I know everyone tells you that when you’re going to get married, just like they tell you when you’re having a child how fast time flies by. I went to lunch with a friend recently and we began sharing how incredibly hard marriage truly is. She is in her third year with no children yet, and I am coming up on my one year anniversary with an 8 year old and a baby on the way. We found it pretty comical that we actually struggle with a LOT of the same things in our marriages even though our day to day lives look a little different.
and how I intend to implement some of the things I learned from it into my marriage. The title of this book was “A Wife After God’s Own Heart. 12 Things That Really Matter In Your Marriage.” By Elizabeth George. You can click the image of the book to purchase on amazon!
1. Growing in the Lord. 2. Working as a Team. 3. Learning to Communicate. 4. Enjoying Intimacy. 5. Managing Your Money. 6. Keeping Up the Home. 7. Raising Your Children. 8. Extending Love to Family. 9. Tending Your Career. 10. Making Time for Fun. 11. Serving the Lord. 12. Reaching Out to Others.
These are the 12 things she teaches about in her book but in order to keep you attention I will refrain from giving my thoughts from every chapter and just focus on the main 3 I feel that I struggle the most with! Don’t judge me!
This one may surprise some of you because I am a writer. I have a job where I communicate with people face to face every single day. I deal with confrontation and I will be the first to tell you I won’t shy away when faced with a difficult conversation. The problem with that in marriage is that sometimes it is more important to listen than it is to talk. My husband and I are polar opposites so the way I say things may be perfectly fine when I hear it in my head, but can seem very disrespectful by the time my words hit his ears. I have had to learn to check with him during conversations to make sure that whatever message I am trying to convey is being heard the way I intend it to be heard. He in the same way has to let me know when I fail to communicate in a way that is honoring and respectful. I encourage him in this and ask for his constructive criticism, but that’s not to say I don’t get it wrong or that sometimes he fails to let me know when I’ve gotten it wrong.
So, this one is probably a problem for most people. Does anyone else have expectations set for your husband that he can’t really meet? Men are so different from us. For 7 years I lived on my own and took care of the household on my own. When I saw things that needed to be done I did them and I did them to meet my expectations. We fail as wives when we set expectations for our husbands to do a job the way we would, when we would. There really is nothing wrong for wanting things done in a timely manner or done a certain way. The first problem here is not letting your husband know what the expectations are and then being disappointed in his attempt when he is finished. The second problem is how we confront the issue when it comes up. We have to come to them thankful for all of their efforts and realize it is not their fault for not achieving the goal WE had in mind. We also cannot expect our husbands to read our minds. I don’t know of many men who think to themselves, “Man, I bet my wife started a load of laundry today and I should move it to the drier when I get home after my long day at work.” My husband is SO helpful in this area, and a lot of the times he will see a need and just take care of it. I am truly blessed in that and I know it. But it also doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when I have to be very specific in my requests for what I need help with and also when I would like it to get done. This goes back to learning to communicate!
Who has time for fun when you have work, appointments, kids activities, church, personal goals, and maintaining a household? Who even has time to have a fun conversation when you need to discuss upcoming bills and vacations and all of the things you need to work on in your marriage? The best part of this chapter to me was it got me thinking about when Zach and I first started dating. We had fun doing anything and everything together! We stayed up until 4 am watching absolutely absurd documentaries and I would drive an hour by myself to go watch his country band at a casino in the middle of nowhere. We were exhausted, and we were having a BLAST the entire time.
We have so many responsibilities but making time for fun is absolutely necessary. Keeping a strong friendship when you are married, founded on GOD, is what is going to pull you through all of the other things. Let’s be honest, we don’t always feel love toward our spouse. My friend told me she half jokingly, half seriously tells her husband, “I really don’t like you right now!” And if we would all be honest there are a lot of us who feel that way a lot of the time. In order to fight that, we must schedule time to enjoy one another. We have to pay the babysitter and spend time cultivating the experiences we enjoyed at the beginning.
I could go into so much more detail, and if you are interested in my opinions on the other chapters, let me know! I have no problem doing another book review post on the same book! Please subscribe, and I highly recommend this book to anyone who is struggling in their marriage. It is more about what YOU can do, and less about what HE needs to do… so keep that in mind!