Change your mind not your spouse!

A big welcome to Summer – Finally!

This has been the first week of THE real heat for us in Nagoya. The past few weeks have been hot but thankfully were lacking the humidity that typifies our area of Japan. Actually, I love the humidity! I know I am weird. I just look at it as a free sauna experience – my skin never looks better than this time of year and I love the feeling of walking out the door and into a wall of humidity. Sorry I just do!

We organized a beach BBQ event with our friends from work, great people, tons of fun – not Christians. This generally does not get in the way of having a great time, or enjoying each others company though. They respect our lifestyle and choices and we enjoy their friendship. It is all good!

However, every now and then the topics or content can show strong differences between our views and ideals.

The topic of marriage came up and most of the couples we were with are married, one divorced,  one couple are common-law and the other couple is just newly dating.  This leaves room for a lot of comments, advice and opinions. Mostly Sweets and I just listen and it was yesterday that I noticed just how vastly different married life can be with Christ involved.

Of course everyone is talking about how we can’t change the other person (thankfully they have all gotten to learn that!) but more of it was about how to put up with your partners annoying things, how to ignore or what tactics one may use to cause about a change. Most of it was negative and I know marriage isn’t perfect, its hard and it takes sacrifice but more negative things were being said about marriage and spouses than good. And these are happily married couples speaking! (for the most part.)

It was during that conversation that I learned a few things:

1) Marriage is meant to make us Holy not happy (I had read that millions of times but it sunk in yesterday) when I realized that things about Sweets that make me want him to change is always an opportunity God uses to bring a change IN ME/ MY attitude and my perspective on myself. Anytime I think a negative thing about my husband I am immediately reminded of how much he has to put up with me and it makes me so thankful for our marriage instead of annoyed. No one ever admitted during that conversation that maybe THEY were also in need of changing.

2) Only with Christ is change a real hope. This is not about dirty laundry on the floor or petty things like that. But some of these people are dealing with things that really should be changing with maturity – but it is clear that no one believes those personality flaws can be changed – ever. I know that there is hope for me and my man to become more and more Godly and so change for the better is inevitable as a christian. He gets the Glory!

3) People do not think that these ideals are possible or even natural after the first couple of years of marriage. This will have to be proven in the coming years, as it is true Cullen and I are still in our first year only and maybe my perspective will change – but faith will not allow me to change my mind that God can not change people and make us more like His Perfect Son. That is what we are living for!

It’s true we cannot change our spouse, but we can change how we view them and the situation – and how we view ourselves. We are equally not the perfect catch for them – and they are equally putting up with a lot from our end as well.

Christ is ever ready to change us though and praise to His name it is not only possible but POSITIVE!!

 

 

 

 

 

Marriage advice from a newlywed?!

Last post I shared a bit of my thoughts on respect for my husband. Today I was thinking about my wonderful man and reflecting on the week, thinking back to times I may have shown respect to him and ways I may not have. I try to do this every night before we go to bed, just to be sure that he knows that I am aware of times I failed him and that I am working on making them far and fewer, and also so that he knows how much I respect him in my heart and mind even if at times my actions or words do not demonstrate that so well.

I don’t know a whole lot about marriage, its only been 11 months! But I can say that one thing that I am compelled to do at least once a day (sometimes more!) – is to thank Sweets for marrying me. The first couple of times I said this to him, I saw him light up and shine like never before, I know that I touched a place in his heart though he didn’t seem to know what to do with that!

He was surprised by my words and I think he took it negatively, as if I thought he had pity on me, or was doing me a favour in which I needed to thank him. In some ways maybe I feel this. Not for the same negative reasons, but my man is pretty amazing!   I dreamed my whole life of marrying a great guy, I had standards after all – but I never thought I would marry someone THIS awesome. I am still shocked he felt we were well fitted. On top of that, I come from a kinda wild, dysfunctional, emotional/vocal family and he comes from the most traditional, stable and reserved family. When I was young I dreamed of family life just like the kind in which he grew up, but with my personality coming out of my upbringing, I never imagined I could be yoked with someone from the complete opposite spectrum. I wasn’t expecting to marry poorly, or anything but I did expect to marry someone with a more similar upbringing, and a bit more chaos in their life.

So that being said, I am just so thankful for my marriage. I am thankful for so much about Sweets, our relationship, and our lives. But more than all of that I am so thankful that he chose me to be his one.  So everyday I cant help but tell him how thankful I am that he married me! Every day I see that same shine come into his eyes and smile as he assures me that he is equally thankful that I said “yes”.

I can not think of a better habit to have started in our marriage than open, vocal, love and appreciation for each other and this relationship.

So there’s my marriage advice of 11 months!  Appreciate your spouse verbally and let me know if they don’t light up and shine like never before!

