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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

You'll Never Know What My Marriage Is Until You Get There

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You'll Never Know What My Marriage Is Until You Get There -  Lisa U Maki


I thought I knew everything about marriage until I was married. All I could think of back then was that I needed a covering... a husband who will lead me closer to Jesus... a man I can spend the rest of my life with... a man who I can pray with and read the Word with... a man I can be intimate with. I was tired of waiting and felt I already lived my single life to the fullest.
What I didn't know and which you may not probably realize as well until you get there are the things I am going to share with you here.
Though I knew then that when you get married you become one with the other person, I didn't realize that the becoming one is a challenging and humbling process. A lot of couples give up on this part and they just decide to live separate lives. Honestly, it is easier to just do the things I have been used to doing than adapt myself to what my husband is doing. Yet, the Bible says that wives are to adapt to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22). Though we are still to maintain our own identities, it is the role of the wife to "adapt", meaning, to adjust or modify fittingly. This became one of my greatest struggles during the early part of my marriage.
My husband used to complain to me that I was quick to jump into something when he is doing something. I used to be so defensive about this explaining to him that I have always been an "on-to-go" person, always thinking of something to do. He said something to me one day that really hit me. He asked me how I can be available for him when he needs me if I always keep myself busy with other things. That's when I really started praying and examining myself.
Wives are their husband's help-meet. The Hebrew meaning for the word help meet is simply one who helps. As a wife, I have to be by my husband's side. As a wife, I am also called to subordinate myself to my husband, meaning, I have to subordinate even my ministry under him.
My concept of marriage before was that my husband and I will work side by side, him doing his own thing while I do my own thing, and we will just complement each other. Though there is nothing wrong with this, I didn't see myself as subordinating everything to him, or being available to stand by his side.
Looking at the other side of the coin, it is the husband's responsibility to lead his wife. This is not easy for a man who is used to just leading himself and it is even more difficult for a man who has a wife who knows exactly what she is doing. This was the case with my husband. Though he wanted me by his side to help him, he didn't know how to teach me to work with him. So he ended up working separately from me. And since I didn't know how to adapt and subordinate, I ended up working separately from him too. This surely caused a lot of strain in our marriage.
Though I am learning to adapt and subordinate to him and he is learning to lead me more effectively, we still have a long ways to go. We both realize that being one takes time and that what is important is for us to continue submitting ourselves and our marriage to God and His perfect will.
Another thing I've learned about marriage that I didn't realize back then was the self-giving and sacrifice. Though I've heard about this a lot of times, I didn't understand what it really was until I was there. I thought I could do almost everything I used to do. I didn't realize that even my quiet time with the Lord will be affected. Paul himself warned us about this. He said:
My desire is to have you free from all anxiety and distressing care. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord-how he may please the Lord; But the married man is anxious about worldly matters-how he may please his wife. And he is drawn in diverging directions [his interests are divided and he is distracted from his devotion to God]. And the unmarried woman or girl is concerned and anxious about the matters of the Lord, how to be wholly separated and set apart in body and spirit; but the married woman has her cares [centered] in earthly affairs-how she may please her husband. Now I say this for your own welfare and profit, not to put [a halter of] restraint upon you, but to promote what is seemly and in good order and to secure your undistracted and undivided devotion to the Lord
(1 Corinthians 7:32-35).
Though I am still able to spend undivided time with the Lord, it is not the same as when I was single and I had the luxury of time to just stay in His presence for two hours. Praise Jesus I made the most of that time.
The greatest thing I've learned about marriage is its parallelism with God and His church. When I read from a book that the Bible starts and ends in marriage, I then realized that I am not just a wife for the heck of it. I am in my marriage for me to understand better the relationship of God with us, His people. Everything about the marriage, from courtship to the marriage itself is symbolic to everything that God did for us.
I watched a video explaining an ancient Jewish wedding and its parallelism with Jesus and His church. The man goes to the house of the woman he desires to marry and talks to her father. If the woman's father gives him the permission, the man knocks at the woman's bedroom. If the woman likes him, she then opens the door for him. This is where the engagement happens. The woman bathes and then prepares a meal for her and her groom to be. They eat the meal together. The groom-to-be gives her presents and then leaves her to prepare a home for them.
The presents are also reminders for the bride to be, so she will always remember her future groom and not get weary waiting for him. The groom-to-be goes home to his father's house and his father helps him prepare his home for his future bride. After the house is built, the groom-to-be returns to his bride and blows a trumpet outside her house. The bride goes out and his groom takes her home and brings her to their honeymoon suite where they spend seven days of time alone together. After seven days, they get out of their honeymoon chamber and have a marriage celebration.
The man knocking at the woman's door is parallel to Jesus knocking at our hearts. The woman opening the door is us opening our hearts to Jesus and receiving Him as Lord and Savior. The woman bathing is parallel to our water baptism while the sharing of meal is the breaking of bread or Communion. The gifts represent the Holy Spirit who Jesus left with us after He went back to His Father's house. Jesus is still preparing a home for us. When He returns there will also be a blowing of the shofar. And He will take us home where there will be a great wedding feast.
Truly, marriage is bigger than what I thought it was.
So if you are single, and you have been waiting to be married, know that the reason for your long wait is because God is preparing you for something bigger than what you're thinking. Enjoy your blessed singleness to the fullest as you will not have the luxury of time again.
If you are married and struggling in your marriage, bear in mind what I shared with you here about the parallelism of your marriage to Jesus' relationship with us. Think of your marriage as a representation of Jesus' church. With this in mind, know that you have been called for a higher calling and that God gave you a stewardship of this marriage. If you are a man, then you are called to present your wife to Jesus the way He will present His church to His Father. If you are a wife, you are called to adapt to your husband the way a church submits to the leadership of Jesus Christ.
It doesn't matter how difficult your husband or wife may be. Continue submitting to the Lord and doing your part in that marriage, and God will do His part.
Lisa Maki is the founder of God'z Gurlz, a Bible-based online magazine for women whose mission is to is to provide a place where women can learn to manage their emotions, experience healing, receive love and acceptance, be free to be who God made them to be, and be the best they can be in their homes, schools, professions, relationships, and calling, through sharing of insights and experiences, counseling, prayer, and devotionals, thereby learning from and supporting each other. For more of Lisa's articles, visit http://godzgurlz.com/ Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lisa_U_Maki  Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7207639

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