Christian marriage is a big topic. Lots is written. I still see gaps. Let me tell you what I see. First, at the end of Cinderella and such children’s books, it says. “she got married and lived happily every after.” When I read these books to my kids, I would say “she got married and though marriage is a lot of work, they lived happily ever after.”
If we see finding our mate as the end, we are doomed.
So at nearly 19 years of marriage, here is my read.
Marriage is a lot of work. So worth it.
Our Marriage Journey
How about an overview
I rarely had any romantic interest in any girl. I refused to make finding a wife a priority. My priority was knowing my self, knowing God, knowing China and loving the unlovely.
On December 06, 1998, while helping a poor peasant village, a girl who volunteered to help unknowingly made my heart stop. She had 6 months before come to faith. Her faith even now is like gold. She was just 21 and needed to grow up some. We dated in 2001 and got married in Dec 2001. I was 36, and she was 24.
We seemed to do well the first two years. In fact, I was unknowingly running down Jo’s batteries and not recharging her much as not responding to her well. Then after birth of our oldest we started to move to a pattern of cold war 3 days then hot war. It would end when I apologize when she tells me my wrong. Ran the cycle every week or worse. I was like a victim of her startling outbursts. Moreover, I was not seeing how I caused it, but rather thought Jo had a tough childhood and needed to overcome it. Even more so, I was always nice but Jo needed a partner who could see her emotions and respond maturely. Neither Jo nor I saw it clearly though.
We went to one counselor who said it was all Jo’s fault. We never went back.
So Not Easy
Jo went to tons of counseling. She got better and better but our relationship did not actually. Jo seemed to be withdrawing from people more and more. Then we went to a highly rated couples marriage program for 16 weeks. That gave us a brief respite and back to old pattern. After 13 years, we found it was all my fault, and we got into three years of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) counseling. That broke the cycle.
Christian Marriage – My pointers
Marriage means you need to get at least 90 minutes of real talk with your spouse a week. Anything less and you will gradually or quickly fall into risk. Make it happen.
Fix problems, If you insult or frustrate or infuriate your wife, take ownership. Learn to comfort and spoil your wife. Men often think some truth or principle is immovable and are not moved by love for our vulnerable wife or even children.
God asked us men to love our wives 4 times and never tells women to love their husbands. Loving my wife means taking care of her and serving her. Furthermore, it means spoiling her with more then you think she should get. It means paying attention to and learning her small likes and spoiling her when you get that chance too. Women need someone who is over the top for them. They then are over the top for their men.
Long term, women will respect men when they get specific love and comfort from their husbands as it fills their tanks.
God made men first and saw they needed help. Not suprisingly, God provided shockingly good help. I do not see any need for affirmative action for women. They are amazing. We men must get going.
In marriage, women apply for divorce twice as often as men as the women are fed up with their man or just out of gas.
God gave men the initiative. Now, let’s take it.