What Happens When We Compare our Marriage with Another?

For thirty three years, I have been married to Barry, my beloved.  If I had it to do over again, I would marry, Barry. I have no regrets about marrying my husband. Has everything been “happily ever after” like I initially thought it would be?  No, “happily ever after” is only in fairy tales. Barry and I have been through rough times, which in turn have made our marriage stronger. I cherish him even more today than ever. Vowing to stay together for better and for worse is real life. Love is a commitment. True love is devotion. “Charity (love in action)…Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:7)

Over thirty six years ago, I met Barry at a Campus Crusade for Christ Bible Study at Louisiana State University. Barry is my college sweetheart.  After we both graduated, Barry proposed to me, and I said, “Yes.” Then, I said, “No”.  Then I said, “Yes” again. Then I said, “No”. Finally, I asked Barry to marry me and six months later, we became husband and wife. Barry teases about how I was the one who proposed to him, and technically my proposal was the one that “took.” 🙂

Barry and I dated for three and one half years before we married. It was such a relief when God showed me in my heart that Barry was the one for me.  I took marriage seriously, and I needed to hear from God before I married. Divorce was not an option for me. When I cried out to God to reveal whether I should marry Barry, God made it clear to me that he was the one.

Let me stop here and say that I believe God will show every child of His who they are to marry if they cry out to Him and diligently seek Him about the matter. Barry says to me often, “We have had a good life, haven’t we, wife?” Yes, I agree! We have had a good life together through thick and thin. Melinda told me yesterday that her Dad was the perfect Dad for her.  Aww. God knew who I needed to marry.  Barry is the perfect husband for me.

Barry truly is my best friend.  I can say along with the bride of Song of Solomon 3:4, “I found him whom my soul loveth…” If you have read any of my posts encouraging your children to make a big deal when Daddy comes home from work, I don’t have to act like I am excited when my hubby arrives. When I hear the sound of his truck coming up our driveway, my heart flips and I know I am beaming, because I can feel happy beams radiating. I love sharing my life with Barry, my beloved.

I can remember as an immature young bride hearing three different husbands brag on how romantic they were with their wives.  These husbands would plan romantic getaways, flowers, gifts and seemed so in-love with their wives in public.  Their marriages gave me the impression that they were almost too wonderful to be true.  Well, their marriages were just that!  To my shock, all three of these men ran off with other women.  After that, it never mattered again to me if my husband ever bought me flowers.

Barry said it was okay to mention that he is not the romantic type.  One time, my husband sent me flowers.  I answered the door thinking the delivery man must have the wrong address, and that the flowers were for my neighbor.  My neighbor’s husband was constantly sending flowers to his wife, because she was continuously kicking him out of the house after they had a big fight.  Sometimes the delivery man would accidentally bring her flowers to my home.

Let us never compare our husband in a bad light with another lady’s husband, who we imagine is a knight in shining armor.  No husband is a knight in shining armor.  We have watched too many fairy tales.  Our husband will feel like his shortcomings are being magnified, and he will not be able to thrive as well in that kind of atmosphere.  Also, our children will notice our discontentment, and they may not thrive as well either.  God says we are not wise if we compare.  “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” (2Co 10:12)

I have counseled wives. After comparing my marriage, I come away grateful. Knowing how some husbands treated them, you can value your husband for this sole reason: If you have a nice husband who comes home to you each day, you have a treasure, a friend for life. He may not be as romantic as others, he may have a fault that gets on your last nerve, but a nice and faithful man is to be esteemed. Value and magnify his good attributes in your mind. Bury his faults in the backyard, and stop digging them up.

How many people marry thinking they will change a person?  That never works.  We need to teach our daughters this very thing.  God puts within ladies a nurturing nature which is intended for their future children or to teach children. Young ladies must not misuse this nurturing nature thinking they can make changes in a man after they are married. He didn’t marry so he could have another mama. Marrying a man thinking you can change him is a recipe for failure and disappointment. We marry to live our lives in love with each other. We marry because we accept one another.

I am grateful for my husband. He might not be romantic, but I think our relationship is magical. And, yes, magical relationships are not just for fairy tales. A marriage relationship becomes magical when the wife chooses to captivate her mind with the positive attributes of her husband.

In my eyes, my husband is wonderful and ever so smart. If your husband were to see himself through your eyes, what kind of man would he see?  Today, think of what is good about your husband and let him know how much he is valued. Let us build our husband up and let us be his biggest cheerleader.

