Archive for January, 2012

How Would You Rate Your Marriage?

My husband meets with his discipleship group on Monday nights, and this week, they began a new unit on marriage.  I am also in a discipleship group at our church, studying the same curriculum for the year, but we are about two months behind schedule, so we are stuck studying the Trinity for now.   Three in one, it’s not rocket science.  The topic of marriage sounds more interesting.  But I digress. 

Smith came home last night after his group meeting and said the guys in his group all rated their marriage on a scale from 1 to 10, and he relayed to me his score.  I heckled Smith a bit because he didn’t give our marriage a perfect 10; he claimed that no marriage is a 10, so that score was automatically out.  He has a point; I’m not sure why I gave him a hard time about it.  I know he is happy with me.

I have been thinking about our discussion and the rating scale all day today.  I keep coming back to this: I would give our marriage a 10.  Not because it is perfect; far from it.  Having such a close, intimate relationship with another human being is messy, far messier than being single and living alone.  Dying to my own agenda and my selfishness is painful.  Constantly working to communicate well, compromise, and coordinate schedules is tough.  Conflict hurts. 

And yet.

I would not be the woman I am without Smith.  The process of growing and learning together is beautiful and has prompted me to grow and become sharpened in ways I never would have as a single person.  I have many opportunities to put Smith’s needs ahead of my own, and when I do, God does lovely things with it.  The oneness I experience with Smith as our lives and our minds synchronize is incredible.  My faith has deepened tremendously over the past seven months as my dependence on God for the grace to grow, learn, submit, and serve has expanded.

If I had imagined a picture of a wonderful marriage while I was still single, it would have contained all the elements of what I have with Smith.  He gets me.  He loves God.  We have a deep friendship and laugh a lot together.  We are extremely similar to each other.  These qualities barely capture a chip of the splendor of our relationship.  Like the Trinity, we are two in one (plus God makes three).  And that is a glorious thing: a 10.

Ephesians 5:31

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

Thankful in 2012

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Reflecting on 2011, I have so much to be thankful for:
 –       I am most thankful for God, and the gift of grace I receive because God sent Jesus Christ to live the life I should have lived and died the death I deserved to die so that I might have new life.

–       I am also hugely thankful for my new wonderful husband, who I married in 2011.  At times it still seems surreal that I am actually married.  I feel so accepted and loved by him, far more than I deserve. 

–       I am thankful for my renewed relationship with my mom, the part she played in my wedding planning and ceremony this past year, and the quality time we spend together on Sunday evenings.

–       I am thankful for my friends who I seem to need now more than ever, who are like family to me, and who made me feel so special and loved at my showers and my wedding this past year.

–        I am thankful that I got a sister this year, as my brother also got married in 2011!  I have never had a sister before.

–       I am thankful for my job and coworkers, my stable employment, work I enjoy, and coworkers who are edifying and nourishing to my spirit.

–       I am thankful that God has increased and deepened my faith in Him and my trust in His plan for my life over the past year.  Through struggle and hardship, I have realized more of the depth of my dependence on Him to sustain me.  I am thankful that He has a plan for me, because my plan for me would have turned out disastrously.

–       I am thankful for My rich times with God while riding in the car over the past 3 months in particular: being able to listen to the Bible and sermons and pray and listen to worship music – a surprising blessing that has enriched my personal worship times.  I am spending a great deal more time in the car over the past few months than I was previously. 

–       I am thankful, too, for the struggles I encountered in 2011, which have exposed some of my sin and increased my dependence on God.  I am thankful for the hardships that help unite my husband and I, and working through conflict with him: apologizing, repenting, and growing in relationship with each other and with God.

My goals for 2012:
–       Finish listening to (or reading) the entire Old Testament.  I am currently on the book of Joshua.

–       Pray that God will strengthen my weak areas, specifically my impatience and inflexibility.  Seek to surrender to His will for my life daily.

–       Learn better ways of responding to conflict or stressful situations.

–       Learn how to better love and serve my husband.

–       Continue healthy eating and regular exercise, maintain my weight and body fat percentage, strength, and general health.