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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What a Young Wife has Learned

My husband and I have been married for a year and two months (and a little more).  It has already been an amazing journey, and I am humbled and awed at the thought that God has given me this incredible man with whom I get to spend my whole life.

I have found, in talking with other young married couples (wives especially) that we're all going through similar things and trying to learn a lot of the same things.  This makes perfect sense; we are, after all, at about the same point in life.

One year of marriage has taught me a lot, thanks be to God.  I have so much more to learn, and I know that, so I can't claim to be an expert of any kind.

But I would like to share today some of the most important things I've learned, which are all based on the Word of God.

1) My husband needs to be respected as well as loved, and that does not come naturally to me like loving does.  As a woman, I have very little difficulty loving people, especially my husband.  But when it comes to respecting him, that takes work.  Perhaps that's why Paul wrote to the Ephesians:
"...each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." Ephesians 5:33
2) I need to say more often to myself, "Hold your tongue, woman!"  Before I speak, I need to think: is it respectful?  Is it loving?  Is it necessary?  Is it timely?  Is it helpful?  Maybe this is just me, but I get into the most trouble by saying things out of turn, or saying something I shouldn't at all.  I could fix a lot by simply being more careful about what I say, and when.
"When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise."         Proverbs 10:19 
3) I need to keep my priorities in order.  First God, then my husband, then myself.  It is necessary to put his needs before my own and be selfless.  Again, this doesn't come naturally, but doing this will have a very positive impact on my life and my marriage.
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus..." Philippians 2:3-5
4) My husband and I should forgive each other--always.  This is the key.  This is how our marriage works.  We are both sinful people, saved by grace, yes, but still sinners.  Failing each other is inevitable--which is why forgiveness is such a gift of God, and so very important.
"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:32
5) Remember--the ability to love does not come from me, or from my husband.  It is a gift of God. The amazing thing about marriage is that God doesn't expect us to do it on our own.  He gives us the strength, will and resources--like forgiveness--to love, respect and honor our spouse.  Love isn't something I produce on my own power.  It comes from Him.
"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." 1 John 4:7-8
6) Marriage is an earthly example of the love Jesus Christ has for all who believe in him.  The bottom line is, my marriage isn't about me or my husband.  It's about God.  Marriage is a way God blesses his people incredibly.  It is one of the ways he explains to us the love he has for us.  It is an image of the relationship Jesus Christ has with the church--his Bride.  Marriage is another way that we, as God's children, can honor and glorify him.
"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water thorough the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.  He who loves his wife loves himself.  After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church--for we are members of his body.  'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.'  This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church.  However, each one of you must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."  Ephesians 5:21-33

There is so much more I could say about what I have learned about marriage in the last fourteen months, and about what marriage has taught me about myself, about what love is, and about who God is.  But these things, I think, are the most important.


Linking up to these lovely ladies today, with thanks:

Upward Not Inward; New Life Steward; To Love, Honor and Vacuum; Women Living Well; Deep Roots at Home; A Wise Woman Builds Her Home 
 


22 comments:

  1. This is awesome! Such a Christ-centered list of lessons learned! Thanks for sharing, it is a beautiful celebration of what God intends for marriage to be.

    Blessings,
    Tyanne

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    1. Thank you, Tyanne! God is so good. :)

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  2. It has been wonderful to share this journey of discovery with you, my friend. We've both learned a lot about being wives over the last year, and I pray we will continue to share our triumphs and struggles for years to come! You're an awesome woman of God!

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    1. Ditto on all counts. Thank you, dear. :) <3

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  3. This is such a wonderful list! I only wish I hadn't waited nearly 10 years to learn the things it only took you 18 months to learn.

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    1. Thank you! I still have SO much to learn. And I'm constantly working on all the things I listed. But God is faithful. :)

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  4. Great list! It sounds like you are becoming the wife God would have you be. Inspiring to me. :)

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    1. Thanks, Becca! He's still working on me...but we're getting there. :D

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  5. These are all so good and so true!! thanks for sharing.
    New follower - hope you will stop by and visit and maybe follow.
    http://pjgraves51.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, Pamela, and thanks for following! I hope you'll be blessed here. :)

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  6. I love this Jaimie. Thank you for sharing what God is teaching you as you seek to be a Godly wife and support to your husband. I am still working on many of the things you talked about, even after 8 years. In many ways, we never stop working to be faithful to God's calling in our marriages. It is a daily commitment. God bless you and your hubby. :)

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    1. Thank you, Rachel! I know our marriage is a constant work in progress--like you said, a daily commitment. But I know God's in with us for the long haul, too! :)

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  7. So many good points Jaimie! I especially love the part about forgiving one another...I think this is one of the most vital points...coupled with the ability to love coming from God. We need Him to shed His love in our hearts that we can forgive. Congratulations on your 14 months! Marriage is the greatest blessing...a precious gift from God. Love your heart, here!

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    1. Thank you so much, Jacqui! It's so important to remember that marriage is all about GOD...his forgiveness, his love...not us and our human "ability" to forgive and love. :) :)

      It is such an amazing blessing. I absolutely agree with you. :)

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  8. i especially love thel last one. marriage has shown me more about the love and grace of God, than anything else in my life!

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  9. Having been married for 36 years, I know that true love does not emit from the human heart. We are not capable of it on our own. I'm committed to my husband b/c God has strengthened my heart and taught me how to love.

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    1. YES! I love this. Thank you for the reminder and encouragement. :) Isn't it great to know we don't have to rely on our own strength (or lack thereof)? :)

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  10. I would say you have learned a lot more than most in your first year of marriage! Great points. Now just hold fast to them as y'all face a lifetime together!

    Thanks for linking up!
    MB

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    1. Aw...thank you, Mary Beth! Yes, that's the kicker--actually remembering all this stuff for the rest of my life! :D There's yet another reason to be thankful for God's constant grace and forgiveness. :)

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  11. You are doing such a wonderful job of recognizing these things. My husband and i tell younger unmarried folks that marriage will tell you how truly selfish you really are. It will stretch you and grow you in ways you never imagined. It is SO important to keep God at the center. I don't know how people survive otherwise! Thank you so much for linking up again this week. I enjoy your posts so much!

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    1. Thank you so much, Kelly! You are SO right. Marriage is teaching me so much about myself!
      And I agree--I don't know how people ever stay married without God in the center of it all. And of course! Thanks for hosting the linkup! :)

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