Since what I call “the great debate” that took place on my birthday, I’ve been in a lot of thought and prayer. I’ve been listening to podcasts, I’ve been reading Making Marriage Work by Joyce Meyer, and I’ve been cross-referencing scriptures in my new Bible. I got the book after listening to Joyce’s podcast on how she’s made her marriage work with her husband of a few decades. I was looking forward to learning a few things, but Lord, when I tell you I had a bunch of a-ha moments, believe me. I swear I wanted to high five Joyce, but I tweeted her instead, haha.
Here’s 10 lessons I’ve learned about marriage from Joyce Meyer’s book:
With all my carrying on, I was trying to get him to do what I wanted. That kind of behavior is what I now call “emotional manipulation.”
I have become an emotional manipulator in my marriage. I admit that growing up, I was spoiled. Both set of parents made a good living, and none of my siblings or I ever went without what we needed, and we had just about everything we wanted to. I was told that I deserved many of the things I got, because I was a “good girl” and did everything I was supposed to do. But that thinking didn’t quite break, and I expected to be just as spoiled in my relationship. When I wouldn’t get my way initially, I’d find a way to get my way by pestering hubby until he’d cave in. Not cool.
Unbelievers who can’t see Christ should be able to see His love when they observe the relationship between Christian couples.
Hubby and I both identify as Christians, however, I don’t believe anyone can just tell by looking at us. It’s not necessarily an outward appearance, but rather, a sort of glow that comes from Christian couples. It’s something I’d like us both to work on together.
To let God’s plan work, at least one of the two people involved must start trusting the plan.
If our marriage is going to truly be blessed by God, one of us has to make the first move. I hate the fact that we live in a society where pride triumphs everything. “I’m not going to call first, then I’ll be the weak one.” That can’t be the mentality anymore. One of us has to start trusting the plan, and I’m going to do it regardless of if it makes me look “weak” or not.
Many disagreements could be avoided if we didn’t depend upon our spouse to make us happy.
Woah, wasn’t sure if I was ready to hear/read this or not, but it happened. I am so guilty of this. I can’t depend on my husband for my happiness. My focus should be on making him happy, not waiting on him to make me happy. This can be seen as a “take one for the team” type of advice too.
If you are having problems in your marriage: Don’t give up!
The first sign of trouble, we want to be outta here. “Welp, the peaches and cream are gone. Guess this marriage is just about wrapped up!” Um, no. We can’t give up!
Because we live in a society that expects things instantaneously, most people want everything to be good immediately.
This is me all day unfortunately. We’ve got Twitter feeding us news as soon as it happens. We have fast food and complain that cooking takes too long. There’s weight loss pills and get rich quick schemes. Our society hates waiting. So when marriage isn’t everything and more from the get go, we think it’s supposed to go straight into happily ever after. That’s not the case, as I’ve learned with my marriage. You can go through hell in your first year of marriage, as I’ve learned from some of my readers.
If he rejected my opinion, I felt that he was rejecting me.
I get so butt hurt when Tej doesn’t agree with me sometimes. It’s the feeling of rejection. “Hey babe, do you like this?” If he says no, sometimes my whole world crumbles. It’s a bit pathetic. We can have differing opinions without me taking it personal. Something to work on.
Rebellion, fear, insecurity, and impatience keep us from the blessing God intended for a man and woman to enjoy together.
It’s hard to be one flesh when there’s all these negative feelings going on. Imagine conjoined twins, who share a body. There’s no way they can live a productive life is 1 twin is trying to run to the left and the other is trying to run to the right. It’s just not going to work (and it won’t be pretty). So there can’t be rebellion, fear, insecurity, or impatience. We must adapt, be fearless, feel secure, and be patient.
You should treat each other like a piece of fine china.
Looking back, there have been times where we have treated each other pretty rough. Whether it’s taking a joke too far, talking sort of reckless, not having consideration for the other person’s feelings. Think if you were to treat a fragile cup like a water bottle. If your friend said “hey, throw me that cup”, you’d probably look at them all sorts of crazy. It needs much more care than a water bottle that won’t break if it hits the ground. We need to consider how fragile and sentimental our marriage is to us.
Many marriages end in divorce today simply because people are not willing to go through what it takes to make a marriage good.
It’s no secret that I despise divorce, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t cross my mind. You know why I hate it? Because I feel like people are so quick to go to it, including myself when I was thinking about it. Anything worth having is worth fighting for, including mending a marriage that may have a few bruises, cuts, and scrapes. It’s like putting alcohol or peroxide on a wound. Is it going to hurt? Hell yeah. But is it going to heal? Yes. But if you don’t treat your wound, you run the risk of infection. You have to be willing to do the dirty jobs and the hard work to reap the benefits.
I’m still reading the book, and learning so much about what my marriage has been and what my marriage can and will be if I try. I’m so glad I found this book, and I highly recommend it to any married couple, newlywed or seasoned spouse.