By Cari Andreani
I love the verse in Ecclesiastes 3:7 “There is a time to be silent and a time to speak”: words of wisdom from the wisest man whoever lived! For us wives, this is so important. When do we speak up? When do we keep quiet? We don’t want to question our husbands on everything , but we don’t want to keep everything in and suffer in silence. That is not good either. What do we do? We have to find balance.
A couple things I do before I address an issue with my husband is:
- Ask: “Is it worth bringing up? Can I overlook this?” Proverbs 19:11 “A man’s patience gives him wisdom, it is to his glory to overlook an offense.”
- Trust: I remind myself that I trust my husband’s judgment and support his decisions. Even if they are not what I want. If we find out they weren’t the right ones, we grow and learn. And that is what life is about.
- Pray: I pray for wisdom and for the right words to say if it is a time to speak, and for him to have the right heart to hear them.
Ultimately, let it be used to glorify God. All we say and do should glorify God. (1 Cor. 10:31) Any discussion should edify, not tear down.
We have so much power in our words. We are wise to use them carefully in our marriage.
“Life and death are in the tongue” Proverbs 18:21
By Kristin Staley
A few weeks ago I had one of those days. You know, the kind that you just want everyone to forget about because you were just so – so nasty… just me? Well, unfortunately for my husband, I have those days. The day always begins somewhat normal. I roll out of bed trying not to squash Dora (my dog) or wake up the hubby. I watch my sweet little princess, Sophia, as she sleeps so soundly and quietly creep over to my nightstand to grab my phone from the charger to get my morning scope from Facebook (the typical Millennial’s newspaper). I groggily walk downstairs to check the refrigerator as if the fridge fairy filled it with food I didn’t know about, and then, I see it – the bowl – the bowl that represents so much. I can see the yellow butter stains on the sides and still smell the slightest hint of the theater.
Popcorn! I knew it! He waited until I feel asleep and came downstairs to have a night filled with fun, movies, and popcorn!
Okay, Ladies, let me explain. My husband does not have the sleep habits I have acquired over my twenty-five years. I am lucky if I stay awake past ten. He, on the other hand, loves staying up at all hours of the night and has trouble going to bed earlier than midnight. This bothers me. It bothers me because I want to stay awake and have fun with him instead of sleeping like an old lady, but some nights I just cannot keep my eyes open! So some nights when my husband can’t sleep, he slips quietly out of the room and goes downstairs to eat a snack and watch a movie.
Okay, back to the irregular thought process…
Why would he want to leave me for popcorn? Am I not enough for him? Had he rather watch a movie then spend time with me? I like popcorn. I like movies. I can’t help it if I have to work all day and then take care of a baby when I get home. I wish I had the luxury of staying up all night watching movies and eating popcorn. If he was having trouble sleeping, he could have started that load of laundry that has been staring at me the past two days. He never does laundry. I can’t think of one single time he has ever done laundry. Okay maybe a few times, but it wouldn’t kill him to do one more load! I hate doing laundry. He probably wishes he had a wife that loved doing the laundry. That is probably why he came down here last night. He was thinking about how he wished he had married a cute little housewife who cooked him a gourmet dinner every night.
Therefore, I start thinking about every way someone has wronged me in my life and soon, my entire day is ruined before it even starts. I am snooty all day long until I break down into tears and explain why I am so terribly upset. I know my merciful husband just wants to laugh sometimes at the things I get so upset about. Sometimes I want to blame it on hormones, but then I realize, it’s not yet that time if you know what I mean. Then I try to blame it on stress at work, but then when I think about it, nothing has really changed. And then I know…I know why my day is ruined. I know how I destroyed our weekend. I started my day for me. I forgot to ask God to control my thoughts and words. I failed to read His precious Words. I didn’t ask my Heavenly Father to help me act like Him and not in my crazy flesh. Tears, apologies, and a kiss later, all is well with my sweet hubby, but all could have been avoided so easily. I am such a mess without my God. I cannot imagine my marriage or my life without Him. Let me tell you (as if you didn’t already know by now), I am crazy! We all are because we are WOMEN! God made us as emotional beings for a reason, but if we let them control us, we feel unstable. Give God your emotions every morning so you don’t have regret them later.
By Jenna Raulerson
This Sunday will mark the anniversary of me and my husband’s first year of marriage. This is about the time of year, where I feel like I’m expected to get all mooshy gooshy and talk about how blistful every single second was, but I’m not going to do that because that’s a lie. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not bitter. I’m not angry. I’m not unhappy, and most importantly I’m still completely and madly in love with my husband. But the last year of my life was the hardest… and the happiest I have experienced in my short (and easily lived) 24 years.
I’ve learned basically two main things since last February 12th. The first is that marriage exposes you in your purest, most raw form; emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally. If you’re not ready for someone else, especially the person you chose as your life-long mate, to see that, you’re not ready to get married. Through this exposure you learn much about yourself and the person you chose as your spouse. Some good some bad. Some funny and some frustrating. I think this “exposure” is the crossroads of a marriage. It’s the point where you can choose to move on together, or both take a separate road. Over this last year, boy… have we exposed ourselves, all over the place; in every room of the house, in the yard, in public places, on the phone, in front of our families, in front of our friends. And in all seriousness, it’s sometimes quite embarrassing, but I’ve still found 365 new ways and reasons to love my husband through it all, and I have no doubt that next year I’ll be able to say the same.
The second thing I’ve learned during my first year of marriage is that I don’t really want to believe that there is such a thing as a “Honeymoon Stage.” Let it be said that I never really understood what it was in the first place, though I never admitted it, and people still tell me all the time “Oh you’re still in the Honeymoon Stage.” Well I’m here to tell you, there’s no such thing in a good marriage. Apparently the “Honeymoon Stage” is when the young couple is all blistful, kissy-kissy, yes dear, etc. Apparently. Then, apparently, you somehow fall out of this and into “real marriage” where you become grouchy, complacent and set in your own ways. This is what the world likes to tell you. God has overcome the world. This is not His plan for your marriage or mine! May my husband and I never become grouchy or complacent in our marriage, we plan on being 80 and still being kissy-kissy all over the place, appropriately of course!
My husband and I live an incredibly blessed life. We haven’t had to endure any great trials, both have secure jobs, have amazingly supportive families and have never had to deal with great loss. With this in mind, I know that storms will come, and when they do, I am more certain than ever that I have the absolute best person by my side to walk through the storm with me. The person that God perfectly formed and created to suit me. My absolute other half. Sure, I said all of that on my wedding day and meant it. But now that we have a year of mess, confusion, arguments, misunderstanding and miscommunication under our belts, it has a lot more weight and meaning in my heart.
Thank you to my loving, tolerant, caring, sweet, faithful, handsome, Godly, supportive, providing, funny Husband Owen! My absolute other half.
How God Shows Himself in Marriage
Marriage – a big, mysterious word to those who have never experienced it. Young girls see it as their salvation – to be rescued by their white night and be swept off to the castle on a hill to live happily ever after. Young men, well, I am not sure what they think about it…if they think about it, but for some, girls and boys, the word marriage can be scary because mom and dad didn’t do it so well.
After my engagement to be married, I was frequently asked this question…
Are you ready???
If I didn’t feel up for a big discussion, I’d say, “Sure! I can’t wait!” But how can you be ready for the unknown? Yes, we did premarital counseling, but that was all hypothetical. How would I know if I had all the right tools and strategies to face anything that may arise? I was about to embark on a life-long commitment with a man – a human – someone related to Adam and Eve! At the altar, I would happily commit to the man that stood before me, but fast forward 10 years later would I happily commit again? I can’t control him. He has free will. He is going to change. Will I like who he becomes?! Will he like who I become??!! Who knows???!!!
But this is where I believe a Godly marriage differentiates itself from the rest.
Let me explain.
You know the knock-out, drag-out fights you have with your husband? Ours are few and far between but we are not impervious. Or what about those conflicts that lead to the slamming of doors and screeching of tires? They can leave you enraged, emotionally drained, and feeling a sense of hopelessness.
So for one marriage, that last fight was the last straw, but for another it may be an opportunity to see God work. In these desperate moments, I see God’s miraculous manifestation. He uses the challenges that we face in marriage to grow us and change us for the better. You and your spouse may not be the same people after 10 years (I know I am not after only 2.5), but that doesn’t need to incite fear in your heart. You are on this journey together.
In our walk with Him, He teaches us humility. We learn to back down, to apologize. He gives us hope. He promises that we will never go through anything that we can’t handle because He is with us, and NOTHING is impossible with Him.
Shopoholic: one who is addicted to shopping!
Are you a shopaholic? Shopping for some women is like sports for some men. Why do we get all excited and become addicted to shopping? Well, I think it is because we like pretty things, I mean, we are girls! And when we look beautiful, we feel better. There is nothing wrong with shopping, unless it is hurting your marriage and you are being careless with your finances. I was recently interviewed for Redbook Magazine on financial infidelity. (Check out the whole article at http://www.redbookmag.com and search for Financial Infidelity by Blake Miller)
One thing I state in the article I learned from my former shopoholic days is that if you are hiding something, you already know it is wrong. Anything you have to sneak around to do, you know is wrong.
I also learned that if God was going to trust me with a lot, he needed to trust me with a little. How could he give me more, if every dime I got I found an excuse to buy something? He wants to give, but to those He can trust. Ask yourself, are you trustworthy?
Seek accountability if you need to, but money is not worth losing your marriage over.
Beth Kobliner from Redbook Magazine says to ask these seven questions before buying:
- Do you have to buy this item?
- Have you found the best deal?
- Have you gotten your z’s? (In other words, sleep on it!)
- Are you buying just because it’s on sale?
- Have you asked about future deals?
- Do you love it and do you need it?
- Can you afford it?
Another piece of advice I heard from Joyce Meyer when it comes to money is:
- Give a little
- Save a little
- Spend a little
And always within your means!
That sounds reasonable.
“‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”