“Dear Lord, Give me wisdom as a wife. Comparing my husband in a negative way with another is foolish and destructive.  Today, help me to magnify his strengths in my mind and bury his faults.  Today, and this day forward, let me see my husband through eyes of love, respect, appreciation and contentment.  Show me how to demonstrate gratefulness to my husband, who is my beloved…In the precious Name of my Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Amen.”

Let Him Kiss Me

Let him kiss me…” is a Bible verse found in Song of Solomon 1:2. God designed romance for the marriage.

Barry and I went to a romantic married couple’s dinner that was given by our church.  After dinner, our Pastor and his wife demonstrated to the married couples, “the 10 second kiss.”  Then our Pastor explained how he was going to time the rest of the married couples while they kissed for 10 seconds. One elderly lady said, “Well, how do we breathe?”  I chuckled to myself, but our pastor explained how you can breathe and kiss at the same time for 10 seconds.  Then our pastor announced, “Ready, Set…Go” and the kissing began until he said, “Stop” 10 seconds later.

The point of all this was for each couple to think: If we cannot kiss for 10 seconds without feeling awkward, then we need to get our passionate kiss back.  Sometimes pecks will take over the kissing department in a marriage, and we lose the spark that comes with the lingering passionate kisses.  I think our Pastor got the idea about the kiss from the title of a book called The 10 Second Kiss by Ellen Kreidman, PhD. I don’t think he read the book and neither have I, but I want to give credit as to where “the 10 second kiss” idea came from.

Instead of seeing hubby off to work with a peck, plant a “10 second goodbye kiss” on his lips.  And yes, you have time for it.  Give him the “10 second welcome home kiss” when he drives up. Yes, you have time for that kiss too.

Give your husband a “10 second~ because I love you kiss” right in front of the children. Your children will delight to see mom and dad (grandma and grandpa) kiss. I remember when Barry and I kissed in front of our children, our youngest daughter would dramatically say, “Eww”, with a big smile on her face.  She really enjoyed seeing her mom and dad showing affection.

I delighted seeing my Mother sit on my Dad’s lap while he was watching television. Mom and Dad would kiss and hug.  I didn’t hear my Dad complain about missing the TV program.  All five children cheered them on, and to this day, I still treasure those pleasant memories of my parents being in love.

In Song of Solomon, she looked for her husband so she could kiss him and spend time with him.  This is what she said about his kiss: “His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend.” (Song of Solomon 5:16)  I am sure Solomon and his wife found a sprig of mint or something sweet in their garden for their breath before they kissed.  She said his mouth was sweet, so he had to work at getting it that way. An investment in breath mints is easy enough, so there should be no excuse to avoid the daily “10 second kiss.”  Calling her husband her friend is so special too.  Do we think of our husband as our friend?

Here is another kissing Scripture: “And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.”  (Song of Solomon 7:9,10)  This is Bible! It does not sound like this kiss was the pucker up kind to me. Does this kiss sound like a peck to you? Indeed not! This married couple cherished lingering passionate kisses.  If the husband was feeling sleepy, the kiss she planted on him definitely woke him up. Lingering kisses are like vitamins that energize. Instead of caffeine, kiss.

“I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.” (Song of Solomon 7:10) My husband chose me to be his bride out of every other young lady he knew.  I can

The 10 Second Kiss

still remember Barry’s beaming face as I walked down the aisle on our wedding day. Your husband chose you among all the others to be his wife for the rest of his life. He married you because he desired you above every other lady. What a compliment!  Your husband is your beloved and you are his beloved and his desire is toward you.

In Song of Solomon, the married couple communicated.  Don’t forget to:

Spend at least 20 minutes a day in eye-to-eye communication with your husband.  Listening well is most important in communication.  Some of us wives can be a bit wordy, so listen attentively to him with pleasant facial expressions and encourage him to talk.

The couple in Song of Solomon also complimented each other. Think of at least one compliment a day to give to your husband.

Tight hugs are important dailies too. Plus, don’t forget intimacy.

Forget the peck kiss and pucker kiss. Today, plan a 10 second kiss.  Your marriage will thrive with lingering kisses, compliments, good communication, tight hugs and intimacy. The Bible says so!  Today, “Let him kiss me.” (Song of Solomon 1:2)

One Cause of Depression~Anger at One’s Husband

My mother-in-law keeps our shelves filled with wonderful preserves.  She spends hours making preserves for her family to enjoy. Preserves keep well for a very long time, and they don’t ruin because they are sealed.  That is why they are called “Preserves”.

