Give me an “M”….

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Love and Marriage

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”       (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

I have wanted to write about marriage for some time now because I think it has a huge impact on children and the way we parent. So, with Valentine’s Day festivities just finishing up, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity. I could talk about this topic for the rest of the year, but I’m only going to scratch the surface. And it is a topic many far more eloquent and knowledgeable than me have already written about, so today I’m just going to share my personal opinion and experience. On Wednesday I will share some of the things that have helped me in my marriage journey and on Friday I’m going to tell you about an inspiring love story that exemplifies Christ-like love and sacrifice.

When my husband and I were engaged– 12 years ago! — I remember having conversations with him about the guys we worked with and how they would refer to their wives as the “old ball and chain”. We also talked about the ladies we worked with who would gripe and complain because their husbands couldn’t do anything right. We both made it clear from day one that we were not okay with either of those scenarios. We agreed from the beginning that even when we felt like it, we would never publicly malign each other. Maybe it’s because of my cheer background, but I always like to say, “I want you to be my cheerleader!” When I do something really silly or make a big mistake, I want my husband to be the one who hugs me and tells me it’s going to be okay right after it happens (even if he is seething on the inside) and I want to do the same for him. We agreed we would be each other’s biggest fans and if we had frustrations with each other we would tell each other with love and work through it. Why? Because this is what God intended:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

In addition to being the captain of each other’s fan clubs, we also agreed before we had kids that our relationship would always come first. We refuse to become child-centered because even though it seems like I am never going to get a full night’s sleep again, our kids ARE going to grow up and move out and then what? Some people might disagree with this, but I was a wife first and I want to do everything I can to keep my marriage growing and thriving which sometimes means putting my kids’ desires – not needs — on the back burner. Granted, this can be a little difficult when you are in survival mode with three kids five and under or insert your stressful child situation here, but I am learning there is always going to be something that could distract me from loving my husband the way I should. This is why it is so important to figure out what fills your husband’s love tank, as well as your own…which I will talk a little more about on Wednesday.

Marriage is indeed a great gift from the Lord, but it is one that takes A LOT of work and sacrifice and patience. It takes choosing to love your husband daily, no matter what. Trust me, though, the pay-off you receive when you put forth the effort outweighs anything you have to give up to get that love and support in return.  When you feel safe in your relationship with your husband, when you know he has your back and when you would rather spend time with him than anyone else, there is nothing other than your relationship with Christ that compares. And, how wonderful will your choice to LOVE your husband first make your children feel?  There is such joy and peace in a child’s heart that comes from knowing without a doubt that mommy and daddy love each other and are committed to one another no matter what.

I remember taking road trips as a child (long trips…cross country trips) and feeling such comfort from looking up and catching my dad reaching across the van to gently touch my mom’s arm while she would smile back. It made me feel safe and it made me feel like all was right with the world. I know without asking that my children feel the same way. Why else would they chant “Kiss on the lips! Kiss on the lips!” to us in the morning as my husband is rushing out the door to drop my daughter off at school on his way to work? They hunger for us to show them that we love each other, and we don’t mind obliging them. =)

The temptation is there for us to cater to other people (especially our kids) before our husbands and sometimes we feel more like doing that, anyway. But I honestly believe that in the long run our children will be more secure if they see us choosing to put their daddies first. The temptation is also there to get frustrated and gripe about our husbands because they are human and disappoint us sometimes. But I also honestly believe our marriages will be stronger if we keep our mouths shut and lovingly talk through our grievances with our husbands rather than our friends. I challenge you to be your husband’s biggest fan today, even if it’s difficult or if you don’t feel like he does the same for you. LOVE him, cheer him on, and show him he is the most important person in the world to you. I promise you won’t regret it, and neither will your kids.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Give me an “M”….

  1. Jenn

    I may be a newleywed still, but I agree with everything you said above!! Matt and I talked in depth before we got married about how we would NEVER talk down to, or about each other, especially in front of other people. And we both agree that we want our children to be able to see clearly just how much mommy and daddy love each other. In fact, just yesterday while I was still at work, Matt was watching “House Hunters” with the kids and there was a couple on there fighting. Addy looked at Matt and said, “Daddy, you and Mommy never fight.” And then Blake chimed in and said, “Yeah, you and Mommy only love each other and kiss a whole lot.” =) It made my heart happy to hear that!!

    Reply
  2. Mercedes Markovics

    Oh, thank God – it is so refreshing to hear someone open their heart to remind me who the most important person in my world is and how he deserves my unconditional love everyday! After 30 years of marriage my only regret is that I didn’t meet him sooner.

    Reply

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