Well y'all, we did it!
This weekend we completed the 6th and FINAL lesson of our marriage course - woohoo!!!
I'm excited, but also sort of sad - I'm really actually going to miss the class. When I say that this class has helped us so much, it is no joke and the funny thing is that going into it I really thought we had a pretty good marriage, and we do, but there was certainly a lot of room for improvement . . . I mean we would fight and such, but I didn't think anything of it. It really wasn't until we started doing this class that both of us realized that neither of us we're doing the best that we could do in this marriage.
It can be so much better. It should be so much better.
I think one of the biggest realizations that I have had over the last six weeks is that I am not being the best spouse that I can be for Taylor - Over the last few weeks I have recognized a profound selfishness in me that I am not particularly proud of and I also recognized how difficult it is for me to let go of my pride and move on to forgiveness and grace.
Throughout the lessons, one of the messages that was reiterated over & over again was this:
Love them when they don't deserve to be loved
I will be the first to admit that this is so much easier said than done and it takes practice - a lot of practice. But I'm telling you that if you just try it and keep practicing it, I can only imagine the difference that it will create not only in your marriage, but in your life. And like I said, it is hard - I can tell you that in the last six weeks of this course we have failed at it more times than i'd care to admit. It is a complete work in progress and you're going to fail, probably more than once, but the more you do it the quicker it turns into a habit and a natural reaction - I believe that with all my heart. I think this act alone - loving someone when they don't deserve to be loved - has the power to change your life and I can't wait to see how it changes our life just as it does yours.
Yesterday I sat down and I prayed - I asked God to change my heart. I asked him to make me less selfish. To help me to love better and be a better wife. To show me how can I serve my husband better - how can I serve others better in general. I asked him to open my heart to others, to not be so quick to judge and to listen first. I asked him to teach me and show me how to find the good in everything and everyone,
For whatever reason yesterday as I was dilly dallying around my house I felt a sudden urge that I just needed to sit down and lay it all out there for God to hear and so I did. And I'm telling you that afterward I felt so much relief as if whatever was weighing on my shoulders was finally lifted and I just felt peace.
I encourage you to try the same thing this week - open your heart to God, lay it all out there for him and he will bring you comfort, peace and whatever it is that you need.
- I'll be praying for each and every one of you -
Another message that was spoken over and over again throughout the course was that we cannot change our spouses, or anyone for that matter - God reserves the right to change them for himself.
I think this point was a hard one for me to grasp, because it is so easy for us to try and change somebody, especially those we love - like our spouse. But I think that the best thing we can do is pray to God that he changes their heart and you have to have faith because God will see it through.
The second part of that message was to stop trying to change the other person and instead focus on yourself - what can you do to make yourself a better person?
As I said above I have come to recognize that I can be very selfish and I also struggle with letting go of my pride - I tend to hold onto things for a long time instead of forgiving that person and showing them grace.
So as we move forward after these past few weeks I have found the things that I really want to work on in myself, just as Taylor has for himself. We both have things that we desperately need to work on. I will say that we really do and did have a good marriage leading up to this course, BUT had we gone on for 10, 20 or 30 years doing and acting the same ways that we have been acting over the past couple of years I don't know that we would have eventually made it. This class changed our marriage in more ways than one - it shifted the focus of our marriage, it forced us to talk and open up to each other on topics that aren't fun to talk about, it pointed out our problems, it taught us how to better love and serve one another and it provided us with a foundation to build our marriage and family on from here on out.
This class was a complete and total blessing - I don't know that I can put it in any better way - it was blessing and I'm thankful for the changes that it has made in each other, our marriage and our future family.
So with that said - the course is still for sale and you take it at your own pace and it's only $35 dollars - if interested you can buy it here!
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I'm sorry y'all - I didn't even realize how long that was and I haven't even talked about lesson 6 yet - stay with me!
This last & final lesson was about discipling your children. I liked this one simply because there are so many variations of what the best way to discipline your kid is and everybody has a different opinion on it. Of course like most parents, we will discover what works and doesn't work for us as parents, but Chelsea and Kirk laid out some really great tips on disciplining your kids.
Chelsea speaks a lot about getting to your child's heart.
She talks especially about the importance of explaining to your kids why what they did was wrong, not just that they did something wrong but going even beyond that and having a conversation with them to get to their heart. It is important to connect with your child, regardless of their age, and talk to them and try to understand what was driving that behavior, not just that they did something wrong.
I especially loved this part: Chelsea says that when you discipline your child you want to show them and let them know that you're doing this in their best interest and that whatever they did that was wrong is driving them away from this path that they're on - this path that God has created for them. You want to explain to them how this choice that their making is not only affecting the "right now" but how it can lead to many of the same choices later on in life.
Now obviously Taylor & I are not parents so I really don't even feel as though I have any authority or reason to speak on raising kids - but the lesson was really good and it was so powerful. I think these days I see a lot of discipline that is simply out of the frustration of the parent or whoever is watching a child and instead discipline should be done for the good of the child - not out of frustration from the parent.
I think that point was the most profound from the whole lesson.
I think it all comes down to loving your kids and making sure that they know that they are loved, appreciated and that you (their parents) are proud of them and that they know that there is nothing that they could do that would make you love them more.
And as far as disciplining goes, the biggest take away from this final lesson was to always be working to get to your child's heart - through their heart you are able to connect with them, teach them and guide them on this path that God has created for us.
- 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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