I know I wrote about this before, but I wanted to address this because I'm finally "unwinding" the old & reeling in the new. God is pulling back the fantasies rooted in my brain & replacing them with truth. I think many times women have this picture in their head of what their man is going to look like, act like. Especially as a young girl, you go into dating absolutely clueless. And the same foe marriage. Unless, someone tells you the realities of marriage beforehand-you will set yourself up. At least I did. See what I didn't know is that there isn't a romantic potion for men to drink after they say "I Do." No fairy dust to sprinkle over them that gives them the insider to exactly what you want & how your mind thinks. Ummm yea I kind of thought this lol.
The truth of the matter is is that some men don't know how to be a husband. They didn't have an example of a strong man in the household. And on the other hand, many women don't know how to be wives! Sometimes the best education is hands on! And so the mistake we make is thinking that once we "jump the broom" everything is happily ever after & they will do whatever we want. In all common sense, how would they know exactly what we like? Was there a Jewel class being offered detailing my likes & dislikes? For us, we got married on our one year anniversary so there wasn't much time for us to learn everything about one another. You would think I would have been understanding but honestly the thought never really crossed my mind! I expected fun and romance all the days of my life! How dare he buy ME a chocolate cake for my birthday! I don't like chocolate cake! I want cheesecake and roses sent to my job! I want a beautiful card with a paragraph penning your love for me. Lol, you know what I did after many months of being "let down" by my husband? I typed out like 50 things I liked. Something like this:
Things I love!
1. Candlelit dinner
2. Surprise flowers
3. Carriage rides
starting to sound like movie? yes
4. Walks hand in hand
6. Edible arrangements
8. Fancy dinners
etc etc!-Ridiculous!Okay so I don't remember allll of them but it was a whole list of things I loved typed on a piece of paper. I made one copy for our bedroom mirror, one for the bulletin board, and one for his wallet so he can always be prepared to please me. Oh wow. Can I tell you that I never did get those flowers sent to my job. Nope. Guess my demands backfired. No one wants to be "nicely" forced into doing something. Looking back at my expectations & demands I just shake my head. I failed to appreciate other important things, I overlooked his true love for me; his heart. I focused on his "missing pieces." I bless him for never putting those types of pressures on me. I bless him for his simple ways, always appreciating the small things in our life. I bless him for trying :)
Five years in ya'll and I am finally learning that what I saw on TV does not have any room or truth in my life. In real life, most men don't come equipped. They don't automatically know what we like and how to be romantic. There are some exceptions of course. Just like we don't always know what it means to respect & honor them. Often, we don't understand the value of esteeming them-especially in public. Marriage is a journey, a LIFE journey. Spouses spend a lifetime learning each other. The fairy tale comes in when God makes over our hearts and teaches us patience, grace, and unconditional love.
This year I spent October 13th with my husband right here in my city. We went about 10 minutes up the street. Maybe some of you do that every year, but that idea is kind of beyond me. Seriously. Unless we're spending the weekend downtown in a hotel, I would have never thought this mall trip would be acceptable. But, anything is possible with God. You see I was making plans (I) to go to Chicago to celebrate my BIG FIVE years! What! What! We have to go big for the 5 years! Actually I like to go big every year, big as in away from the kids, out of the house and eat whatever I want. My justification is that we work so hard at becoming ONE throughout the year we have to CELEBRATE another year! We have to do it up and go BIG!!! I mean I have good intentions in wanting to celebrate. Marriage IS hard, there is labor and sacrifice and submission and all those other "tough" words. But what if God is trying to show me that sometimes the "gift" is my husband. Not the something' but the someone.
So for our Big 5 year anniversary we walked around the mall, ate at Cheesecake Factory and saw a movie. It was exactly what my husband wanted to do. I would have never chosen any of the above. Kind of boring really. However, I can honestly say the reward was in serving him. I was making plans to go somewhere new & exciting, but I was interrupted by his desires. Something foreign came rolling off my tongue,"where ever you want to go honey." The fairy tale isn't always being swept off your feet into never never land, but in being made over. Over into whatever they need from you.This is what becoming ONE looks like.
It's funny because we did this at our wedding. The joke was that I was putting more of my sand (me) into the vase and faster. Lol. Funny how that symbolization came true. Ahem. But this is each person subtracting unneeded, unattractive pieces of them, then adding the needed to the other to become ONE. A beautiful symbolization.
To "add" to this humbling anniversary, my husband didn't even buy me anything, not even a card. I did, however buy him some things. Part of my flesh wanted to ask him where were my gifts or get sad but I didn't. I didn't because I was happy to do for him. Real love has no conditions, it just does what it's supposed to do with no restrictions and no hesitations. I was proud to sit back and put him on the pedestal for a change. I was happy to kneel down and "shine his shoes." I may not have everything I envisioned as a young girl and even as a newly married woman, but for now I have everything I need. The lessons I've learned thus far are remarkable. Taking the man I was given & giving him all the grace that he needs in learning how to be a good husband. I desire to be a Proverbs 31 woman, but I was far from her up there at that altar, 5 years ago. Likewise, my husband was not ready either. But again, the fairy tale is sticking it out, hand in hand through thick and thin....these days that is considered supernatural because of all these divorces! Five years later we continue to learn more & more about each other. Five years later we continue to strive on being better than yesterday :)
p.s. the next weekend my husband surprised me with a bouquet of roses & a sweet anniversary card :) I was sincerely grateful & very appreciative; it felt like a Chicago trip even ;) a heart wrapped up in Jesus and His love is a heart fulfilled. Don't get caught up in the "packaging" of your gift, but rather the gift itself.
Five years and counting......