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!!

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Advice

There is a lot of advice out there for married couples. Shops are lined with books on how to help, save, better, ect.. your marriage. I am sure all of it to one extent or another has applicable advice that would be beneficial.

Right now Sweets and I are in the newness phase still, everything is perfect and exciting and wonderful. I am not so naiive to think that this will last forever though. Of course, it is God’s will for our marriages to be joyful and wonderful and represent Him well. We will have struggles, disagreements and other issues over the years.  I am thankful that we are both realistic enough to acknowledge this and also to plan for it to some degree as best we can right now, ahead of time.

One of those ways (and some of the  best advice I have heard) was directly from my husband. The one thing he always made clear was important for our marriage was that “No Matter What, we always speak respectfully to and about each other.”

He said that sarcasm over time slowly breaks down people’s spirits and the relationship and that it has no place in marriages. At first I thought he was over emphasizing this a bit too much, but as I now spend a bit more time and activities with other couples I totally understand what he is saying and agree 100% . I hear other couples “joke” about being chained to the other, or things like “I wish they would leave but …still here”  It sounds so negative, almost mean. I heard it right away, it made me cringe and sad for the other person. It was this week that I clearly saw the significance of what Sweets was saying.

I was talking to  a newly engaged couple who have been together for two years. There were jabs and sharp comments to and about each other in the midst of our only 15 min chat.  At this time when they should be the most excited and joyful for their union, already they make comments about being sick of the other or not being able to get away. I know they are joking and I assume they are looking forward to the wedding, but the point is that if they are already in the habit of wounding the significance of the other or the relationship in casual conversation what happens when they aren’t as happy or are disappointed or whatever? Yikes.

Sweets and I left that conversation re-vowing never to speak in a similar manner. Always speak highly and praise your spouse, even when you have grounds to criticize. There is a time and place to speak to them about change but in front of others where you can make them look/feel diminished or inadequate  is not a good place or practice for a marriage (or any relationship really.)

Speak highly and honour the one you have!

Blessings