Thursday, September 20, 2012

Things I Love About Being Married

They warn dourly that life doesn't end when you get married. Marriage isn't the end all, be all, they mutter. Just wait and see after a few months and years of marriage, then you'll understand. Wait until the first argument. Wait until you're tired of being married....

We love cynical peoples. Let's face it, we've got at least one in each of our share of relatives. And you know what makes them so hard to disprove? Every word they say has a little bit of truth to it. So, let me rephrase this:

Thank God life didn't end when we got married: I am enjoying myself too much. Thank God marriage isn't the end all, be all: I would shrivel up and die if I stopped being a growing, unique individual. Thank God that after a year of marriage, I can clearly see and rejoice that I did marry the man God prepared me for. Thank God that I realize marriage is not easy: who would have thought any part of life is all ease and grace? And about those arguments... well, read on.

Someone asked the other day, "What Do you Love Best About Being Married." There were many good answers and I decided it would make a good blog post. :-) This isn't me bragging about my wonderful life: I have problems too. But most of the days in my life, I can choose to look at the positive aspects of my existence. For us, this union has been mind blowing and we have never been happier. My goal for this blog post is to send a positive message about marriage into cyberspace.

For those currently unattached: It is possible to find an imperfect person who is perfect for you because you are an imperfect person who will be perfect for someone.Wait. Pray that you will know when the time comes. Until then, be whole as you are.  Be perfect for you, today. Love who you are. Revel in the good you can be in the world. Fling joy into the universe with the discovery of the possibilities of you.

For those Married, happily or not: As you know, there is no 1-2-3 step plan for happiness. Can you be happy? Yes. If you are happy, can you tell me why? If you're not happy, can you tell me why? What is the greatest lesson you have learned through marriage. Are you cynical? Or do you believe in true love? Why?

Things I Love About Being Married

Companionship: never feeling alone. Before I met Jesse, there never seemed to be anyone who "got" me. I have a strange sense of humor, interests and passions, needs and desires. When I met Jesse, I was astonished to find that someone actually laughed at my jokes. I didn't feel awkward around him. He understands. He accepts me and furthermore, he's my best friend.

Being Loved. When I lose my temper, cry, laugh, scold, praise, talk, fail, succeed or any other thing, I can do so without the fear of being judged. Before we met, I was not sure I wanted to enter a relationship. I had seen so many failed or unhappy marriages. I had seen so many people use, hurt or manipulate their spouse. My fear was that I would marry someone and be stuck forever in an unhappy relationship. I have never been loved unconditionally by a human. I knew God loved me unconditionally, but I didn't understand it until I felt Jesse's love. There are moments when I feel my heart burst in joy because this love is boundless, incomprehensible, faithful and everlasting.

I can be myself. This fits with the above category, but I wanted to explain more specifically: I never felt the freedom to be myself completely. It didn't matter that I had friends who appreciated me. The fact of the matter is: I wasn't comfortable in my own skin. Jesse is un-apologetically himself. When we were first friends, I remember a moment when I realized with certainty that it was ok to enjoy movies, books and stories as much as I do. In fact, it was perfectly fine to have a passion for things that I have a passion for. It was more than ok: I needed to embrace these things in myself because I am unique. Unique is the way God created me. Each day, I revel in this. It was a long time in coming.

Learning Every Day. It's ok to be wrong. It's fine to change your mind. It's a good thing to challenge your opinions and beliefs. We learn about each other; we learn about others; we learn about Eternity; we learn about Truth. We learn about sharing the bed, the shower, the kitchen... we learn about giving each other space, we learn about it being ok to go to the other person if we have an issue or simply need a shoulder to cry on. We learn to communicate and share freely. Even as well as we know each other, each day brings a new delight, a new joy. Oh yes, I married an imperfect man who lives his life gently, kindly, respectfully, lovingly. Each day brings new realizations of this. Learning and growth do not happen all at once; if it did, our human minds would expire. So, God allows us to learn as we live: one day at a time.

