Let’s keep this short and sweet so we can all get back to eating our boxed chocolate. Well, actually, I’m eating a fruit salad cause I didn’t quite make it to the store for my bag of Ghirardelli squares this year
I have had the ginormous blessing of watching my parents love and respect each other and grow and conquer together. Today, I am sharing 3 things I’ve learned from their marriage that we can apply to all of our relationships.
See the best in the other person. -Mom
Remember that toy you got for Christmas when you were little? The one you wanted with all your heart and guarded with your whole life? After a few weeks, you realize maybe it’s a little scratched, the Hot Wheels car isn’t racing as fast or the Barbie’s hair isn’t as soft. The same thing can happen in our friendships. In the beginning, new friends are perfect and shiny. But as time goes by, the new smell fades away, and for some reason it is easier to point out the flaws in the other person. My parents have been married for 25 years, and I am blown away by how they are still each other’s #1 fans! It’s so sweet to see my dad cheer my mom on when she preaches and sings, or hear my mom (still) laugh at my dad’s jokes and clap every time he cooks something new. Don’t point out the wrong, pray and let God take care of that. Be the Encourager in your relationships!
Serve each other. -Dad
When I asked my dad what was one thing he could teach us, he said, “Your mom said something a few years ago and it’s what we live by. Marriage is to serve the other person, not myself.” He went on to tell me how as a single person we are very “self-minded”. In essence, everything we do if for our own good. I eat what I want, I sleep where I want, I do what I want, etc. But marriage suddenly includes someone else in your everyday life. Serving goes beyond cooking lunch and washing the car. As I’ve learned from home, serving is all about your attitude. We try to stay in this willing state of helping each other. To be honest, sometimes I feel the scale is a little uneven between what I do for my friends vs how they’ve helped me out (especially my friends in Florida who have been so supportive!) But I think what keeps it at a balance is my willingness to do what I can to help. It’s not always about what you do, but your heart to be there for someone. Serve through your (prudent ) hugs, encouraging words, prayers…wash your friend’s dishes when you’re over for lunch, fold their laundry, give them a ride, buy them the Starbucks. Ask the Lord how you can serve those around you, He’ll be sure to show you what they’re needing! 😉 Shift your purpose: try putting the other person first! 😉
Lean on each other, but depend on God. -Me
I think this is my favorite thing about my parents’ marriage, they lean on each other so well, but depend 100% on God. They have their own personal relationship with God; a relationship that gives them identity, builds their faith and guides them. My mom told me one day, “Honey, the most important relationship is your relationship with God. If you learn to get everything you need from Him now, your marriage will be a success. Because even married, what I don’t get from your dad, I go into the secret place and get from God,” Talk about wisdom! What I’ve learned is that we need each other. We were created for relationship and called to community. I need my family’s love, my pastors’ guidance, my friend’s encouragement, and they need me. But I will always need Jesus more. Jesus completes me, He tells me who I am, reminds me what He’s already enabled me to do and knows me like no one else. But in His infinite love and mercy, He uses my friends as His hands and feet and loves me through them. Let people know how much you appreciate what they’ve done for you, how much you love them, and how thankful you are that they are a part of your life. But tell Jesus first. I noticed I tell a lot of people I love them, because I do. I think I would possibly burst like the big, red water balloon from the Parent Trap if I held back all that love. But I want to love Jesus more and better than I do people. That’s a challenge sometimes, because I don’t physically see Jesus, so it’s easy to forget to thank and honor Him. But the truth is, Jesus is very (tangibly) present in our everyday lives, we’re just not looking. So! Love people, but love Jesus more. Be meek and know you need those God has placed in your life, but first, tell Jesus how much you need Him on your knees.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all the lovers, Palentine’s Day to all the friends celebrating together, and Galentine’s Day to all the ladies celebrating at home (like me!)!
“Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians 13