Category Archives: Marriage Monday

Because your spouse matters

Think It Through

Think ~ Lifeofjoy.meI asked Michael if he had any marriage advice I could share today. We kid with him that his answer is always “no.” In an effort to understand why, he finally was able to figure that it must be because he never had anyone tell him no. He was always allowed to do whatever he wanted and he got into trouble with the law. (He did not grow up in a ‘Christian’ home.) So he surmises that he views saying no as caring for and protecting those he loves. Trust me when I say, it does not feel that way. I did not grow up the same way he did.

His advice: think about things three and four times before making a commitment. And of course, pray about it.

It is so easy to just go with your ‘gut feeling’ but that isn’t always the right thing to do. If you have trouble hearing God answer your questions, ask Him to confirm it through others. Then keep a watchful eye for your answer and accept it, even if it isn’t the answer you wanted.

I guess I’m keeping it short and sweet today.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

 

Ask First and Save Yourself Trouble

Ask First ~ Lifeofjoy.meYou know the saying, “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission”? Well, that is not the way you should handle things in your marriage. Yeah, I’m telling you from experience here. Oh, I wish it were an experience that I am pulling up from my distant past but unfortunately this one just happened this past week. :(

At least I learned a very valuable lesson: it is disrespectful to not ask his permission, especially if it is something that will affect him in any way.

I had to do some fancy apologizing for my overstepping. Even a day later, I was still dealing with the aftermath of my decision. We now have a clean slate and are moving forward. What I should have done was to sit down and talk to him about what I wanted to do and why, and then pray God deal with his heart.

So let that be one of those hard knocks you don’t have to get on your own. Learn from my mistake and be blessed. :)

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

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Change and Growth

Change and Grow ~ Lifeofjoy.meEven when I think I’ve finally gotten it together, I realize that I can still grow and better myself.

Yes, I know, that’s pretty vague. Let me explain a bit.

I was pretty frustrated with Michael about somethings. I don’t remember what they are. I remember thinking that God needed to change Michael and convict him of how he was treating me.  And then I remember God convicting me. I then immediately felt that I also needed to change . . . I needed to act differently. That is NOT what I wanted to hear. I wanted justification but God wasn’t letting me off the hook. ;)

Was God telling me that Michael was right?  NO!  What he was telling me was that I had some changing of my own to do.

Did I want to hear that? Nope! But I took it and I apologized and tried to behave better.

So I encourage you today, that the next time you are in a situation where you are frustrated with someone, ask God to help you rise to the occasion and grow from it. It will not be easy but it will be worthwhile for you.

Until next time, God bless,

 

Hermits Staycation

Hermit Staycation ~ Lifeofjoy.me
Tiffany and Sean goofing around.

It’s Labor Day Weekend! Happy Labor Day to all those hard workers in America. We decided to take a few days off and do nothing. We thought about going somewhere for the weekend but decided that as hermits, we like just being at home. So, we decided to save ourselves some money and sequester ourselves. ;)

I’ve tried to shower Michael with sweets and stuff he likes, giving him time to do things he enjoys doing. We’re watching videos, reading books, playing games, and enjoying being together. :) We are content and don’t need other places to make us happy. We enjoy being hermits. :D

It doesn’t take a lot to have a time of refreshing. Of course, if you do it at home, all of a sudden those back-burner projects start screaming and you are tempted to work on them but don’t. It’s good to have ‘rules’ in place, so that you don’t end up working when you are supposed to be relaxing. ;)

Some of our rules are that no one cooks or cleans alone. Don’t do ‘work’ or the things we usually do. This is a time to ‘get away from it all’. We all help each other so it isn’t a burden on anyone. I told Tiffany today that I think ‘housekeeping’ needed to change the sheets on my bed. She looked at me and said, I’m not housekeeping! :D I really meant I should do it but I think I’ll end up waiting until Tuesday when we are all ‘back to work’.

That’s our budget-friendly staycation. Hope you have a great holiday weekend.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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How Selfish am I?

Selfish ~ Lifeofjoy.meMarriage is a good test of selfishness. Yep, selfishness can show its ugly head between husband and wife. And unfortunately, I am talking from personal experience.

You see, much of the time, disagreements come from thinking the other party should do more or not expect as much as they do. But what that really boils down to is selfishness. Yep. Plain and simple selfishness.

Occasionally I have to just ask myself if I serve my family without feeling like a martyr, wishing others would help me or not. Not that it is a bad thing to desire others to help but it is important to really discern your motivation. It is important for all family members that are old enough to participate in the caring for the home though.

So I guess I challenge you today to check yourself and see if you have any selfishness in operation in your life. I know I’ve found some in mine and I’m working to remove more and more of it from my life.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Why Not Get Married?

Why Not Get Married ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’ve heard some young people (and some not so young people) say they don’t need a piece of paper; they know they love each other, as an excuse not to get married. But if it is really only a piece of paper, then what harm is there in getting it? I mean, as excuses go, that one is pretty weak.

