In talking with a friend recently, I realized that I have a "view" on marriage. I believe that entering into and maintaining a marriage that honors and glorifies The Lord is a blessing, a challenge, and takes a massssivvve amount of intentional living. It's a series of decisions that have to be made over & over again. Every. Single. Day. The decision to place your spouse before every other person and thing. Even yourself. The decision to enjoy your spouse. The decision to forgive your spouse. The decision to be gentle and kind toward your spouse. When these thing don't happen, I absolutely do NOT believe it's always because we choose NOT to. I think a lot of times, it's just that we forget to make a choice either way. We get caught up in the millions of other things in life. Our spouse is one of the FEW constants in life, so I guess it can be easy to just overlook them... So, my "view" on marriage is that it should be the most intentional part of your day, your energy, and your life. Although I am by NO means an expert or a master at marriage, I know that I try to be intentional in my relationship with B-Riz (he usually makes it really easy!), but there are plenty of occasions (a lot more than I care to count) that I fall into the trap of marital stagnation/selfishness.
Brian and I were super into talking about marriage when we were dating/engaged. I feel like we made a pretty intentional and informed decision on who we were choosing as a lifelong spouse. Um, don't get me wrong here...
I mean, did he sweep me off my feet when we started dating? YES.
Was I blinded by love like so many other young & in lovvvve females? HECK YES.
... but luckily B-Riz is the bomb, so my unconditional infatuation didn't result in any regrets :)
But, seriously. We talked about marriage SO much before we were actually married, that I literally can't think of one thing that took me by "surprise". We discussed how we expected to be treated privately & in public, spending habits, banking, working aspirations, parenting, disciplining, temptations, what we wanted our kids involved in, what kind of church we envisioned our family being a part of, what we pictured evenings at home looking like, if we wanted to be the hosts or guests on the regular, what kind of house we wanted to settle into, pets, # of kids, where to live (something we never have/will be 100% in agreement on!), how often we wanted to visit parentals, strengths, weaknesses, pet peeves, concerns, dreams, travel, hobbies... you name it, we probably talked about it. Like... 12 times. We talked about our parents' marriages alllll the time. The amazing qualities we saw in them that we wanted to adopt for our own marriage. We looked at their marriages and discussed all the little things that we saw would be an inevitable challenge at some point, and tried to come up with ways we could avoid, or at least be extra aware of, these issues. We discussed our opinions on every little teeny tiny thing, and where we differed, we just talked some more. Until we came to some kind of COMPROMISE (one of the most beautiful, yet easily forgotten, parts of marriage if you ask me!).
We tried to foresee what could potentially be the biggest trouble areas for each of us, in terms of being a good and BIBLICAL wife/husband, and figure out ways to be prepared. I'm not sure if it's a personality thing, but we have approached our marriage as some sort of challenge, without even realizing it! Brian's competitive nature won't really allow him to fail at anything he puts his mind to. And my analytical thought processes want to know the root of every word/action/facial expression. This has resulted in us talking almost everything out. Honesty is the name of the game. When we're not rolling smoothly, neither of us is down. Sure, we have had our seasons of frustrations/annoyances, but (SO FAR) nothing that has festered into a serious issue.
We are both acutely aware of the fact that satan is just WAITING for his moment to attack us. We know that at some point, and probably MULTIPLE points, we will find ourselves in the midst of some major marital discord. I hope and pray that our approach will have us as prepared as we can be for those times. I know without the slightest doubt that The Lord will see us through thick & thin as long as we continue to use Him as the glue that holds our marriage together. We are one, now. Two souls bound by God. Since June 2, 2007: Brian and Roxanne = brianandroxanne.
I'm super thankful that thus far, we have experienced a pretty smooth ride on the marriage train :) I am genuinely looking forward to the triumphs, trials, great times, and not so great times ahead with B-Riz as my husband. I know there are many laughs, many tears, and many learning experiences on the horizon. It's amazing how much God can move and teach and work through this supercool and GENIUS creation of His: Marriage.