In my last two posts, I wrote about My Love Story – how The Lord brought us together, how The Lord brought us together AGAIN after we both became born again, and how he proposed. If you missed any of those, you can get them here.
Our first Christmas was fast approaching, and I was getting nervous – we didn’t have a tree yet, and it was already December! I remember talking to Kevin about it several times, and not getting the results I wanted. His work schedule and mine never seemed to gel, so days and weeks went by, and no attempt was made to get a tree. Soon I was REALLY getting nervous – it was only one week before Christmas, and there was still no tree! I finally decided to take matters into my own hands and go Christmas tree shopping by myself! It was not at all romantic, but I simply didn’t know what else to do.
The tree I picked looked great – I thought! 😉 What I didn’t realize was that it was completely bare on one side, and of course it became the laughingstock of every Christmas since!
I didn’t realize as a young wife that HIS family tradition was to get the tree up and decorate it on Christmas Eve, while mine was to put it up the day after Thanksgiving. His family left their tree up all through January, while my dad faithfully chopped ours up and burned it in the New Year’s Day fire. Just this simple difference caused quite a stir in our young marriage.
Our marriage started out well, but as we all know, the flesh is ever present, and it wars against the Spirit. We were definitely untaught in a lot of areas, and it really showed in our lives. There are many things I know now that I wish I knew then, that would have smoothed over many wrinkles.
1. Our roles – who would do what and when. In my home, my Dad took care of the trash regularly. In our new home, however, the trash (which I assumed my husband would take care of) would spill all over the floor. Needless to say, it was a source of irritation that could have been prevented if we had thought to talk about it ahead of time.
2. Our leadership – who was in charge. Now, Biblically this was a no-brainer. According to God’s Word, the man is the head of the head of the home, and has the final say on decisions. In its purest form, it’s a Benevolent Monarchy, with the man looking out for the welfare of his people and listening to their opinions, but making the final decision himself. In our case, it was more complicated by my background, being raised in a feminist home. I definitely had a lot to learn.
3. Our traditions – how we celebrate holidays, etc. This is illustrated by The Christmas tree Mess I talked about earlier. Of course, this is multiplied by each and every holiday throughout the year! It takes time for a young family to develop their own traditions, and we now encourage our older married children to create their own traditions…but they’re always welcome to include us in any of them!
4. Our sex life – how much and when. In our case, there was a huge disparity between how much one person wanted and how much another wanted. And having little children always complicated matters, especially for mom who feels torn in a hundred directions. But over the years I came to realize that he needed it more than I thought – and so did I!
If I had my marriage to start over again, I would realize:
1. God can speak to him much better than I can
2. It is better for him to make the wrong decision (because he will learn from it) than that I take over the leadership and make the right decision.
3. We have a lifetime to make traditions together, so if one holiday doesn’t happen just the way I wish it did, it’s ok.
I’m sure this Christmas will be no different than any other – we’ll get the tree sometime, and as we put it up, he’ll tease me about the “half tree” I bought so many years ago. And as usual, I’ll throw a few plastic ornaments at him and chase him out the front door. It’s tradition!
Question: If you’ve been married any length of time, what have you learned? Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew back then?
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Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil is OUT! It’s now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and soon I will have it available here on TheCourageousJourney.com and Lionproof.com ! I AM SO EXCITED!
Linking up with: Monday: Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, and Moms the Word, and Happy Wives Club Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum