>*If you are participating in the YES to GOD Tuesday study of “Behind Those Eyes”, please read yesterday’s post just for you.
Now don’t try to do the math on this if you know the ages of our kids, but this past summer Gene and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary. Well, actually if you call a celebration sitting a prodigal daughter down with the news that her car is being confiscated then dealing with much drama afterward then Gene and I partied hard. Truth be told, we looked at each other at some point in the evening and said, “oh yah, happy anniversary”. Seriously, there was no flowers, cards, special dinner and probably not even hugs or kisses that night and sadly, we were okay with that.
I don’t ever want to overlook that day again. Gene has to be my first priority, under God, and I have to be his, underneath God. We need to put each other first and never take advantage of one another. Sounds good doesn’t it?
Today we attended a wedding. I wanted to grab the bride and pull her aside as her and her groom ran through the bubbles to the limo and say “Sweetheart, always make him your #1 human priority. Even above any kids you may have. Don’t lose the love you have for him today.” But I didn’t, instead I blew my bubbles like everyone else did and wished them well.
Over the years we have endured some great stuff, some hard stuff, some sad moments and some joyous times. We have forgiven right away and other times chosen to give the silent treatment to each other. We have resolved differences while the sun beat down upon us and we’ve also let the sun go down on our anger not just one day but a few days in a row. We have been supportive of one another and at other times looked at the other person like they’re crazy. We have imagined forever with each other and at times wanted to walk out the door and never return.
We have been prideful thinking that we can manage without God as the center of our relationship. We were wrong. Damage was done and hearts were shattered. God was invited back in and mercy was granted while grace was given. We love each other deeply, but in a marriage that is not enough. Gene and I would both tell you that God has got to be the center, the focus in a relationship to make it work. Without Him we would be living separately and not share the same last name anymore.
On the verge of giving up God restored. He has healed. Last night I saw the movie Fireproof. It was amazing. Gene couldn’t go because of his back, but encouraged me to go with my sister. Many emotions ran through us as we sat for 2 hours totally captured with the big screen.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you anything about the movie, you must go see it though. Lysa TerKeurst had recommended on her blog after a preview of the movie a few months ago that even single and married people should go and I agree.
Marriage. It’s so tough. My heart aches for my bloggy friend Paula (Sweet Pea) who longs for reconciliation with her ex-husband and my sister Michelle who begs God to bring the husband He has for her into her life especially when the loneliness that surrounds her at night gets too much to bare.
Then there’s me. A Mrs. of a man she sometimes can’t stand. A wife who refuses to be her husbands helper and picks fights over the petty things. One who has left behind the days of gazing at her wedding ring he picked out for her finger only. One who has told her man too many times to count, “I don’t want to do this anymore”.
Last night as I sat in the dark theater with tears streaming down my face as I thought, “I love my guy and no matter what I want to make this work”. I honestly can say that I don’t ever want to know what life is like without Gene Chealey in it.
Marriage is probably the toughest thing I have ever done and by the time I get it down we’ll probably be sitting in a retirement home not knowing who we are from the Alzheimer’s that has invaded our minds.
Marriage is probably the best thing I’ve ever done too. It’s definitely a challenge and Gene never knows what he will wake up next to. I feel like I either grow from what I learn about how to be a Godly wife or I go backwards 10 steps when I don’t apply what I learn. Thank God He is so full of mercy and has blessed me with a man of never ending patience.
Then there are the pressures that couples face. I honestly don’t see how couples do it when they don’t invite God into their marriage.
Just last night Gene told me that he found out that we may have 6 months of no paychecks from Pfizer. All because he has to switch from short term disability to long term. We will find out for sure on Monday morning. That’s a little bit of pressure I’d say.
Now what’s a girl to do with my little thirteen hundred dollar contribution I make a month?
Make it harder on him?
How about turning to my family and friends and asking for prayer.
Or reviewing my notes from the two book studies by Lysa TerKeurst that I’ve done since March of “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” and “What Happens When Women Walk in Faith”.
Or perhaps read my Bible and take God at His own Word?
Marriage. Singleness. Both tough. Both must have God at the center of their lives. Whether you are a wife or you want to become a wife, may we learn to place God in the center of our life and then no matter what, keep Him there.