Honour you God, Honour your marriage,

-Bree

Allowing him to be The Man

Hey all,

It has been a long while! I wont bore you with the details, but I am glad to be back and hope to make it a more regular thing! I have missed the world of blogging!!!

Ok for my first post I will start with a mini update. Cullen and I have now been married 10 months! Its shocking how fast time goes by! I have learned a lot and lacked a lot his year and though I wish I had had the time/energy and wherewith to share it all, I do believe this was a time in our lives that was meant to be intimate and sweetened by privacy. The Lord has been working over time in each of us, and we have had a fabulous year together! I can say that marriage is WAY BETTER than I anticipated it could ever be. It really does leave my dreams in the dust!

That being said I want to start my first post back on a topic that is close to my heart. Respect for our husbands.

I came across something on FB the other day that really annoyed me! (Shocking I know) but it really made me think about what kind of message we send to our husbands with jokes, pictures and other comments that are meant to be funny but actually make a statement about our level of respect for them.

Here is the picture that really had me going:

Sad

I couldn’t believe how many of my (christian) friends were agreeing and posting this on their own walls. Especially shocking when I know their husbands will also see it.  I felt really sad for them knowing that my friends are declaring their own husbands to be so little in their eyes….to every person they have ever met or sometimes haven’t met!

I encountered a similar feeling when I was looking at wedding cakes last year and I am sure you have seen these also, but does this not just make it seem like it is all set up for failure, ridicule and disrespect?

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I hope that I can be the kind of wife that allows my husband to be The Man in my life but also that I confirm to him how greatly I value, respect and need him to be MY MAN.

Maybe I am making a bigger deal of it than is needed, but I want to ask you to please comment and let me know what do you think ? Do these images send a negative  message to our husbands  or are they just in fun?

Thanks for stopping by!!

-Bree

 

“Find out who you are, and Do It On Purpose”

A famous quote from a famous country singer. I loved it from the fist time I heard it  ( in A Walk to Remember). I am often reminded of it from day to day and week to week. Not because it was so profound or even that life changing of a quote for me at the time, but because it has a meaning now that I have decided with all my heart to live ON PURPOSE!.

One of the common ideas that seems to permeate most people’s lives these days is happenstance, or in other words allowing life to happen and dealing with it as it comes.

Now, generally this doesn’t seem like a bad way to live. In fact, in some cases it is the best idea! Life will happen! I know it, you know it! We have all been affected by “life” and many things we can’t choose, prevent or even prepare for. In these cases it is of course best to take it one day at a time, and deal with it as is fitting.

However, this is not the case with everything. Nor should it be. Specifically in our marriages. This is a dangerous belief and it is (in my opinion) destroying marriages all around me.

Why would I have this opinion? Because ALL of the stuff I have been reading about for marriage and listening to people talk about, seems to point to this idea. Those marriages in which the couples are so in love and they think they always will be and they are just living on love… tend to me miserable a few yrs down the line. They  think love will take them through anything and everything but they actually are not making any purposeful effort to keep the passionate love alive.

These are the people I hear that think how it is in the first few months or year of marriage is how it will always be. They mistakenly believe as long as you love it will all work out. BUT I don’t hear these people talk about how to KEEP the love alive, how to serve their spouse and how to make sure they are a blessing and not an annoyance or burden to their lover’s life.

These are the people I hear complain that their husband or wife “used to ____”. or they are the ones who say things like “enjoy it while it lasts”. It’s sickening, because so many people assume and live with a reality where the best days and years of their marriages are behind them and “somehow” it all just ended, stopped and is no longer like this anymore.

It made me wonder (and worry!) Why? What makes things change so drastically. Why are people who were once madly in love now resentful and apathetic? It really made me have to look at the big picture of what was going on and the common thing I note is that most of these people let life happen and do not choose to do anything on purpose…especially anything to stop allowing life to suck the love out of their marriages.

So, that brings me back to my theme for the month (maybe year!) Live on purpose. Love on purpose and above everything else choose your attitude on purpose.

Once you (and your significant other)  are making choices, planning for certain expectations and doing things on purpose to demonstrate love, appreciation and service to the other then it is easy to see that life has no chance to creep up and steal the passion out of these relationships. It is easy to see the contrast in people, who are happily married for 10, 20, 30+ years. These people love to talk about marriage! They are worth listening to, and their example is worth following.

I am ever the student, learning as much as I can about my life as a Christian women and now a wife as well. I see lessons in every relationship I come across and take the chance to talk about this with all of them who give me a few minutes to observe and ask.

There are the couples I learn from because it brings fear and worry that I do NOT want to end up like that. and others who are such great examples and it make me look at them and say THAT’S how I imagined marriage to be!

Blessings