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Where thoughts can be funny, can race at all hours of the day and night and can sometimes not make any sense!

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Romance Meets Reality-Day 1

"We have love because he first loved us."  - 1 John 4

We probably ought to just start here:  marriage is fabulously hard.  Maybe that's an odd way to begin, but it is true, and everybody who's been married knows this, though years into marriage it still catches us off guard, all of us.  And newly married couples, when they discover how hard it is, seem genuinely surprised.  Shocked and disheartened by the fact.  Are we doing something wrong?  Did I marry the right person? The wonders that lure us into marriage- romance, love, passion, sex, longing, companionship- sometimes seem so far from the actual reality of married life that we wind up fearing we've made a colossal mistake, caught the wrong bus, missed our flight.  And so the hardness of marriage can also come as something of an embarrassmentOr maybe it's just us.  Don't you feel embarrassed to admit how hard your marriage is?

Yep.  That is everyone.  We might as well come out and admit it.  The sooner we get the shame off our backs, the sooner we'll find our way through.  Of course marriage is hard.  In fact, if you look back at the first marriage, that fairy-tale start in Genesis, you see that Adam and Eve had a pretty rough go at it.  And they didn't even have parents to screw them up as children or friends giving them ridiculous advice.  The fall of man seems to come during the honeymoon or shortly thereafter. (And how many honeymoon stories seem to reenact that little drama?)  They hit rough water as soon as the set sail.  This is the story of the first marriage, and it's a bit sobering.

But it also gives us some encouragement.  It's normal for marriage to be hard.  Even the best of marriages.

And God is in that.

In order to have the life we want, the life we were meant for, and the marriage we long for, we need God.  That's a very good thing!  Because without him, nothing is as it should be.  With him, all things are possible.  Yes, marriage can be extremely hard.  But that is not a reason to despair.  Nor is the final truth.  There are seasons in marriage--in every relationship.  Marriage is meant to be wonderful, and most of the time it is.  Though it's sometimes so hard to think of the difficulty as a doorway.  A doorway to all the MORE Jesus has for us in himself.  There is hope!
Dear God, as I begin this study I offer up this time for your purpose.  Please help me draw closer to your hear and deepen my marriage in every good way.  Sometimes it is hard.  Even painful.  I invite you into that as well.  Have your way with me, with my spouse, and with our marriage.  We need you.  I am looking to you.  I Jesus' mighty name, amen.

Today I begin the Love & War Devotional for Couples as a way to bring God into my marriage more and to make my marriage stronger.  

Growing up I always dreamed of getting married.  I viewed marriage as an opportunity to share my love with someone who would share the same love back.  I always felt like I would be a great wife.  There was just something inside me that told me if I took care of my husband and my family life would finally work out for me and the struggles of my childhood would be nothing but a faint memory.  But at a young age I witnessed marriages failing with my mother's friends. I knew couples who were committing adultery in their marriages, and early on I understood the games that could be played and the hurt one could cause each other if you didn't honor your marriage.  It never made sense to me why these "grown ups" were sabotaging the greatness of marriage and the love of their lives. I had no real example of a good marriage or even how to be a good wife, but I was determined I could be one.

Yet, with that being said I was NOT a good wife in my first marriage.  I married so young, 17 years old,  I was so immature as a person I did everything wrong.  I manipulated, I lied, I broke my vows and I hurt many people along the way including myself.  I took the marriage as if it were something that was suppose to make me complete, it was suppose to fulfill my lifr, and resolve my childhood fears and it should have made me whole.  Yet it did quite the opposite, it changed me into someone I did not like seeing in the mirror.  Marriage was way harder than I ever imagined and I did not have the maturity or the tools to prepare me on making it work, especially with so many forces stacked against us.

When I finally called it quits the only thing left was a path of destruction and pain for both my husband and I.  We managed to destroy even the friendship we had with one another over being selfish and taking each other for granted.  We had nothing left in us and it changed us both forever.

Going into my marriage I am in now, I had many reservations.  Could I do it better this time, could I be the person I was mean to be and could I finally find happiness with someone who I would share my life with and who would share theirs with me too?  When I took my vows of marriage with my hubby I told myself ONE thing..... "For better or for worse, this will be my last marriage... I will make this work and I will give it everything I have till there is no more to give."   I told myself if I went into it with the understanding that I would give it all I have and all I will ever have then he and I could make it through anything that came our way.  I could show my hubby unconditional love and help him be a better person and he could show me the same and help me as well.  We were in this together and even if it came down to just me fighting I was going to make this work.  I loved this man from the very first time I was with him and  knew in my heart I was meant to be with him.

Over the years my hubby and I have done our share to hurt one another.  We have had many sleepless nights, painful arguments and moments of shame and embarrassments caused by one another.   But through it all I always felt like this is still where I was meant to be and I had to fight till I could fight no more.  I had to stay in my marriage and not let the pain take the place of my love for him.  I had to believe even in the darkest hours of our marriage our love could and would shine through.  Even if I was fighting alone for this I had to continue to fight.  I would just tell myself the pain I was going through now would be rewarded later if I just kept my faith with God and kept fighting for US.

 Marriage is hard.  Marriage can hurt and the things we do to each other can be very embarrassing.  But I still have faith that if I keep God in my marriage, I keep my faith with him that my hubby and I can endure anything that comes our way.  I feel sitting here today, we have done just that and for the first time in a long time I really feel like all the pain we have caused one another in the past is finally going to pay off.   For the first time in a long time I feel as if this is OUR time, the time for our marriage to be strong, sturdy and united as one in all ways.  But with that brings fear because when things go good for people Evil will try and destroy it and the better your strength is with one another the harder Evil will try and destroy it.

So as I prepare for a fight till the finish and begin this devotional book to strengthen my bond with my hubby and with my God I go back to the start of my marriage. In my mind I will renew my vows that I spoke to my hubby and remind myself this is OUR marriage, this is MY hubby and this is where I belong and will fight for it for the rest of my life.

My vows from our wedding day:

Today I proclaim with two simple words "I do" a lifetime of love that will never fade.

Today I give to you my heart and soul,
Something I have never really given before.

Today I say I do, to my one true love
Who I will stand by through and through


For the first time in my life I finally know what I am doing is right.
You have taught me kindness, patience and have opened my heart up to love
I am so thankful for you everyday.  I admire you more and more in every way

The love that you show me and the boys will never go unappreciated.
I pledge to you today that I will never take you for granted; I will always consider your feelings and needs and will be true to you in every way.

You are the one I have been searching my whole life for. 
I promise to love you, fulfill your needs and even honor and obey.

You have my heart and my soul from now until the end of time. 
I look forward to a lifetime of joy and laughter with you.

I love you.

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