Saturday, January 9, 2016

On Happiness....

This man. 
We have been together for almost 19 years now and I think I love him more today...if that's possible.
He'd be so embarrassed if he knew I was writing I will keep things short and to the point :)
Has our marriage been perfect and easy all of time? It wasn't supposed to be.
But he has made life easier for me with his constant forgiveness, his understanding, his guidance and protection over our family.
He puts our needs above his own. 
Our thoughts and lives are so forever deeply intertwined that I find myself thinking of him throughout the day and anticipating seeing him again.
Even on a rough day.

Love is a multitude of emotions and experiences!

We have kids that are getting older, and I have found myself wanting to prepare them for the future.
I ran across this article and thought it was just so perfectly written.
Perhaps you have seen it?
I read it to all of my kids, because it is never too early to instill that kind of view towards God's intention of marriage and happiness.
More so, that happiness is there if you follow God's design.
Life is NOT perfect, marriage will never be perfect, because WE are not perfect.
But to try again.
To forgive, and encourage.
To bring the best out in our spouse and family.
To talk good about our choose to love....that is where it's at.

Dear Children,
Should the Lord give you the good gift of a husband or wife, and I hope He does, there are a few things I want you to know. Things that you may not hear from anyone else, and certainly not on TV or other media. Sadly,… your church may not even tell you.
Marriage, sweet little people, is not for the purpose of your happiness. Happy as I want you to be and hope you will be, you must yet understand that marriage is God’s design and His purposes must be pursued in order for you to be truly happy. His end is holiness and He will use all things in a life devoted to Him to fulfill that end.
To my girls:
Marry a man whose first pursuit is Christ. After that, he is not hard to please. Admire him, cheer him on and show gratitude, and he will fall over himself trying to please you. Smile often, speak well of him always, and do whatever necessary to try and maintain a pleasant mood about you so that it transfers to your home, making it a place where he and your children love to be.
You’ll have bad days of course, crying days even, and that’s when you go to your bedroom, kneel on the floor and beg the Lord to carry you. Then get up, get a fresh perspective (crayons will come off the wall), and try again. Above all else, make a home.
To my boys:
Marry a woman whose first pursuit is Christ. After that, she may be hard to please only if you don’t know “the secret”. What is that? I’m glad you asked. The secret to pleasing your wife is to make her feel safe and treasured. You may have to move out of your comfort zone to do this at times. She won’t always readily translate the oil change to love, though it means that. But let me give you a “secret question”–a question you need to ask her often. It’s not just in the asking, though. Be sure to focus your eyes on hers, maybe even touch her shoulder or face, and then ask: “What’s on your mind these days? “ And then be ready to listen. She wants you to draw her out. She will perceive this as your protection over the matters of her heart. Tenderness, listening, protection. That’s what she wants.
To you all:
If your wife or husband does something really silly, forgive. If they do it again, forgive again. Forgiveness must be the propelling force in your lives each day. Dwell on the strengths, push out thoughts of their weaknesses. Take every thought captive–choose to love.
Here’s that part you are not going to hear often:
If you find yourself “not happy”, having lost attraction, disinterested, etc., you are not permitted to even think about a divorce. If you find yourselves arguing more and more, don’t think for a minute that “the children will be better off out of this”, because th
The vows you took on your wedding day were not suggestions. They were covenant vows, before a Holy God, family and friends, to stay with this person the rest of your life, even if you don’t feel like it. You swore a solemn oath and if you can’t live up to it, don’t get married. Decide up front that your marriage is irrevocable. There is far more motivation for getting along if your “marriage house” has no door.
Do not share intimate thoughts or feelings with anyone of the opposite sex. Do not find yourself alone for any length of time with such either.
Divorce is not a “private option”. It will affect multiple families for many generations. When you “separate what God has joined” you permanently injure far more than just yourself.
Guard your marriage as fiercely as you would guard your own life. Treat your spouse as an extension of your flesh, just as God sees you. Treat your spouse like other family members. You know, “you gotta love ‘em, they’re the only family you’ve got”.
I want you to be happy, I surely do. But I will pray for you to be holy.
Proverbs 19:14 – “Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.”
Proverbs 20:6-7 – “Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find? The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him.”
To those of you who are in a troubled marriage, and are reading this, know you are in my prayers.
My intent in posting this is to encourage, because I found the letter uplifting, but I know some of us are hurting.
I also know that I would NEVER encourage someone to stay in a marriage if there is danger to their life or their children's lives! This letter does not state this thought....rather to forgive silly mistakes. Abuse is never a silly mistake.

I hope you have a lovely weekend!


Laura Jeanne said...

Julia, what a lovely photo of you and your husband. You look like such a happy couple! And the letter too, is perfect, I think. I am going to save it so I can read it to my children when they are a little bit older.

I dearly hope that my children don't make the same mistake I made - marrying a non-believer, who also had (and still has) active drug addictions. My entire adult life has been a bitter sorrow because of the folly of my youth. I want to impress on my children how important it is to choose wisely. That is the most important point in that letter. If you choose a spouse who follows Christ in their heart, who longs to do good, everything else would be, maybe not always easy, but bearable.

JMD said...

Laura Jeanne, I could write volumes on the subject of marrying a non-believer. A lifetime of heartache to be sure.

Laura Jeanne said...

JMD, I'm sorry to hear you can relate to my comment. I just said a heartfelt prayer for you. I do believe that God can take our mistakes and turn them around into something beautiful. I believe that there is always hope, if we don't stop praying and don't give into despair. Stay strong, sister. :)

Unknown said...

Your letter on marriage is beautiful- after relationships in my early twenties with men who didn't believe, or go to church, my first, and really only, requirement for a husband was that he be a Christian. And then I met my husband and we have the Christ-centered relationship that I had only dreamed about, modeled after both of our parents' relationship. It is my dearest dream that we will pass our faith onto our children. But there's a twist- my husband was previously married (very young, no children, if it matters) and it was just not the right relationship. Does that taint ours? I say no- God led both of us out of the wrong situations and brought us together for a life of service to our church, each other, and our family. So while I truly agree with much of your letter, I live a truth that sometimes God has different plans for us.

Kristina said...

I'm going to share this with my children and pray this over them.
Thank you

Ngo Family Farm said...

So sweet and wise!

Laura Bell said...

love the way you are so honest about the reality of marriage! Seeing your take on marriage is encouraging and the article is so sweet! Love the message :)

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