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!