God says much about preserving the mind.  The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. (Psalm 121:7) The soul is the mind, will and emotions. God preserves our mind from anger. A person does not have to get angry. Anger is a person’s choice.

I must remember this fact: If I choose to get angry at my husband, I become depressed in my mind. When I become depressed in my mind, I am choosing to be miserable. I have chosen to break the seal that preserves my mind from evil. Anger is ruination.  Anger is one letter away from Danger.

Let me stop right here and say that it stands to reason that our spouse will hurt us more than someone we come in contact with every once in a while. The more hours someone spends with me, the more likely I may unintentionally hurt them. How much easier is it to snap at our husband while showing patience to others out in public?

It also stands to reason that we know the person we live with very well. Because we know them well, their faults are magnified in our minds. If you have strength in an area, the weakness in that same area of your spouse will be magnified in your mind. But, you and I also have weaknesses that are noticeable by others, including our spouse. Why? Because they have strength in the same area we have a weakness.  Spouses complement each other because of the opposite strengths and weaknesses.

Do we want others to be angry at us for our faults and weaknesses?  I want my spouse and others to accept and love me no matter what I do or say (or what I don’t do or don’t say).  I desire people to have mercy on me and to be patient with me.  I want them to see my good points and not magnify my many faults in their minds.  What I want from others, I should give to others. If I want my husband to give me mercy and patience, I must give him mercy and patience. If I want my husband to not magnify my faults in his mind, I must magnify his strengths in my mind. We can’t change our spouse, so we might as well work on changing ourselves.

I have noticed that life does not go well in the long run with those who are harsh and angry with others.  We reap what we sow.  That is Biblical. We sow harshness; we reap harshness. We sow anger; we reap anger. We sow mercy and patience; we reap mercy and patience from others. As we choose to make good changes within ourselves, people around us usually adjust their responses and choices according to our new behavior.  Wives have such a magnificent throne of influence within the home. Why not use that influence wisely?

How do we keep our minds preserved from anger? When we feel anger coming on, “Practice Spirit Filled Breathing”:

  • Confess Anger to God (Exhale)
  • Ask to be Filled with the Holy Spirit (Inhale)

When we “Practice Spirit Filled Breathing”, we have the “mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16)
When we “Practice Spirit Filled Breathing”, we put off the old nature (anger, harshness, pride) and put on the mind of Christ (mercy, love, humility, forgiveness …). (Colossians 3:9,10)

Pray for God to preserve our mind with:

  1. Integrity and uprightness– “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.” (Psalm 25:21)
  2. Tender Mercy, Lovingkindness, and Truth (God’s Word) “Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.” (Psalm 40:11)
  3. Discretion, Understanding “Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee” (Prov. 2:11) What wonderful preserves God gives us to keep our mind safe, pure, peaceful and good. These preserves also keep our marriage safe, pure, peaceful and good.

Please note that I am not referring to clinical depression, but to spiritual depression that is to be dealt with Spiritually. Anger is a secondary emotion.  The root of anger could be fear, jealousy, not getting one’s way, feeling of mistreatment or ungratefulness.  Anger could be a combination of these root causes. It is important to recognize the root cause and “Practice Spirit Filled Breathing” with the root problem, before the secondary emotion of anger erupts. We are to be Spirit led, not emotion led. What is the tap root of them all? Scripture says, “Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.”(Proverbs 13:10)  To preserve the mind from becoming bitter,”Practice Spirit Filled Breathing.” When we choose to preserve our mind, we choose a better quality of life.

How To Keep Your Home From Crumbling

Today my husband told me that he liked being married to me. Then he added, “It’s fun being married to you.” Those words made me happy.

I love reading about the woman being created by God in Genesis 2. The woman was God’s crowning creation. Before Eve was created, Adam was busy naming all the animals.  He saw Mr. and Mrs. Giraffe and Mr. and Mrs. Elephant, but Adam realized he had a problem.  Adam realized that he was alone. God said it was not good that the man should be alone, so God created Eve.  God created marriage. Eve was Adam’s companion for life.
“And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.” Genesis 2:20

The wife helps solve the problem of her husband’s loneliness. The emphasis is not on what a wife does, but who a wife is; the wife is her husband’s companion.  Marriage between a man and woman for the purpose of companionship is not only a good thing, but it is a God thing.

“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. ” Genesis 2:21-23

One of my favorite quotes from Matthew Henry:

“The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.”

