I met my husband when I was seventeen.
The summer before I left for college, I went to lunch with my friend, Charles, and we just happened to be seated across from his mom. She was having lunch with one of her (extremely attractive) former piano students. After saying hello and introducing me to the (extremely attractive) 25 year old former piano student (Jeff), they invited us to eat with them, and I’m sure I spent the whole time trying not to stare or drool or say something stupid.
When we left the restaurant, I turned to my friend and said, “Oh my gosh, I am going to marry him one day!”
Yep, I said it. The very first time we met.
(Jeff loves that part of our story!)
Now, if I’m honest, I didn’t actually think I was going to marry him. When Charles told me he thought we would make a good couple, I laughed and replied, “Are you kidding? He’s a man and I’m a kid. But that’s the kind of guy I’m looking for!”
(Jeff loves that part of our story, too…)
It was three years before I saw him again, in a crowded lobby at a convention attended by thousands of people. It took me three days to get up the nerve to talk to him. After that, God crossed our paths again and again at various points, slowly building a foundation of friendship, until eventually, several years later, we both knew at the same time that we were supposed to get married. Our story is one of God’s perfect timing.
It turns out I really was going to marry him one day!
On our next anniversary, we will have been married for 25 years. TWENTY-FIVE YEARS!!! Y’all, that’s a looooooong time!
And this Sunday, in case you have forgotten, is Valentines Day. (Guys, you’re welcome.)
So I figured this might be a good week to talk a little bit about marriage. Since that was one of the first areas God brought to mind when He whispered the word “transform” to my heart, I thought I’d give y’all an update on how He’s growing me.
Jeff and I are probably one of the most compatible couples I know, and with both our ministry backgrounds, I think marriage in general comes a little bit easier to us. That said, we are also very different in a lot of ways. We have different preferences when it comes to how we parent, how we spend/save money, how we spend our free time, etc. I know the way we balance one another is by divine design, but sometimes these differences can also be a source of frustration and conflict in our marriage instead. Add four children and work travel and hormones into the equation, and we often end up with a great big mess!
If you are married, I’m pretty sure you can relate.
At times marriage can be really hard, even when you’re married to a great person. And the devil wants nothing more than to steal, kill, and destroy any relationship that reflects God’s goodness. So, while Jeff and I both feel like we have a really good marriage, we never want to take that for granted. And I have learned I am not always as intentional about investing in our marriage the way I should.
Transformation Update: Marriage Edition
The Lord has been convicting me and changing the way I think about our marriage over the past month. Following the same pattern as my previous update, I am using four tools to help guide the process of allowing God to transform my marriage (Review, Remove, Reorder, Renew). I am asking Him to reveal how I am buying into the “patterns of this world” and to transform my thinking (Romans 12:2) so it better reflects His heart and not my own.
I want to update you on where I am in this process, but since this post is already getting long, I will wait and share my transformation update in my next post instead. For now, here are several questions I have been asking myself that might be helpful as you “review” where you currently are in your marriage and how you would like it to change.
9 Questions to Help Take Assessment of Your Marriage
- What are three words that currently describe my marriage?
- How would our family/friends/children describe our marriage?
- What are three words I wish described my marriage?
- What do I want my marriage to look like 5 year from now? 20 years from now?
- What is our biggest challenge area? (communication, finances, sex, parenting, emotional intimacy, quality time, praying together, etc.)
- What are some things I loved about my spouse when we were dating and first married?
- What are some things I love about my spouse now?
- What are some things that hinder me from being a better wife/husband, and what steps can I take to change them?
- How can I be more intentional about making my marriage a priority?
Some of my answers to these questions surprised me. A few made me sad, but most made me grateful. I am married to a really great man.
My friend, if after answering these questions, you are not overflowing with gratitude for your spouse, it’s okay. Really. God has changed many hearts in seemingly impossible situations before; He has changed MY heart for people when I thought it wasn’t possible. So don’t give up or be discouraged!
Our God is in the business of doing the impossible! Don’t be afraid to really pour your heart out to Him and come clean about how you feel. We have to acknowledge where we are starting before we can move forward. God is big enough— He can handle it!
In my next post, I will share more specifically how God is working to transform my marriage, so check back on Thursday! I hope you will use these questions to help you take assessment of where you are in your relationship and begin asking the Lord to transform your heart for your spouse.
Remember, transformation never starts with someone else…
“Search me, O God, and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)