I'm really not one for giving marriage advice, but here it is, regardless...

By | 7:59 AM 1 comment

We've been married for 12 years now, so that makes me a bonafide marriage expert. 

Well, maybe expert is too strong of a word. I'm more like a specialist? 

No, that's not right either.

I actually feel that marriage fits right in there with all the other the-more-you-know-the-less-you-realize-you-know categories...parenting, God, life.

It's like that arcade game Wac-a-mole: I hit one thing square on and then another thing sneaks up on me. Oh, so you think you've figured out the whole communication thing? BAM! Didn't see that sex/money/fill-in-the-blank issue coming for us.

Because Jeremiah travels so much, I have started a habit of reading (or re-reading) a marriage book whenever he goes out of town. Or, if I don't get to a book, I will try taking a few days to take account of my marriage during my quiet times. Because, really, what better time to evaluate and work on your marriage than when your husband is halfway around the globe?! I get to be perfect at it for a few whole days until he comes home.

This trip, I've been finishing up Capture His Heart, by Lysa Terkeurst. Two major points have resonated within me as I have needed reminding of these things which are so important for my marriage...

I need to invite him to be dangerous.

My desire for planning and security and lets just get real here, my desire for control, can easily take over all in the name of responsibility and I can squelch this God-given need in my husband. I remember reading Wild at Heart by John Elidridge years ago and had my eyes opened to how the Lord has placed in the heart of every man a desire for a battle to fight, and adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue. I know, it sounds cheesy...but now, 12 married years later and 2 boys later...I know this is true.

I need to send him on his "adventure" (which is going to look differently for every man) not with a passive aggressive assuage of guilt, but with a sense of support and the knowledge that I am with him and that I love this part about him.

I need to not forget the power of a shared dream.

The dentist appointments, school projects, field trips, bills, oil changes, and the its-time-to-empty-the-dishwasher-yet-again moments can overrun your day, your week, and your marriage. I can get so bogged down in doing life shoulder to shoulder with Jeremiah that I forget how powerful face to face time can be. I need to take the time to prioritize this, to ask those deeper life questions, to stay on the same page, to remember and reminisce with him about what God has done in our life. And what He is still doing! The Lord placed a dream in our hearts way back in our dating days...of living a life on mission for Him. It was a shared dream and is a powerful connector when life doesn't seem so dream-like.

What about you?

Got any nuggets of marriage advice that have rocked your world lately?

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My marriage advice is, as a Christian schooled in gender roles my ENTIRE life, 13 years into marriage I have found the more we are joint partners and he shares in the nurturing and the more I have chances to "provide" and "lead" the better off we are. We started off in very polarized roles and the longer we go the more I've realized women and men shouldn't be put into boxes and that Christian lit about this really chaps my hide. Every marriage has to find their own rhythm and the more shared the journey and responsibilities, the more compassion and support is there. I am done with people telling me because I was born with a uterus I can only be one thing to my children. FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU, and that can take more than a decade.