All I know is, it is a love worth celebrating or jubilating for. Is a big deal for us! Both from divorced parents, all we had ever wanted or wished for was to belong, to be accepted and to see what it feels like to have both parents under one roof. Then we realized we have more in common than our parents failed marriages. We decided to plow ahead and never look back; embark on a life of our own with Christ being our cornerstone. After two weeks of superficial phone relationship, we decided to tie-the-knot. One of the fastest courtship I have ever encountered which happened to me mind – WOW! What a remarkable experience! Everything happened so fast and before we knew it, we were married couples living in two separate countries – Canada and US respectively. This is something I would never wished even for my worst enemy.
I do believe married people should live or are supposed to live under one roof to have a stronger bond with each other and resolve differences as they arises. Speaking from experience, distance can put a strain on any relation and generate unnecessary tension amongst couples. As the years goes by, change has continue to play a major role in our day-to-day lives. Before, home use to be known as where the heart is, but with the economy crises and difficulties, locating a lucrative job – home has become where the job is. So, wherever that job is for either spouse, should be their designated dwelling. I find it unrealistic and unfair where one party stays behind and cater for the home/children while the other comes on occasional basis. This for me is not a partnership that God intended for us (Married Couples) to exhibit. “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered”. 1 Peter 3:7.
As we pondered about relocating, who should make the move, we concluded it’s honorable and beneficial for the woman because it’s the man who ask a woman’s hand in marriage and in conformity with the word of God. “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. 1 Corinthians” 11:13. After a year of living apart, I finally made the move to the country where I would later call home since it was home to my husband, and would also become our source of provision.
Leaving everything I had known for eight years was tough, and life at my new location Canada was even tougher; as my husband had just moved from Toronto-Ontario to Edmonton -Alberta to begin work in his field of Nursing as a Graduate nurse pending the sitting of the Licensure exam. Money was tight! We barely had any furniture in our home needless to talk of a proper bed. The good thing was, we were together and living as a family. Looking at it now from another angle, I am glad I didn’t just get into a ready-made home/relationship so no one could boast of bringing more wealth or being more successful than the other.
Flashback ten years to date, is a very different story. I feel blessed, to have the experience of heaven here on earth exactly as God intended. The beginning might not always be rosy, but is the end that justify the means. We all came into our marriage with nothing, but built our lives/home to match our dreams, desires and purpose in mind. That is why I say – we are Better, Bigger, Brighter, Bolder and Beautiful together. There is a saying that; “one hand cannot tie a bundle, and in my case, it is a reminder that, “With His help I can advance against a troop ; with my God I can scale a wall”. Psalm 18:29. However, I am grateful that we are not walking in our parents footsteps. Though it hasn’t been an easy ride, our challenges, quarrels, fights, silence moments, ups/downs brought us even closer together by re-assuring the fact that we belong together. Those moments I must admit were the highlights of our marriage because it makes us stronger and biblically vested. Our relationship was not by choice, chance or chase, rather it was formed and molded under Christ (Three cord joined as one with God being the center). And keep in mind that anything make out of such fashion cannot easily be broken, shaken, scattered or destroyed. Because we are reminded of His great love, which conquer a multitude of sins, and does allow room for each other’s faults.
I guess I can now say I am qualify to become a self-acclaimed marriage counselor, but before I turn my experiences into a profession; I will leave you with my own perspective on why my marriage is working and has lasted this long.
- I do believe only God can build a lasting foundation (marriage). Let me explain myself briefly. I am aware there are people who have been married for donkey years without having a relationship with Christ. However, if we asked them how they must have lasted this long, they would tell you it was one hell of a ride, they don’t believe in divorce or because for the sake of their kids. Which can be understood as good enough reasons for them. But for some of us, is not our definition of marriage. I love my kids to death, but they shouldn’t be the main reason why I am committed to my marriage. My husband should be my number one reason because before there were kids, there was us. So, I would rather focus on us first, so I don’t use the kids as an excuse or make them look like a burden. “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain”. Psalm 127:1.
