As you may have come to understand by now I am a lover of good, pure, REAL food. But I didn’t start off that way, and that’s not all there is to me either. I was 20 years old when I got married and was ill prepared for a world of marriage, adulthood, and motherhood that was soon to follow. The early years of our marriage were tough; I’m not going to lie. We knew each other for a whopping four months before we decided to devote our lives to one another. Were we maybe a bit too young to fully understand that commitment? Perhaps we were, but we both felt that God had brought us together for a purpose and we knew that if we were faithful to put Him at the core of our relationship that we would be ok. Of course, we wanted to be more than ok and it took several long years of faith, prayer, growing up, and commitment to get to a place in our marriage where we can honestly say that we are deeply in love and simply enjoy one another more than anyone else. Love is a commitment. While it starts as a feeling that is not what true love is about. Love is sacrificial and it’s a decision that you make time and time again that is sometimes much harder than you would ever think possible. Love is also extremely gratifying and rewarding and is truly a blessing to have and give.
Some people get married and have it perfect right from the start and never have any problems. I don’t know any of those people and I would venture to guess that you probably don’t either. Not if we’re all being honest here. And that brings me to the foundation of what a marriage should have- well any relationship really. Honesty. Now I don’t mean the cruel type of honesty where you say whatever is on your mind at a given time, even if it is hurtful. No, I am talking about being honest first with yourself, then with God, and then with your partner. Relationships are built on trust and it takes work on both parts to establish that trust and to re-establish it, should it ever be broken. And sometimes that happens. But we are called to forgive just as Christ forgave us, and part of having a healthy relationship is forgiveness. Never hold a grudge. If something is bothering you, take a step back and try to figure out why and how to express it. Then bring it to your mate in an open and un-accusatory manner that is both respectful and vulnerable. This part takes some practice and it’s important to have patience with one another as you learn how best to communicate with one another. It can sometimes take years to learn how to talk in a way that you can both really hear what each other is saying, and not get lost it the translation.
I will never claim to be an expert on marriage on any level but I have learned things, mostly the hard way and I have a passion for helping those who have been through similar circumstances as I have. I learned early on that marriage takes work, real work on both parts. But boy is it ever worth it. I love my husband more now than the day I said I do, and after nine years of marriage and three kids I can honestly say that our love for one another grows deeper every year we are together. Every day is NOT perfect nor will it ever be; and honestly I think we need some of the rough times to enjoy the great times.
If anyone has any thoughts to share about relationships, I would love to hear them! I will be putting up a resources page soon on helpful books about tricky topics in marriages and relationships. A book that really helped me in our early years of marriage that was extremely humbling is The Book “A Wife After God’s Own Heart” by Elizabeth George. I highly recommend any wife or wife to be to check it out. It really helped me grow as a women and see what I out to be doing. It’s a tough read though!