God created Eve from Adam’s side, so they would walk together through life side by side. They would face life together. Two are better than one.  A husband and wife share the joys and hardships of life together.  They come together to solve problems.  The husband values his wife’s opinion and takes it to the Lord.  The husband is the head, the wife is his crown and God is their LORD. “a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

God miraculously joins the married couple as one. They become “soul mates.” The permanent union of marriage takes precedence over the temporary training up of children. The empty nest will come. The married couple finds it is the two of them again, like it was in the beginning. What will the empty nest be like for you?

“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1

Is our marriage being built up or torn down? It is important to take the time to build the marriage even when there are children crying for our attention. Our two most important priorities in life usually do not cry loud for attention, and they sometimes get put on the back burner. Marriage is #1 in priority next to our relationship with God.

We may not even realize what is happening to our home. Bit by bit, we could be tearing our home down by our own hands through neglect or by an attitude.  Children want to see their parents in love and happy with one another.  It gives them security in an insecure world. They love hearing their Dad say to their Mom, “It’s fun being married to you.”

How is our marriage? We have two choices:

  1. Be a marriage builder.
  2. Be a marriage destroyer.

No one in their right mind gets married thinking, “I am going to tear this marriage apart.”

The home starts crumbling bit by bit after time by a thing called “Attitude” and a thing called “Neglect”.

Attitude and Neglect are like termites slowly chewing away at the home.  The foolish wife blindly tears the home down when she neglects the needs of her husband and when she fails to adjust her bad attitude. Just thinking about the deterioration of a home is enough to get the wife busy building the marriage.

 

How to keep our home from crumbling:

1.  A wise wife builds her home by being respectful to her husband.

2. A wise wife builds her home by guarding her attitude.

3. A wise wife builds her home by meeting her husband’s needs.

4. A wise wife builds her home by being a good companion; his best friend.

  • She must build her marriage, so her children will love and not hate. She does not want her children to side with one parent over the other. It’s a lose-lose situation.
  • She must build her marriage, so her husband will respond correctly to God and not to his wife’s spirit.
  • She must build her marriage, so her husband will not surrender his responsibilities.
  • She must build her marriage and home because she wants a good marriage; a home that lasts.

She must seek, find and fill in the cracks in her home caused by neglect. She works hard to make the necessary attitude adjustments because she is the heart of the home.  She knows how much her husband needs her and she studies him in order to meet his needs. She is his companion.

The wise wife sees herself as:

  • her husband’s crown
  • the marriage builder
  • her husband’s needed companion
  • her husband’s soul mate
  • the heart of the home.

The wise wife knows she is valuable within the home. When the children leave the nest, the marriage is solid and good. The wise wife has built her home well. The husband not only loves his wife, he likes his wife and he enjoys his wife.

Because the wife is the crown, she recognizes God has placed her in the marriage endowed with the powerful Throne of Influence.  The wife uses her Throne of Influence wisely. God said that the wise wife is her husband’s crown, so her husband feels  honored to be married to her. “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband.” Proverbs 12:4

The husband values his wife; his crown. God values the wife. After all, when God created the wife, she was His Grand Finale, God’s Crown of Creation.

 

Their First Kiss Was at the Marriage Altar

Kristen, our firstborn is described by others as a very sweet person. I agree. I could not have asked for a better firstborn child. At age 5, I explained to Kristen that she was the “example” to her siblings.  Kristen said, “It’s so hard always being the “sample”. 🙂

Kristen took her role as the “example” seriously, and protected her brother and sister from danger.  I remember driving down the Interstate when Kristen correctly thought a billboard was naughty. To keep her younger siblings from seeing the billboard, she distracted them. Aww! We were so blessed to have Kristen as our firstborn, because she was and still is a great “example” of a Godly young lady.

When Kristen reached her early 20’s, she graduated from an online Bible College and went to Florida to receive her Bachelor’s Degree. While in Florida, our family met Dwayne, who was receiving his Doctorate Degree.

Shortly after, Dwayne approached Barry about courting Kristen. Dwayne had never been interested in anyone before Kristen and the same with Kristen. After getting to know Dwayne, and after Kristen agreed, Barry gave them permission to begin a courtship. It was a beautiful and romantic courtship.  Dwayne and Kristen both made the decision to not touch one another nor be alone during their courtship.  The courtship culminated  with Dwayne romantically proposing to Kristen at Nottoway Plantation.

On their wedding day, their very first kiss was at the altar after they were pronounced husband and wife.  Dwayne and Kristen honeymooned for a month. They finally were alone!

Today, Dwayne is the Senior Pastor of a wonderful Church in North Carolina.  Dwayne and Kristen are the parents of four precious children.  They are continuing the tradition of  homeschooling.