Charlotte is already, at 5 years old, anticipating being married. She adores weddings, she always wants to pray for her husband, and at one point in the past year, she told me that she's glad that she is so tall because when she gets really tall, she can get married. Ha! Some people look at her and look at me and say that this means that she is going to be a handful when she gets older. But I am glad for her elevated view of marriage; I am glad that she looks forward to marriage as part of a normal life, and I am pleased that what she sees in Adam's and my marriage is something that she wants to mimic today and fulfill in the future. At least she is longing for the right type of affection.
That being said, remember back to before you were married. Think back to the time when you were excited about getting married. For different people, that is at different points during your life/courtship experience. Maybe it started when you first started getting to know your future spouse. It could have started when you first got engaged. Maybe the wedding planning process was too stressful and consuming to be exciting. But dig deep to remember what it was like to be excited about getting married.
And now look at your life now. Are you still excited to be married?
The world we live in is not really about marriage; this is not a shocking statement, I know. Sure, we are excited when celebs get married, but we as a public are equally excited when they are unfaithful, split up unexpectedly or engage in some big scandal. We can be happy for their marriage as long as they're popping out kids, but aside from that, the tabloid business has very little to make money on until these couples break up. Unlike Charlotte, our world has a very base acknowledgement of marriage; it's something people do, and if they feel like undoing it, that's fine. It's a hassle, hurts your credit score and means you have to buy new furniture, but there are no long-lasting repercussions.
I feel ill-equipped to write about marriage because Adam and I just celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary. Nine years. In the scope of this lifetime, I feel like I have very little wisdom to offer in this realm. I am still learning, crafting the art of being a better wife. I still fall short, sometimes extremely short, in caring for my husband first and making him my first priority. Often, this is a fight, and sometimes I don't win it. I'll be honest, I am not the perfect wife. There are days that I put all my effort into my job, picking up the kids, fixing dinner so that we can eat together, bathing kids and throwing them into bed so that I can make a quiz or powerpoint for the next day before falling asleep. Sound familiar (except for maybe the quiz or powerpoint part)?
Sometimes, I don't just ignore my husband; sometimes, I wind up being critical of him, criticizing him, even in my head for not doing something to make my life easier. I'll overlook the sweet things that he actually does for me only to grumble and complain about what he has left undone. This should be extremely difficult to do with our husbands, our grooms, our princes, happily-ever-afters. But the truth is that it is extremely easy because we are sinners and so are they. The other truth is that they are to be our first earthly priority.
Often, whether I am ignoring my husband in a blur or silently complaining about what he hasn't done, the reason that my marriage is not smooth, lovely and intimate is because of me. How? Here are some examples:
- I have organized my time and schedule poorly so that not everything will get done.
- I have put my job or children or personal comfort above HIS job or personal comfort. Not that his job is more important than mine; we both have important jobs. But sometimes, I get so wrapped up in what is going on at my job, I forget that he has just the same demands as I do.
- I have failed to use my time wisely during the day so that when I get to see him, I need to make up for what I haven't done all day.
- I have tried to reinvent the wheel instead of using my resources (i.e. just googling to find a powerpoint of poetic devices). This is usually due to pride because I know mine will be so much better.
- I have forgotten to think of my husband during the day, to miss him, to pray for him, to wonder what he's doing, to look forward to his call, to drop everything to talk to him instead of simply exchanging logistics.
Soli Deo Gloria, y'all.
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