Tuesday, November 21, 2017

9 Lessons from 9 Years of Marriage

9 Years of Marriage

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness." 
~ Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)

Human love is really flawed, conditional and selfish, but God's love is unconditional. I learned a great deal from our nine years of marriage, from my past mistakes and wrong choices in life. I cannot say that I am an expert, I still make mistakes and I am still a work in progress. Our love story is not yet over and God has been teaching us a lot of things. I am grateful that He has been so gracious in our marriage and very patient with us. 

As we celebrate our nine years of marriage, let me share with you 9 lessons I've learned from this momentary gift.

1. I am not the leader.

During the early years of our marriage, it wasn't clear to me my role as a wife. My default is to control and manipulate my husband. Every time he makes a wrong move, I will take over. Gusto ko, ako masusunod. I came to realized that God's design is this: the husband is the leader and I am the helper. Whatever our husband's decision, it is final. You can make an appeal and give your opinions and suggestions but the final say should always be from him. You just have to trust him and support whatever the outcome of it. If there are times when I feel like the husband is lacking wisdom, I always bring the matter to our Heavenly Father. I learned this prayer from Joy of teachwithjoy, "Lord if my heart is not right, change me. But if my husband is not right, convict him." This is a very powerful prayer that really works for me as a wife. True enough, there are times when he will make a last minute change of mind just to follow my advice without me nagging or insisting on it.

2. I need to submit.

Since my husband is the God-ordained leader, I need to submit to the authority God placed before me. This doesn't mean I am inferior to him nor who is good in decision making, rather it is about roles and responsibilities. Just like in the office or in an organization, everyone has his own distinct function and hierarchy. Our failure to recognize these order was one of the big causes of difficulty during the early years of our marriage.

3. Forgiveness is a choice.

Forgiveness is not a feeling, it is a choice or a decision. Most importantly, it is a command from the Lord regardless of how you feel towards the offender. True love is forgiving and apart from God, it is never easy. I learned to forgive my husband because of the cross. When you look at the cross and realized what Jesus has done for you so we can have the forgiveness of our sins, how can you not forgive? Just like my husband, I too am a selfish, fallen creature in need of a Savior. If you choose to forgive, God will take care of the healing process.

4. Decrease expectations.

I used to expect a lot from my husband. I used to tell him, you need to be like this, and this and so on. But if he doesn't meet up to my expectations, It will end up in frustration for both our part. Don't expect too much from your spouse and you'll be the happiest if he does things you never expect him to do. Di ba mas sweet un? Less stress for us also.

9 Years of Marriage
Scrapbook and letters from our Discipleship Group Members
5. Increase appreciation.

This is usually tag along number 4. Instead of expecting too much, I learned to increase appreciation. Appreciate him for what he is doing and what he will be doing. My husband's primary love language is words of affirmation. Being the opposite, I learned to adjust so we can meet halfway. Outside our home, they already got a lot of criticisms, why not pamper them and boost them by encouraging words and verbal compliments? They need to hear it especially from us.

6. Nike slogan, just do it.

I learned this from Deonna Tan-Chi. This slogan is applicable when it comes to sex. I was one of the many couples who had a distorted concept of how this will fit into the pattern of our lives. Sex is a gift from God that should be enjoyed and satisfied within the context of marriage. "It is the deepest expression of love in the lives of married couples." So, just like the Nike slogan, just do it, no excuses!

7. Live within or below your means.

Since we are now on a single income, I learned to live within our means, not wanting more than what the hubby can provide. I really want to help him with the finances and I know I have a big part on that. God has been faithful in meeting our financial needs

When it comes to money matters, hubby has the final decision. I can make requests to him but if he refused, it's ok with me. I learned not to have a lot of material things and still learning to be content with what we have. Nowadays, I usually shop for used books for our homeschooling. It is just so hard to control yourself especially if you know that it's a rare book and has one copy left. I am blessed that my husband has been very supportive and if budget permits, he allows me to buy. But I still need to restrain myself and be reminded to invest in eternal riches. 

8. I am not the Holy Spirit. 

I am my husband's helper, meaning to provide what is lacking. But sometimes I play the part of the Holy Spirit and I am not very proud of it. I came to know that It is NOT my role to convict him. If I do that, I am actually hindering the Holy Spirit to really work within him. Every now and then, I do accountability check but I don't impose on doing his Bible reading and devotion. I lift those matters to the Lord.

9. Depend only on God.

Anything and anyone else will fail, even our husbands, even our own selves. Never have confidence in yourself but depend on God in everything. Being a wife and a mother is not an easy task. If I am operating with my own self, I will fail all the time. I am learning to depend on God for everything. I learned to let go of my worries and trust in His plan for us.

9 Years of Marriage
Celebrating our anniversary at Yakimix
So there, I look forward to more years with my husband. I know I will learn more in this marriage. As the Lord reveals himself more and more to us, may we be also transformed into Christlikeness. May our marriage be a reflection of God's love and forgiveness.

"When God writes love stories, they are truly amazing!"

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  1. I've learned so much from this post. We're on the same page on almost everything on the list because of the things I've heard from church. (CCFer here!) Thank you for sharing. :)

    1. Hi Em, thanks for visiting my blog and for taking the time to read my post. I've learned all these from CCF Peeps too. It's funny because I learned all these after getting married. Hence, I made so many mistakes in the past. But our Lord is very gracious to us, diba? Never too late to learn, and I'm still learning. I'm happy to know that you are from CCF too! I'm so blessed by this church.