I have been so excited about today’s post! If this is your first time reading the blog, I’ll give you a quick little backstory – Taylor & I enrolled in this marriage course called, The Heart of the Family by Kirk Cameron. It’s an online course that once you purchase it, it can be completed at your own pace and at any time. You can read a little more about it here!
One of the first class assignments is to introduce yourself to your other classmates. One night about a week ago, I was scrolling through all the people in the course and a large majority of our classmates were saying that them & their spouse had been married for 10, 15, 20, 30 years. I remember reading their post's and looking at Taylor saying “ummm, maybe this class isn’t for us . . . we’re like the only people that have been married only one year. Are we just being ridiculous?” And bless his heart, because his response was so perfect. He said, “Em, who cares? Why does it matter?” And he is so right. We are so quick to compare ourselves to others, and why? We aren’t the same people; our marriage is not the same as any other marriage, so why would we compare what works for us, to what works for another couple.
I love that we're doing a marriage course and we're only one year into marriage.
I think it really all boils down this idea that if you only work on something when it needs work than it isn’t going to thrive. Like in a garden, if you are constantly out working on your garden, pulling weeds, watering the flowers and helping it to grow, well than at that time is when it will thrive. When you think about it, it really isn't any different in marriage. Work on your marriage often - don’t only do it when you need to.
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Whew! Okay, on to our first lesson. We really weren’t sure what to expect going into it, but at the end of the lesson, I think we both had really enjoyed it. #totalwin
I should also say real quick that the course comes with a study guide, where you answer questions and discuss various things from the video lesson.
This first lesson focused on a couple of different things, the first thing that they discussed was the purpose of marriage. What would you consider the purpose of your marriage? Taylor and I looked at each other after I read the question, and we both laughed a little bit and said, “To make each other happy.”
But here’s the thing - that is not the purpose of marriage, because marriage is so much bigger than that. The purpose of marriage is learning how to love unconditionally. It is to make us holy. To teach us to love as God loves us. Marriage brings two people together and binds them as one. It isn’t easy. I don't know that it was ever meant to be easy. When marriage gets hard, it is too easy to walk away and say forget it.
Chelsea shared a quick story about a woman who went to a counselor saying that she was done with her marriage; she didn’t love her husband anymore. It was over and done.
The counselor said, well tell me what you would do if you did love your husband. And she took a minute to respond and reflect on that question, and then said, well I would love him. I would do things for him, I would listen to him, I would talk to him, I would surprise him, I would cook and clean for him, etc.
And the counselor said, do that. Just do that.
We all know how difficult it is to love someone when it feels like they hate you, are against you, push you away and don’t appreciate you. But this is the purpose of marriage, to learn to love selflessly and humbly. To love your spouse even when they don’t deserve it. To love as God loves us.
Taylor & I entered this marriage and promised a lifetime to each other. This year already we have hurt each other and been angry with each other, blamed each other and so much more, but we're learning how to love each other and how to see each other in God's eyes. To be selfless and humble in our love for one other. And to find the good in every situation, not the bad.
It is not easy, y'all. No ma'am, not easy at all. But marriage wasn't meant to be easy. You have to be intentional and I really think that after you do it for so long, these actions become habits and it changes your life & marriage. We're only at the beginning of this process, but the end goal is so worth it and that makes the process all the more worthwhile.
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This leads me to one of the next questions, how can I do better at changing myself, instead of my spouse. This one really hit home with me, because we always try so hard to change the other person. How often can you think of yourself thinking, I only wish that he/she would do this or wear this or look like this . . . I know I do all too often. So the lesson here was to focus on changing yourself first. Take sometime to reflect on what things you could change about yourself and how those changes could affect your relationships. Then after that, take time and work to change them.
Let’s talk about Taylor’s clothes for a second. He dresses great. I personally think he looks real good in shorter shorts, Sperry Topsiders and nice button downs, but you guys, he hates it. All he wants to wear is a nice polo and some normal length shorts. But, I wanted him to dress a certain way and I learned that me picking out clothes for him was actually frustrating him and driving him away from me.
The fact is that when he puts on all of this stuff that I love, I think he looks so handsome, but at the same time it doesn’t look like him. So as his wife, I want to support him, let him wear what he wants and love him for him, not for what he is wearing one day.
Y’all, I could honestly go on and on and on about this first lesson, because it really was that good. There is so much more that we learned that I didn't share with you and hope to share in the future, but we both just left feeling so inspired and wanting love each other better. I feel like we both have a different mindset about marriage now. We know and understand that marriage goes far beyond simply just making each other happy. Of course making each other happy is key, but I really believe that once you shift your focus to the real purpose of marriage, the happiness part will come naturally.
- XO -
I'm Emilee. Twenty-something. Homebody. Believer in a simple + intentional life. Daughter of the King. Living in Austin with my hubs.
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