This is the last of our six week series, and oh... this is a hard topic for me to write about and one I was thinking about just not doing.
Mike and I have been married for almost 21 years now. There have been many ups and downs throughout the years. The highlights have been the joy we both have in parenting. The most incredible feelings of joy with the birth of each of our seven children was something we have both shared together. What gifts each of them have been created out of our love.
Generally Mike and I really enjoy being with one another - going for walks, going to treasure/consignment shops together, clipping the goats hooves together - this is one Mike has told me he likes doing with me:)
There have also been many struggles and many times I really wasn't sure if we should stay together.
To be honest, we did not start our relationship on the right foot - having met in college and being drawn together by attraction without building a solid friendship first. I am so grateful that, only by the grace of God, that our children, thus far, share the belief of waiting until they are older (16/17) to have a girlfriend and then setting guidelines for themselves within their relationship for physical contact.
Both Mike and I come from divorced parents and perhaps part of our struggles are because we are learning how to build a relationship on our own, without positive models. But regardless, I think that building a good marriage is a process that goes on throughout the entire marriage.
We are both thankful that individually we have both grown our faith in the Lord and that alone has brought us closer.
God made each of us as unique, beautiful people with our own separate gifts, strengths and weaknesses. But the thing is, as human beings, we are continually growing and changing throughout our lives. I am not the same person Mike met 25 years ago and neither is Mike the same person he used to be. So as we change, the challenge is to continue to grow together while still honoring each of our unique selves.
I am the forever energizer bunny that comes up with idea after new idea and wakes up each morning excited about the new day. Mike, on the other hand, is the steady that really isn't able to formulate his own dreams and desires. I find myself often frustrated because I would love to have a partner to share my enthusiasm for life and I know Mike gets frustrated with me because I have such high expectations for life. (Really, though, how blessed am I that I have a supportive husband that will usually help me bring some of these ideas to fruition.) I know that God brought us together to compliment one another and to learn from one another. It is probably good for me to have somebody by my side that keeps me grounded at times.
We have recently been going through this book, Finding Ever After, by Dr. Robert S. Paul. Yes, the title is corny but it is excellent once you get past that.
This is the first Christian marriage book the resonated with me. It does not just comment how the wife should submit to her husband and the husband be the leader. The author actually never says either of these things and instead focuses on the fact that the two, husband and wife, each have their own dreams and the job as partner is to be curious about the other, wanting to get to know and learn more about him/her. It also focuses on being selfless and using language with one another that is consistently kind and affirming.
Marriage is a work that will continue until one of us dies. I truly believe, though, that it is a work that brings rewards beyond measure.
Please visit these other inspiring but real women as they share their stories ~