication will end.
Proverbs 4:1 "My children, listen to a father's teaching. Pay attention and gain understanding."
We won't gain anything if we don't listen.

3. Make your spouse feel desired and needed.
Song of Solomon 2:10 "Rise up, my love. Come with me, my beautiful one."
It felt like that when you were proposed to huh? Or the one proposing. You felt desired and you desired your spouse. You were ready to go anywhere with them and start a new life at any moment with them. I tried to talk Daniel into eloping with me. To just run away together in the dark of the night and not have to wait for family and friends to witness our marriage. I was half joking. Our roots are deep now so just up and leaving isn't really possible. But I wouldn't go anywhere without him, and he wouldn't go anywhere without me. I would follow wherever he goes and he will follow me. We still desire one another.
It helps that when you feel like you're the one being desired- to desire them as well. So if you feel undesired- and you know you can make that feeling of being desired mutual, work on desiring them first and they will too communicate that back and you can begin to rekindle the flame.

4. Watch out for pits! 
Don't let yourself get too distracted with other things outside of your spouse. TV's, phones, computers are huge distractions that can consume our time. Other hobbies that overrule our time with our spouse can become idols. These things aren't evil but they can be if you put them before your wife or husband. So just watch it. And make some changes if you need to, or guidelines.
5. The Knight in shinning armor and the captivating princess
Psalms 18:2 "The Lord is my rock and my fort. He is the One who saves me. My God is my rock. I go to him for safety. He is like a shield to me. He's my place of safety."
Women want to feel safe. Men want to bring safety. Women want to be saved. Men want to save.
God represents His love many times as a bridegroom to His bride- His people, His children, His church.
He wants to save us and we want to be saved. Just as a real bride feels the same desire of safety. Just as real groom desires to bring safety.
When we keep this idea of the knight and princess it parallels in our marriage- to treat your wife like a Princess, to protect her, love her and keep her safe. And your husband a Knight, to trust him, follow him and respect him.

6. You will learn to be patient. Hopefully. Because if you don't you're in trouble. After the dating and honeymoon phase wears off, we can find ourselves seeing that cute chewing sound they make when they eat, isn't quite so charming. Or the messy side of your girlfriend made her seem ditsy and fun- but now she's your messy wife (sorry Daniel). Our endless patience can start to wear away.
You will ultimately learn about being patient as we get irritable, or impatient, or when you have kids! That was the real patience pusher for us.
So be patient!! Have grace and then COMMUNICATE it!

7. Hold on and hold on tight
Song Of Solomon 8:6 "Hold me close to your heart like the seal around your neck. Keep me close to yourself like the ring on your finger. My love for you is so strong it won't let go. Love is as powerful as death. Love's jealousy is as strong as the grave. Love it like a blazing fire. It burns like a mighty flame."
Psalms 63:8 "I hold on to you. Your powerful right hand takes good care of me."
When you find something good, you hang on to it. There may come a day when it may feel like that good thing isn't good anymore, or you're in that day. There was a day when it was good. Hang on to that, keep hanging on and hang on tight. Don't let a cool wind blow between you but keep the flame going. Even a spark can set a forest ablaze. Hold on.

I'm going to let that set in and finish off the other half tomorrow.

I really hope, in some ways, this can encourage others or help in some way if you need it. Or save it for a rainy day.

Marriage is precious, spectacular, an incredible ride and LOTS of work. It peels away at us showing our faults and our impurities. It brings out the worst and the best. It is possible to make it through any situation, any burden, season or storm.
You have to have the right boat- God.
The right sail, your persistence.
The right rudder, your tongue.
And right navigation- His Word.

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