A couple weeks ago on Instagram, I invited some of you amazing moms to share your hearts with me and I would post some of those stories each month. My regular contributors are dear friends, but there are mounds of awesome moms out there – stories that need to be told. This story is one of them. Afton, your post deeply encouraged and challenged me in the marriage category. I am so honored to share it with others today. – Courtney
What You Really Need to Know About Marriage
by Guest Contributor Afton
It was close to nine years ago that they all wished us well with a “Congratulations” or something of the like. They were joyful and celebrated our special day with us, showered us with cards and gifts. But no one ever told us what marriage really meant, what it really meant for two to become one.
The “unity candles” you light don’t end when that white pillar is placed in a pretty box. You will take your light and unite it with that of your love, making one single light burn bright. And you’ll snuff your old light out to find a new togetherness. And it’s no wonder those pretty candles burn on the altar because when that pretty candle is tucked away, your lives need to stay right there where they became one – at the altar.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24
The honeymoon may have it’s share of road bumps and maybe even road blocks. There will be things that catch you off guard and you may not have the island getaway that some do. But you should soak in it, and be there – totally there, because when life comes at you, you’ll go back here and reminisce on those first days together. Take lots of pictures. One day you’ll pull out those photos and remember the innocent bliss of new found territory and you’ll fall in love all over again.
Everyone will have their opinion on your children. When you should have them, how many you should have, when to try again and when to quit. But this journey is one that only you and your spouse will travel together. Others may be on the sidelines cheering you on but it is one another that you will need to lean on. And as you do, make that known to one another: hold her tight when the blue lines don’t show, and let him be there with you, let him hold you and know it’s okay to break for one another. It’s okay to not be strong, because you aren’t in this alone. If you are both weak, together you can lean on Him who is your Strength.
Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Isaiah 41:10
There will come a time when bills need paid, jobs need finished, the car needs repaired, the house needs work, the in-laws need visited, the chores need done…and times when it all happens at once. There will be too much of it and you’ll both be stretched thin – emotionally, financially, physically and spiritually. During these times you will be tempted to blame one another. Do. Not. These are the times that miracles happen. Literal, parting the Red Sea like miracles, when God can display His work in your lives. It may be painful but put down your pointing finger and reach out your hand. Go through it together because when you look back you will find that these were the times that refined your faith and you’ll be better for it.
Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfectly and fully developed, lacking in nothing. James 1:3-4 AMP
We are all human and we all have this nagging tendency to do it our own way. When everything inside of you is screaming to get in the last word, instead of holding your ground, hold your tongue. It has the power to destroy that heart you love so dearly. Don’t let it. And if something is said, don’t let it go thinking that you didn’t really mean it. Go to them and humble yourself to ask forgiveness and speak life.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Proverbs 18:21
Two lives don’t always come together with ease. You will need to sacrifice some of your own wants and desires, your own habits and even your own dreams. When you need to, it doesn’t make your spouse any less of a lover. They too are making sacrifices even if you don’t realize it. When you set aside your own wants, you become a tangible Jesus. It was He who gave it all for you.
Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all. Romans 8:32
One day the sparks and butterflies will begin to fade. But don’t settle for it, be intentional about it. Society will tell you it’s chemical and try to put out the spark or encourage you to find other ways to keep it burning.
So when life pulls you away
the work…the kids…the family…the friends…
the groups…the sports…the deadlines…
a society overwhelmed with pornography, prostitution,
masturbation and lust
you need to pull in close to each other.
…. THERE IS MORE! This blog posts keeps going and so does the insight. I love what Afton shares about praying together and how to order the your priorities with God first, marriage second. Read the rest here.
Afton is a loyal wife to her best friend and mama to five: three hearts they are blessed to raise here and two who were born before they could hold them in their arms. She is the author of “Another Blessed Day” blog and founder of Heart Stitches, an outreach to families of miscarriage. She wrestles with God and the work He has called her to do: mamahood, marriage, homemaking, home schooling, community, family, because there‘s too much of it all and not enough her. She feels there’s never enough time, never enough energy but always more than enough grace from God and love among them to get through each messy, beautiful day.
Connect with Afton here.