Sunday, February 1, 2009

Marriage Monday

Marriage Monday is a new thing I found through the blog world. It is hosted today by Lynn. A topic to be discussed today is "The Surprise of Christian Marriage". We are supposed to tell about something that really rocked your world after you got married. Was it a blessing? Or a disappointment? Was it something you were completely unprepared for? Tell how you handle the unexpected in your relationship.
This year we will celebrate 20 years of marriage! As I reflect back, there is not a big "rock your world" event, but rather stark differences in our upbringing that continually brought challenges, growth and finally unity to our marriage.
My family was the ultimate picture of dysfunctional! There was always love and we were not mistreated, but substance abuse, infidelity and other major issues were a part of my parents marriage. My father was a free-spirit, one who didn't conform to the rules, but would delight in adventure and living according to his own rules. My husband's family was a wonderful, loving family that lived a quiet, peaceful life and the children were raised with integrity, honesty and to do their best in everything.
As our marriage began, I brought some of the undesirable traits of my family in and my husband met them with a no nonsense attitude, I remember our first "run in" over a candy bar. Since we lived in the country, it was a 15 minute drive into town. When I lived at home before marriage, if we wanted a candy bar at 10:00 at night, we would just go get one. I got that craving for chocolate one night and suggested to my new husband that we go get one. His realistic view of life kicked in and he offered the suggestion that we get one next time we go to town. I wasn't entirely used to denying myself...and let's say we did not see eye to eye over the snicker bar!
The differences in our upbringing were identified, analyzed and discussed. We began to see the good and not so good things we each brought into the marriage. Together we worked on the traits we wanted to see more of and worked on sharpening the undesirable attitudes into what was best for our family. Through the years we learned to keep our own pace, our own way of doing things and let the basis be God's Word and prayer for God's direction in our life.
So now when the unexpected happens, we first make sure we are not retreating in our "old ways", look out for the best interests of each other and move forward through it.
The only thing to expect is that unexpected situations will arise. Each one can be faced with God's strength, grace and hope!
"I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me". Philippians 4:13

6 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing from your experiences. I don't think we realize how much our upbringing influences and shapes us. I was raised by a single mother and my husband grew up in "Leave It To Beaver" land. I had a lot of dysfunction in the sense of alcoholism, promiscuity, divorce and so on. His family has their issues and deficits but they're different. I remember telling my Type A personality husband one time early in our marriage that if I was just like him, one of us would be unnecessary. I love how we have learned to APPRECIATE the differences in our personalities as well as gender and embrace them. While his way of doing things may not be MY way, it doesn't make him wrong. The opposite holds true as well. It took a long time to get where we are but I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything!
    Connie

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  2. This was such a great post, blessings to you.

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  3. Hi Joyfull,

    Wow, these words: The only thing to expect is that unexpected situations will arise. Each one can be faced with God's strength, grace and hope!

    A BIG AMEN!!

    I already feel such a kinship with you and we just met. I also came from a dysfunctional family. What a mess. It is a testiment to my husband we are celebrating 17 years in March.

    I loved this heart-felt and honest post. I read it and felt like I met a new best friend.

    Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us from Marriage Monday. I hope every young woman who is contemplating marriage, stops in today. Have a fantastic week. Lynn

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  4. Wonderful encouragement! Different family backgrounds do bring a lot of surprise (and work) to every Christian marriage. Congratulations on your 20 years together!

    Thanks for joining us for Marriage Monday today. :~D

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  5. This was an excellent post and a reminder of just how much our upbringing/childhood might have influences on our own marriage! thanks for sharing...God bless you!

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  6. Yes learning to defer gratification is a hard one. Oh how we love or kids to teach them it.

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Thank you for sharing your commment. It is a joy and blessing to hear from you and your words are appreciated.