From my experience, a woman wants the security of knowing that you are committed to her and if you’ve taken your relationship to the level of getting that piece of paper, she knows you’re serious. This is one reason why a woman should refrain from intimacy before marriage. Men (yes, I know we woman do too) want the act of marriage. If you give him what he wants without the security of knowing he is committed to only you, you have lost a huge motivator. Whereas, if he can not have intimacy with you until after committing to spending the rest of his life with you, there is a  stronger chance he will commit than if he is getting everything he wants.

If a woman doesn’t want to get married, you must ask yourself why she doesn’t. Where is her commitment? If you are providing for her needs without her being committed to you and only you, then you are cheating yourself.

God created sex as a wonderful thing between a husband and a wife. It bonds people together. If you go sleeping around being intimate with others, you are cheapening/weakening that bond for when you do get married.

Man, if you love the gal you are with, and are committing to her anyway, why not prove that commitment to her by getting that piece of paper. It really is an expression of love. When you refuse to marry her, you are sending her the signal that if it gets bad enough, I’ll just leave. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you’d ever do that, you’re still sending that signal. And if you have asked her to marry you and she won’t, then you need to separate now, because she is not committed to you and she’s telling you in a subtle way, that she is only with you until something better comes along. And for that matter, that is the same signal a guy gives a girl when he lives with her but will not marry her. Nobody wants to feel like they are second best.

I hope that someone comes across this post that needs to hear/read these words. Know that although marriage is hard, if you are living with and having intimacy with another, you are already experiencing the hardness of marriage. It is my opinion that having that piece of paper give both parties a security that the other is going to stick around and that the other loves them enough to commit to them. Believe it or not, that adds a lot of buffering to a living situation, thus making it easier.

Now for those that are getting older and still single and not being intimate, ask yourself why. Sharing your life with another is one of the best things you can do. Are you warding off marriage because of selfishness? I encourage you to pray about your situation and see what God would have you do. Marriage is a beautiful thing. Yes, it takes some work but it is worth the effort.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

It is Really a Question of Respect

It's About Respect ~ Lifeofjoy.meI don’t know about you but I struggle to keep calm when my husband is upset about something. I can usually handle it when it is a minor frustration but when it is a biggie, I handle it less well.

Michael is usually pretty easy going. His first answer for most questions is ‘no.’ Sometimes he makes his opinion so well known on a particular subject that sometimes I don’t even want to ask his opinion when the subject arises because, I already know what he will say, if I do ask him.

Recently a situation arose of a very minor nature. He got upset with me for not asking his opinion. He stayed upset for quite some time. I attempted to fix the situation but it was not working. Neither of us wanted to budge. I told him that I did not feel ‘cherished’. And then God showed me that I had disrespected him.

I felt slapped in the face. And then I was reminded of a line from National Treasure 2,

“Just because you may know what my answer is going to be doesn’t mean you don’t have to ask me.”

Well, I realized I had some changing to do. The problem is that I avoid asking his opinion on some subjects because I know what he will say and I don’t want to argue. But I guess God was telling me that I was wrong and I have to change. I am to give my husband respect . . . period.

In Genesis God put the man over the woman because she was deceived. It is a protection for the woman, not a sign of inferiority. To circumvent this protection, is disrespect. I must learn to ask and discuss without becoming frustrated.

So once again, in a situation where I felt I was in the right, God showed me that I was not. :\ But that is okay because I am continuing to learn and grow and become more like God would have me be. And don’t worry, there is no chance that I will become a doormat, I’m too . . . independent . . . strong-willed . . . stubborn . . . oh, I don’t know, but I think you get the point. ;)

I hope you can learn from my experience. Hey, I hope I can learn from my experience! :D

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Advice for New Parents

Advice ~ Lifeofjoy.meI had the blessed opportunity to attend the baby shower for a first time mommy that I have known since she was just a teen. She is dear to my heart. Her sister hostessed it and did a great job. One of the things she did was provide note cards for everyone to write advice or whatever to her. This was such a good idea because it is written in a good format that is easily passed on to the mommy without any extra work or fear of loosing a slip of paper.

I thought I’d share my advice here with you today. Yes, I do know this is Marriage Monday and I’m talking about a baby shower which would seem to fall into Thoughtful Thursday’s topic of raising children and educating them. But there is some overlap and I think you’ll see that this post fits here nicely. :)

Pray

I know this one is obvious but so many times it is the one thing I overlook when dealing with a new situation. When I’m reminded to pray about it I ‘smack my head’ because it is just so simple and fundamental. But seriously prayer, even about the little things like how should I feed him, where should he sleep, how much should he sleep, when should I feed him, when do you start giving him water, when should you discipline him, when should you teach him to put away toys . . . these are all little things that if you ask God how to deal with them and ask God to help you, your spouse, and your little one with the situation, you will get guidance from Him. That guidance may be in the form of a blog post that comes just at the right moment, a comment from a friend, advice from a mentor, a book, video, or some other unique way, after all, He is God. :)

Consistency

Yep, that is a nasty word. I was talking to a gal at church yesterday and realized that I think God puts the desire to have children within us when we are younger to help work out our own character, as we train these new beings in our care. Children have a way of trying you over and over again and when you weaken once, that encourages them to keep trying in the future because hey, they let me get away with it before.