- I have learned never to live apart from my family/spouse all in the name of work/money because it builds unnecessary conflicts and make one sex deprived. I cannot stand the distance, however, others have confessed it strengthen their relationships, while others admitted it put a strain on their relationship. It can be beneficial for some and be of disadvantage to others. If we are all truthful and have to choose, we would all choose to have our families all under one roof. With that being said, this is a sacrifice we must all be willing to make for the sake of love and our families well-being.
- Be supportive of each other – financially, emotionally, physically, psychologically, and spiritually, in and out of the home and with the upbringing of the kids. Gone are those days where women were allowed to shoulder all responsibilities pertaining to their kids/home. I must profess that teamwork makes an awesome marriage – not just on weekends, or weekdays, but everyday of the week/where need be. Whenever my husband and I are on the same page, the result is exquisite-nothing can interfere.
- Take pride in each other’s interest and assist them in accomplishing their dreams or fulfilling their destiny aligning it with that of the Maker.
- Couples, do not prevent your significant other from their God given right – SEX. I am saying this because I used to be the head of this department, but I had to learn to love and give in even on days where I don’t feel like. Who knows, maybe my husband can now grant my honorary degree for effort.
- Stop counting how many sin/mistakes your spouse have committed or done in a day, rather positive comments on the littlest of things and you will be amazed how the rights outweighs the wrongs.
- Trust, respect, compliment each other. It is very necessary for our self esteem and beneficial for our marital growth.
- Resolve issues, differences, problems as they arises. Don’t assume it will just disappear into thin air.
- Don’t carry your problems on your face, what is inside will definitely portray outside no matter how long you fake it. Share your marital problems with the right individuals to ease the burden. Some say fake it till you break, but I say share it until you are save.
- Don’t be afraid or ashamed to learn from each other. Sometimes, we allow pride to get in the way and prevent ourselves from experiencing new things. We don’t know it all! What better way to learn than from our significant other?
- Avoid looking at your marriage as if is work, instead think of it as a training session in becoming an all star, a pro, or an employee of the month. The effort you put in will give birth to nothing other than your expectations.
- Please give each other room to vent out their frustration/anger because only then shall one know the true course of one’s action, and look for ways to prevent further grievances from reoccurring. “Make allowances for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others”. Colossians 3:13.
- Do pray together, share your spirituality with each other, cry together, and laugh together. Only then would you experience the true meaning of an unbreakable bond.
- Love each other for who they are. Stop trying to change them into someone they are not. We fell in love with who they are and not the idea of them, so why try to change them now? Instead, allow God to bring His work to completion. “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless”. James 1:26.
As we celebrated our tenth year anniversary, I had ten things in mind to commemorate our milestone, which started on the day of our anniversary September 4th and stretched out to the end of the month. We had breakfast, went jogging, he presented my ring, played golf, ride on go-carts, had an ice cream date, drove to Sylvan Lake and spend a night, took the kids to school together, attended Chris Tomlin concert and had a whole lot of you know what. Above all, it wasn’t the activities that made our milestone special, rather the person that had made my life worth living, worth dreaming, worth celebrating, worth sharing and worth loving for the past ten years. Enjoy the proceeds of your marriage, whatever way you deem necessary – Just Enjoy.
I am the happiest I have ever been, contend with the life God has given me and hopeful for whatever the future holds. In all, keep in mind that there is no perfect marriage nor is there a perfect human being. The only one who lives up to that expectation is Jesus Christ. Stop living black and white dreams or trying to relive your marriage based on another person’s perspective. You can learn a thing or two from another couple, but keep in mind that no two situation are exactly the same. Make your own memories, recognized where you are coming from, so you can appreciate where you are headed and make the necessary changes as you go along. Only you can change your past and rewrite your own story and at the end of it all is not so that we could boast, but that His name will be Glorified. “But, Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord. For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends”. 2 Corinthians 10:17-18.