This past weekend, I was able to attend a marriage conference at our church. I was quite challenged, inspired and encouraged in so many ways. I even missed two sessions (of which I can't wait to watch!)
So, I have decided that I put things to better memory when I write about them. So for my next few blog entries, I am going to be writing about what was taught. Many of these thoughts will be mine, many will not. I hope to be as honest as I can though, and I thank you for going through this journey with me!
Why did you get married? Why do you want to be married? What is the purpose of marriage?
91% say it is for Love
88% say it is for companionship
82% say it is to signify a lifelong commitment
The list goes on. So most of us get married because we are "in love" with our significant other. I'll be the first to admit that I didn't fully understand what that "love" meant. I'm still working on it! I do know that love is a choice, it's an action. Not a feeling. This is why marriage so often ends in disillusionment and failure, because people say they "fall out of love." This happens if love is a feeling. I can't stop CHOOSING to love. How I am choosing to love Ben? Am I? On a daily basis?
Are they choosing to love? Choosing to unconditionally receive their spouse?
Some of my favorite quotes from this chapter:
1. Marriage is not primarily about you.
2. It is just as important to become the right person as it is to find the right person.
3. The one you married is the one with whom you are to make a life
4. The ultimate purpose of marriage is to reflect God's image.
5. Marriage is a covenant-a permanent promise-not a contract
6. Marriage is more than a device to suit our own needs; it exists for a bigger purpose.
We are selfish people. It doesn't take long for the "honeymoon" phase to wear off and then we start to wonder what our spouse is or isn't doing to keep us happy. If they will do their part, then I will do mine. If he will just honestly talk heart to heart with me, then maybe I'll....
Marriage isn't about us. It's about giving 100% to the one God has give to us. It's not about "if you do this, then I'll do that." It is about making a statement, together, about the God of this universe. It is about bringing glory to God. We are married for a higher purpose, for a higher calling.
Is this what I think about when I don't feel as if my needs are being met? When Ben gets home from being at work all day, and I'm tired because it's been a long day on my end? You bet not! I wonder, "why can't he just know what I need and do it for me, don't I deserve it?"
Ah, how our selfish culture gets inside our brains! Marriage is not about me. It is about embracing the God-given differences he's built into each of us and receiving Ben as God's incredible gift to me!
What does that mean? To unconditionally receive Ben? That means I shouldn't have any expectations on him, right? I shouldn't "expect" that he know what I need or want, or expect that he should do this or that. It means I receive him as God's gift, as he is. Not receive him in hopes to change him. Receive him. Period.
If Ben was to know that I see him as God's gift for a lifetime, how would that change the way I relate to him?