{Marriage Isn't for You Thoughts}

I know I'm late to the party.  Let's go with fashionably late, but late nonetheless.  I finally read the article by Seth Adam Smith titled, "Marriage Isn't for You".  While I 100% agree with this article, and I feel most Christian couples would, our world is not one that portrays that to be true.  Even Christians get divorced.  I'm sure you know one or two.  I do.

What is it with the world?  When did we become such entitled brats?  Sorry.  Is that too much?  It's a Tuesday, we're not even half way through the week, I didn't sleep great last night despite the pitter-patter of rain outside our windows, I'm starting to get pretty hungry for lunch, have already eaten half of my bag of chili-cheese Fritos, chocolate chip pancakes sound delicious for lunch, but I brought a salad, and I have made about 50 calls this morning.  Let's just cut the rainbows and butterflies nonsense and talk about it. :)

I am with you Seth.  Preach on, man.  Marriage isn't for me.  It's for the sweet man I call my husband.  Here's where I feel like things get a little sticky.  As a Christian wife, I know one of my primary duties is helper.  I am called to be, and passionate about being, the wife the LORD called me to be, but where the heck is the "How To Be a God-Fearing Wife for Dummies" book?  Well... the Bible might be a good place to start.  By the world's standards, that's a heck of a lot of effort required though.  When things get tough, when they're not fun, when we have to put in extra effort, when the world, our spouse, our life lets us down, we quit.  What the heck?  You see it in jobs, relationships, and so on.  When did we become a bunch of quitters?  Whatever the culprit, it is crappy.

Seth's dad quoted this to him one evening when they were discussing fears and anxieties about getting married. 

"Seth, you're being totally selfish. So I'm going to make this really simple: marriage isn't for you. You don't marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn't for yourself, you're marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn't for you. It's not about you. Marriage is about the person you married."


Let's break this down a bit. Sentence or two by sentence or two. :)

"You're being selfish... marriage isn't for you.  You don't marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy."
Alrighty.  These are awesome points to start on.  If you haven't read about our relationship, Nabors and I are in our 6th year of doing this song and dance, and we haven't even tipped the iceberg on mastering this.  We celebrated our 5th anniversary of dating by saying "I Do".  It was a joyous celebration, of course, but if you want to read more about that click the tab {9.1.12}. :)  Ryan and I both grew up in Christian homes with parents that taught us all the basic principles of treating others as you would like to be treated, putting God 1st, others 2nd, yourself 3rd (okay, maybe Kanakuk phrased it that way, but I'm thankful to Mama and Papa McD for sending me there!), and as we got older, leading our future family as a Christian leader, and living life together seeking the LORD.  So, the "put your spouse first" concept isn't totally foreign.

Nabors and I went through premarital counseling before we got hitched, and we talked on this point quite often.  It's frustrating though how hard it is to put into practice.  Even when I'm at my best, I don't always act this way towards Ry, and vice-versa.  Despite the desires of our hearts, we often fail.  It doesn't mean we quit trying to put that into practice.  Dying to yourself isn't exactly something I think we sinful creatures are keen to pick up on in an instant.  It's a daily decision to pick up your cross, lay your pride and desires aside, and serve alongside your mate and love them like Jesus has asked us to.  Need a better visual?  It's like an addict choosing each and every day, some days multiple times a day to say no to the wrong and choose the right.  Again... this is entirely easier said than done.  Let me challenge you, friends, and myself, not to grow weary or complacent in choosing the right.  It honors God every time we do.  That's what keeps me pressing on to put Ry first.  That, and I genuinely believe our marriage will be blessed in doing so. [Getting off the soapbox... sorry!]

"Your marriage isn't for yourself, you're marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them?"
Y'all, when I think about having kids, I think about how lucky I am that they're going to be with Ryan.  After all, the very fact that he is naturally good with kids, desires to lead them to Jesus, and is comfortable and likes being around them, are some of the quintessential reasons I felt for this boy.  Fell hard, too.  I didn't stand a chance.  I can't tell you how many times a week Ryan points out a cute child to me.  Even the ones I don't find especially cute, y'all I'm a horrible person, Ryan find something that makes them cute.

When we started dating, I remember him meeting my nephews.  I liked my nephews already because they wanted to do athletic and active things and it was fun to hang out and play with them.  When Ryan entered the picture, I sort of got replaced, due to the sheer nature that I'm female, and as they've gotten older, more filled with cooties, or less superior and able to really do "boy things", I suppose.  Regardless, my joy now comes from quasi-doing "boy things" with them, but really from watching Ryan interact with them.  I have zero doubt... Ryan is going to make a great dad.  And what's the cherry on top?  He genuinely wants to be one.  More than many things, I often think, in life.  He wants that honor and title. :)  Meltmyheart.

"Marriage isn't for you. It's not about you. Marriage is about the person you married."
How great that it is, in fact, that way.  If I have Ryan's best interests at heart, and he has mine, then there is simply not room for selfishness.  Don't get me wrong.  I am, by no means, saying you should be unhappy in your marriage for your spouse's happiness.  I'm simply suggesting that there's a unique joy that can be found in putting your spouse first.  Remember that "happiness depends on happenings, but joy depends on Christ".  Try it out.  See what new joy the LORD can bring you in doing so.  Yes, there are times where I'd really rather not watch Cops for the 15,000th time that month, but the joy it brings Ryan having me there by his side is worth it. (Ha!  That was a laaaaaaaaame example.)


You know what?  Let's be honest here.  Selfishness would be the easier choice.  Isn't that sad?  It's 50x easier to do whateverthehell you want over the needs and wants of your spouse, friends, family, etc.  It is.  And yeah, maybe short term it's awesome.  Doing exactly what you want.  Whenever you want.  But, friend, that's a quick path to loneliness, and I don't think that's what the LORD desires for you.  He loves you so much more than you can imagine.  Knowing that and still being selfish?  Well, that's like slapping Him in the face.  He could have been selfish too.  Can you imagine seeing your only Son in anguish?  I bet most of us would say, "To heck with you guys, I'm saving my kid."  He didn't.

Seth's article also said this. "No true relationship of love is for you. Love is about the person you love."  I think the above sacrifice denotes that statement to be true.  What an awesome, awesome thing.


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