Welcome to another week of Marital Monday! Yay!!! Love stories just give me a huge goofy grin! Haven't you just loved this series so far? Danie and Jessica from the past 2 weeks have shared some gorgeous stories about how their marriages have evolved. This week is no exception. I promise, you wont be disappointed :-) My gorgeous friend Erin from Dishes & Wishes is visiting today. Erin is genuine, authentic, and hilarious. I know you will love her as much as I do!
Here we go.
Marriage is a hard thing to write about. I still feel like a newbie, being that Jake and I have only been married for just under 2 years.
I hope that something good will come out of my hopeful ramblings to follow.
I never have, or will claim to have the perfect marriage. Those who do are, quite frankly, delusional.
There is nothing harder than sharing your life with someone. And when that someone leaves his dirty socks littered around the house, chooses video games over a romantic comedy, and wants hamburgers on the grill every night.... It's even worse.
Things with Jake are never perfect or squeaky clean. In fact, our house is, most comfortably, lived in by a couple with a ornery cat and a teething puppy. It shows.
Keeping a clean house, are really hard work. Honestly, if anyone tells me they enjoy cleaning a toilet or someone else's moldy milk glass I may have to ask for a mental health evaluation. Cleaning is hard enough. Throw communication and a ring on top of it and you have marriage.
Marriage, for me, has been an interesting experience so far. Jake and I were high school sweethearts. We met way earlier, but we started dating his junior and my senior year. We never had an 'a-ha' moment where we knew it was going to be a life long thing. We never shied away from talking about forever. It was as if we both knew this was it, right from the start. Probably before, if you ask me.
Sure we disagreed on a lot of things. We still do.
But our personalities compliment each other.
Before we got married, Jake signing up for the Army National Guard was one of those disagreements. I'm not too keen on someone else controlling my life, let alone a faceless mass of people who love to make life hell. That's the army to me.
I fought with him about signing his papers for months before it happened. I tried to get his mom, who was in 100% agreement with me to influence him another way. I cried, begged and yelled.
That's when I told him that he had to start thinking about the two of us as a family, rather than just as two people who were dating and planning on getting married.
It was a comment that opened both of our eyes.
I had to let him make this decision for himself. It was a decision that would ultimately be for us, as a family. Something influencing our life more than anything else. Hardest of all, I had to let him lead our family. He felt called, in a way that I never have (until more recently), to serve our country. So I backed down and he signed away 6 years of our lives to the Army.
God had presented us with a challenge. One huge, digi-cam, combat boot, cadence calling challenge to overcome.
It was humbling for me. I see myself as an independent woman. (Throw your hands up at me.)
A feminist, of sort. Someone who would never be ruled or dictated by a man. Someone a man would respect as an equal.
To have to give the control to my, at that time, boyfriend. Someone younger than me, whose decision could change my life forever... It was hard. I knew my name was being signed, invisibly, right beside his. I knew that he couldn't just walk away from this. I knew that our life would not be our own until that contract was up... I saw all the negatives.
But God called me to stand by Jake's side and support the decision he was making.
He was calling me to step up to the plate and show wifely support to the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with. To show Jake that I trusted him to lead our lives, as he should.
He was calling me to look at my priorities, my belief of who I was. To trust someone else with my life and happiness. It was with that decision to allow Jake to do what was right that I set the tone of our marriage.
I'm still an individual. A sort of feminist. A woman to demand respect.
But I also submit to the will of my husband.
“For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” Eph 5:23-32
This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. Wives submit to your husbands and in return husbands honor and love your wife, right?
It's not a popular way to put it now a days, but in essence it's what I did, isn't it?
I gave up my control over my life in order to give us a chance at a life together. I trusted him, submitted to him if you will, to choose the right path for the next 6 years of our lives.
His enthusiasm for Army life may have dwindled. I may resent the Army for making things harder than necessary for us, mainly with this deployment, but I never once resented Jake for making the decision he did. He was led to sign up and serve and through it there were many doors opened to him.
We can live without the dread of Jake having undergrad student loans.
We are secure in the fact that Jake's Army job has successfully transferred into civilian life. He is capable of getting an awesome job without putting in the 4 years of schooling other people normally do, all because of his army training. He is able to see this career as a stepping stone to bigger and better things, when others would see it as a perfectly good place to stay.
He still wants more out of life and his schooling and for that I'm truly blessed.
Yep that's right. He wants a better life for himself and his family and I know I'm going to reap all the benefits from that will and drive to succeed.
My only drive is to have a happy healthy life, with lots of children and a big family. I'm not being selfish, just honest.
I don't have a bone in my body that feels the drive to pursue a prestigious, or even high paying, job. I'm blessed to be in love with man who wants nothing more than to provide for his family. It may not happen for a while, I may have to bide my time, but the end justifies the means.
We are going through the trials of his decision to sign up. Being separated for three months for basic training, a year for AIT, and soon to be another year for deployment isn't exactly fun times.
Jake almost missing his sister's wedding was a huge batch of crazy.
Moving our wedding up 3 months before it's original date due to a deployment that was eventually cancelled wasn't exactly fun. (But totally awesome.)
Jake missing the birth of his first niece entirely and being forced from the waiting room for the birth of his twin brother's little boy, all for Army training, has taken it's toll.
Putting our lives on hold because of this deployment isn't easy. I want children with every fiber of my being. But it's not the right time, for Jake or for us as a family.
The end justifies the means.
While the idea of submission, obeying and all that comes with the classic Christian marriage vows may seem old fashioned and offensive to the modern woman. The thing is, Jake's confidence as a husband is astounding, all because he knows that I trust him with my happiness and he is better able to give me the love I crave and need in my life. He is a better husband, a better man, because of it.
Think of it this way.
Successful marriages are on a decline. Divorce statistics tell us that marriage has a 50% chance. I have heard multiple times that the chance of Christian couples, who attend church regularly, divorcing is significantly lower than secular couples or Christian couples who don't attend church. I would love to have that statistically backed up! If living and nurturing a Christian marriage is the definitive factor.... How awesome is that?!
To find encouragement, advice, goals and enrichment in the words of the bible is amazing, no matter the subject. Nothing thrives in a world with no moral or ethical guidelines.
As a Christian, I strive to live a life for God, using the bible as a lamp unto my feet.
It's hard to compare and contrast marriages. Every person and relationship is different. With the statistics, being what they are, sometimes there isn't a clear example to follow.
What a relief to find marriage among the long list of things discussed, multiple times, in the comforting words of my bible.
Thank you Erin for sharing your love story :-) Wonderful isn’t see?! Erin briefly mentioned that she has a puppy, Asher, who is simply adorable, so you must GO visit her awesome blog, Dishes & Wishes, and leave her some bloggy love :-)