And the series rages on, and my friends continue to write some incredible marriage-growing things and so i continue to post them… this post from someone who has been a dear friend of mine from long, long ago and is now happily married to one of my old youth okes who is not called PG any more cos he got all grown up… so let’s hear it from Bev Le Roux Brodrick:
The marriage series is great. Thanks. Copied a few comments for Pete and I to keep on our minds. Simple things like saying thank you and living graciously and in consideration of those you live with. Such great tips.
What makes a strong marriage…
I really think that is more a question for those who have endured so much more than us. Those who have been married for 30-40 years. So, I do not feel ‘qualified’ in any way to give advice. I think we are still in the easy stage…
I do believe that all good things are found in the shelter of the most high God. I do believe that when we are submitted to our Heavenly Father that he brings unity, that he shepherds us to streams of living water, to a place much more beautiful than what we can imagine or what the media portrays.
I believe that as I trust in God and change my life in obedience to Him that He pulls the pieces together.
I think that the world has created expectations in us that need to be smashed. Where do our expectations come from? and why are we imposing them on our spouse? As we meditate on the Word of God that brings life – He breathes life into all that we are and brings a pleasure and contentment into our lives and marriage like nothing else can.
In my short marriage of about 6 yrs now and with my ever-growing relationship with God, I feel the Lord has been pressing me to love even when it doesn’t suit me. To love even when it is inconvenient. To love over and above my natural ability – through the power of the Holy Spirit. To love, without condition. It is easy to love when it is comfortable and when things are in the ‘right’ place. Not so easy when you feel betrayed or hurt. It is great to want to love others in community and our brothers and sisters in Christ, but if it doesn’t start at home it is unlikely going to happen anywhere else. A life that is totally poured out to God, to your spouse, your family, your community, not wanting in return, but individuals who are content to live a life of giving.
I believe that as we grow in the Lord as individuals and as we deepen our relationship with Him and really start to rely on Him for all our needs we release our spouse from having to fulfil that impossible task. He/she is not there to make us feel secure, he/she is not there to give us value, or to fulfill the deepest longings in our lives. That is God’s role. Don’t expect your husband or wife to fulfill you. He/she is a gift from God to journey alongside you, in partnership for His Glory! Even nights when I go to sleep alone and Pete is working… it is God who wraps his arms around me. It is God who pulls my soul towards heaven and I rest in the ultimate lover of my soul – under His wing.
When the circumstances of life hit we often blame those closest to us. Sometimes a root of bitterness takes shape in our heart, as we find out that life is hard. Life is hard work. Life is maybe not quite what we thought it would be. When kids come it sinks into a whole new reality… not only is it hard work, you are now sleep deprived on top of it, and have children dependant on you 24/7, draining your energy, draining your life and impacting your marriage. You sorta start to switch into a role of ‘survival’. You start to play tag and spend less time with each other and bad habits kick in. You start to treat your loved one less special than a friend. Sad but true.
We can do NOTHING in our own strength. We have NOTHING to give. We ARE nothing. God sustains me. He brought me and Pete together and He has sustained us through our trials and temptations. If I had to single out one practical thing that has helped me so far, it would have to be prayer. Prayer in deepening my own relationship with God. Prayer for my husband, prayer for our relationship, prayer for our intimacy, prayer for our greater purpose together, prayer for things yet to come… prayer for unity, prayer for truth to be revealed. Prayer for the courage to change. Prayer to make me less selfish and prayer to grow me on to spiritual maturity. Prayer to change ME. Prayer against all evil, the power of darkness that seeks to destroy. I love nothing more than praying with my husband. God and Pete. My two BESTS!
Sending much love to you and your beautiful Val. I enjoy seeing where God has lead you and what you are involved in and totally LOVE having brothers and sisters in Christ, all over the world.
[married for 6 years]