It doesn’t matter how tired you are, you need to be consistent. Even when you are a stay-at-home mommy and feel like you are always the bad guy, you still have to stay consistent. It is for your child’s benefit that you are disciplined to discipline him.

Priorities

It is imperative to have your priorities straight! Remember God should be first and foremost in your life. I know it is tempting to cut back on your time with God when your sleep is disrupted but I admonish you not to do that. You can use time that you are nursing or feeding your little one to worship God or you can listen to an audio of the Bible, if you can concentrate on it. Your little one will benefit from being washed with the Word of God or being in His presence as you worship Him. Remember to spend time in prayer and if you are able, speak in tongues as this is praying the perfect will of God in your life.

Second is your marriage! Yep, even though that little being is reliant upon you, he would not even be there if it weren’t for the love you share with your hubby. I know you are tired but take time each day to really connect with your man. Make sure he knows that he has not been replaced. ;) Still give him attention and make your time together a priority. Don’t just give him the dregs of your day. Know that if he is asking if you want to be intimate, he is probably really asking if you will take time to be intimate with him. SAY YES!

Don’t forget to do something for yourself. Maybe it is a bath or taking 15-30 minutes to have a cup of tea and read a book or do some art, color, or even put on some music and dance. But remember to continue developing your hobbies or even start a new one, little bit by little bit.

Seek Godly Counsel

Finally, don’t be too prideful to ask a grandparent (or great grand parent or someone else) for advice when you are in a new situation. It is okay to seek advice from other mommies you know but how about asking an older person that has already been through the child-rearing years and produced some good kids. It will bless them that you thought enough of them to ask their advice. Of course, you don’t have to follow the advice, pray about what they said and follow God’s leading. If He led you to them in the first place, then odds are it is what you need but . . . ultimately it’s your decision to make.

These are my best pieces of advice. I hope they are an encouragement to you. If you have a question for me, I’d be happy to answer via blog post or private email; just leave a comment.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Talking with Your Spouse

Talk ~ Lifeofjoy.meSome time ago, I read this post on the XYCode about why men won’t talk to their wives. I found the article interesting. He points out that one of the main reasons men don’t want to talk is because their wives won’t talk about the subject they want to talk about. That is telling enough but reading the comments was even more enlightening.

So firstly women don’t want to talk about sex and then secondly, when they do talk whatever subject the wife wants to she generally makes him feel that he is wrong and or shreds him for his opinion.

I am sad to admit that I have fallen into both of these situations. I was so convinced that my way was right that I said and did whatever was necessary to convince him. Unfortunately this did not go well for me or my marriage. I wish I would have known to do things differently. It would have been much better on my marriage had I learned to talk respectfully with Michael. There is a respectful way to for each partner to talk about what is on their mind.

I think that women should always be available to discuss sex with her husband. Furthermore, I have learned that I should always be available to him, intimately. It is okay for me to have an occasional request to abstain but it should be way less frequent than otherwise.

I recommend jumping over and reading the short post and the few comments there as well, as the men’s comments were enlightening even though troubling.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

 

Honoring God with Our Finances

Budget ~ Lifeofjoy.meI was talking to a single millennial last week. I and another married young lady were talking about budgets and such. I mentioned that finances are one of the biggest topics of frustration in a marriage. The single gal said she wasn’t sure she was ready to get married after all. We all chuckled.

But then I had a God moment and realized that it isn’t only married couples that should live on a budget but that everyone’s finances are a topic to be prayed over. I suggested to this gal that she begin talking to God about a budget, create it, and stick with it. Just like in marriage, if something comes up, she should pray about the new expense and only then decide which budget category to spend it from. If the item is just a want, He may tell you no, not now.

As I see it, everyone’s money should belong to God and we should all be praying about how to spend it. Even with the allowance I receive, I am always asking God how to spend it. That is being a faithful steward of the things God has given you. He is the one that enables us to get money; we need to honor him with our finances.

I have talked to other single millennials and have found that they just spend their money however they desire. They, many times, are frivolous with their money and just spend it however the wind blows, as they have nobody to answer to. But in reality, they too have to answer to God in their spending or at least they should.

But like I already said, I ask God how to spend my discretionary funds. Sometimes He will have me give some in the offering, sometimes he’ll have me give some to a new mommy, sometimes he will have me purchase new art supplies or even a book to loan to people. I don’t ever assume that just because I have enough funds to purchase something I want that it is okay for me to do so. I must pray over the purchase to see if it is something that is okay for me to purchase. This doesn’t usually take long to know the answer. If you have a relationship with God, you are already in communication with Him and probably already know the answer when you are confronted with the situation.

I hope this will encourage you to prayerfully consider how you spend your discretionary funds and be an encouragement to you.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº