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February 25, 2013

25 Years

This fall marks 25 years that Mark and I will be married. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday that we said our vows to each other, and then I look around at all of our children and realize it's obviously been a few years :)

Getting married to my husband was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I feel so blessed that God brought us together. I never dreamed that we would be where we are in life 25 years later! The journey we have been on has been an exciting one. And I can say with all my heart that I hope we will be together AT LEAST another 25 years!

So since this year marks a very special milestone I thought it might be a good time to do a series on marriage from the perspective of me, a wife.  I would like to do 25 posts on this subject, but realistically I don't think I will get there! But I will try! And because I am a wife, I am going to talk to the wives paticularily. But I believe that many of these principles can apply to both husband and wife.

So here's where you come in. Are there any particular subjects you would like me to cover? Is there a question about us (marriage related) that you have been wondering? Leave me a comment and tell me what it is :) I can't promise that I will answer every one, but I will try my bestest!

When Mark and I got married I was 18 years old. People thought we were too young.....we thought we were mature, responsible and ready for marriage. I have never regretted getting married at 18, although I wish that I had been taught a few more things about being a wife. My mom was an amazing wife to my dad, but there were many principles that she had never learned, therefore she wasn't able to pass down to me. So I had to learn as I went along and am so grateful to God for teaching me how He did. In those early years there was no one to mentor me to be a Godly wife.  No one to take me under their wing and teach me what it meant to be a help meet to my husband. That's why it's so important for me today to be that woman to other wives who are searching. I know what it's like to struggle, fail, pick myself up and cry out to God for answers. I don't regret those days, for I know that I drew closer to God while I searched my heart and His word for answers. And I am thankful that after a few years God did bring someone into my life to mentor me. Someone who took the time to listen and give advice. (thanks Helen!!!)

God has taught me many things over the last 25 years. And it is only by His grace that I am the wife that I am today. And even though I look back and see how far I have come, I look forward and see how much I can improve. I am so grateful for His constant teaching, nudging, and pruning in my life. I always want my heart to be pliable so 'He who has begun a good work in me can complete it'!

Anyway, what I am going to share is something that I think is a real important principle for a wife to practice. NEVER SPEAK BADLY, NEGATIVELY OR COMPLAIN ABOUT YOUR HUSBAND BEHIND HIS BACK OR TO HIS FACE AROUND OTHER PEOPLE.  I cringe when I hear wives put their husbands down, or complain about them in a group of people or even just one on one. And if a wife comes and starts to do this to me, I quickly shut down the conversation, change the subject, or encourage them to honour their husbands by their words. And sadly, do you know where I have seen this happen the most? In a woman's bible study or get together. I know....I've been there....I've participated.  Really ladies, this is cheap and I don't believe it is honoring to God. Your husband has been place by God as your head. Respect that!

God's word tells us in Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." I quote this verse often to our children because  it is often needed. But  I realize how I also need to live this every day in our marriage. What purpose does putting my husband down serve? NONE!!!

 I know there are some woman who will say, "But it's just in fun!" Well....find another way to have fun....and don't let it be at the expense of your husband.

I have made sure to teach this truth to my children as well. I am very careful not to talk negatively about their Dad to them. Not that I have never done it, I am human, I have slipped. But this is something that I have been very diligent to try and live every day. I have told my girls that one day when they are married (Lord willing) if they call me up and start complaining about their husband, I will hang up on them!!!! And I mean it!!! I will not be a third party to something that should be between a husband and a wife. Not that I don't want to be there for them....I do! But all they have to say is, "Please pray." That's all I need to hear! And if they need advice on how to work on their own hearts, I will gladly give that to them to. But that's where it will end!

So I just want to encourage you ladies, speak positively about your husband....to his face and behind his back. If you have a complaint about him, don't announce it to the world. First check your own heart and then pray for his. And if we are ever talking together and you complain about me to your husband......you know what I'll do :)


Pastor T said...

Wisdom @ it's finest!

Suzy said...

I'm only in my 8th year of marriage, so I am definitely thankful for advice from someone coming in on 25 years! A quick question: do you think there is a place for women to talk together about issues they may be facing in their marriage- not to complain so much as to help each other work through them? I'm thinking of a specific example from my real life, so I'll share it with you: a good friend is going through the sometimes frustrating process of buying and selling a house in a crazy real estate market, and she and her husband have not been seeing eye to eye on some things. In the course of our normal chit-chat, this came up. We ended up talking about how they view/approach things differently, how that perhaps led to misunderstandings, and how she could communicate better with him and help him communicate better with her. She later told me that she was glad that she could express some of those things to me, because talking them through had helped her realize she had perhaps been making too big a deal of them and didn't need to bring them up to her husband.

In your opinion, is this something she should have just kept to herself? In my opinion, we didn't do "husband bashing", and I certainly think no less of her husband for the things she shared, but would you still view this sort of interaction as unhealthy for a marriage? Sorry to write such a novel :)

The Pauls' Family said...

Hi Suzy! Thanks for your comment/question.

I believe there is definitely a place where we can share with our friends the struggles we are having and ask for prayer and advice. I can't really answer specifically on your conversation with your friend because I wasn't there and I don't know the context of the situation, but here are my thoughts on this subject.

If you find you are having a conversation with another woman and all she is pointing out is the flaws of her husband...never mentioning that she may be part of the problem too....that's not a good sign. To me this shows that the converstaion is quickly turning into a complaint session about her husband.

I believe we have to be very careful when "sharing" these thing with other people because it can very subtly become "husband bashing" as you call it. I know woman who have asked me to "pray" for things in their marriage and I felt they were using prayer as an excuse to complain about their husbands. This is where the danger zone is.

It's all about the heart and where the "sharing" is coming from. It's about the characterization of a person and if this is something they are always doing or is it a genuine cry for help?

Is there a place for helping people through these situations? I believe there is. But as a friend you have to be very careful of where the conversation goes, and encourage your friend to work on her own heart. Because when all is said and done, it's our own hearts that we are responsible for.

I hope this helped?

Missy said...

I completely agree with you about not putting our husbands down and I try not to, but sadly the EVER part is where I mess up.God sure knows what he is doing doesn't he. This is exactly what God has been working on in my heart lately. Thanks for a great post. I'm going to work on memorizing Ephesians 4:29.

Godly-young-widow said...

Thanks for sharing this, Rosalie. After I lost my husband, well, I can understand the need to vent, and to look for prayer and advice. It does bug me that some women carelessly joke about such things, and the word "divorce" even gets tossed around flippantly! And there are some situations where I just have to shut up because it's just hurtful to think about it. I can NEVER compare my pain to the pain of a woman whose husband is abusing her, or left her, or cheated on her. I am thankful for the fact that I know where my husband is, and that we both had no choice in the end. Even though I miss him LOTS.
Hey, if you're thinking of another book series, The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian has REALLY helped me; I prayed those prayers often in my married time; mostly near the end. So, that's something for you to consider.
Otherwise, I think I'm more interested in your other follow-up post on how you deal with adult children who might NOT be married young like your 2 married children. I hate to think of your daughters(or daughters-in-law) going through what I'm going through. I'm thankful that my parents, while they would've been happy to have me stay home till marriage, they made sure that, as an adult, my goal was to be gainfully employed where God wanted me, using the gifts He's given me. I was to at least be striving to be working or in school, and they would help me with that as needed; walking me through applications for either, or suggesting places to put resumes. While it's good for a woman to be prepared to be a good wife, homemaker, mother, etc, other job skills/experience can come in REALLY handy.
God bless, and I look forward to your next posts.