Understanding GodWhen I met Jesse, I caught a glimpse of God's love. The longer I know him, the more godliness I see in him. He loves me as the Bible says Christ loves the Church. Through this, I see Christ's love so clearly now. Jesse loves me unconditionally, freely, passionately. His heart is always towards me, even (especially?) when I do not "deserve it". There will be times when I am apologizing for some wrong I did him and he will simply hug me and whisper, "You make me so happy," while brushing away my regrets. He sees no reason for me to apologize or feel guilt. This love enables me to step out of my faults and seek truer paths. I have never felt a better understanding of my God, Eternity and Truth.
If only more husbands would love their wives as Christ loves his Bride. If only religion and self interest would not raise their ugly heads. If only people would step away from themselves and seek only better things for others...

When We Are Sick.  There were days when I used to get a cold and I banished myself to a room with a roll of toilet paper, a glass of water and a book... and closed the door. Now, there is Jesse with water, broth, food, hugs and kisses and holding my hand. I almost like being sick. Lol. The same goes for when he's the one under the weather. I hover over him, feed him, make sure he's warm...  It makes those "in sickness and in health" vows really come to life.

Cuddling. Yes, I have discovered that when it comes to us, cuddling is the greatest thing on earth. I never liked cuddling except if it involved a sibling and even then, I preferred having my space. But Jesse seems to have broken most of the rules in my rule book. :-) Now, I cuddle, share a glass, play footsie, flirt outrageously and only God knows what else...

Forgiveness. This could fall into almost any of the other categories, but forgiveness deserves one to itself. As individuals, both of us had to learn about forgiving others. People in both of our lives have hurt us in the past. By the time we had met, we were at a point where each of us realized the need to accept and love others. Yes, regardless of the pains and frustrations they cause us. :-) This love requires forgiveness. Jesse and I are far from perfection. We both have our moments. But even in these, we are able to stop and look at each other. Forgiveness is a proactive. I am thankful the many hard lessons learned before our paths converged. This was no accident.

Deciding What to Make for Supper. Yes, 'tis a difficult decision; not one to be taken lightly. We could have leftovers or I could make something new. We could have soup, burritos, roasted chicken, hamburgers, clam chowder, salmon, pizza... the list goes on. Should we have something sweet to drink or is water just fine? And what about salad and dessert? The amount of responsibility is rather amazing when it comes to meals. But oh-so-fun... How great is it to be able to look in my cupboards and decide what to make? So many endless possibilities! Jesse loves a good cake, so some days I will surprise him by having a cake on the table when he gets home from work.
Here's another thing that amazes me: Jesse loves working in the kitchen. So if I end up working Saturday and he is at home, he'll make food. Good food. His honey mustard salmon recipe is amazing. Oh dear... I'm drooling.

Watching T.V. Together. Nearly every night, we watch shows or movies. The creation of stories is a passion we share. Before we met, we pursued it on our own and now that we are together, the paths converge and we are enjoying ourselves a great deal. :-) A story that is well written can be about anything and we will find enjoyment in it. I was more a fantasy girl but Jesse has introduced me to science fiction... and we both love detective/crime shows. The list of shows and movies we watch is ever growing and ridiculous. Lol. Some of our favorites are: Grimm, Person of Interest, Big Bang Theory, Red, Touch, Once Upon A Time, Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Pirates of the Caribbean, Tintin, Sherlock, The New Normal, Star Trek, West Wing... I could be here all day.

Arguing. Finally, we get to it. No, it doesn't happen very often. The first time we had a disagreement, I felt horrible about it. I apologized for days. However, over the course of the past months, we have come to the realization that arguments and differences in opinion are actually good things. They keep our relationship interesting. We still don't like to argue but we are now able to step back and look at the argument and each other from a different perspective. Have you ever met a couple who didn't argue? I have. It usually means that one person in the relationship is very dominate. The dominate person will tell the other person what to do, what to think, what to wear, etc. Usually, it's much easier for the non-dominate person to not think as thinking can be painful. Healthy relationships are based on equality. Both parties must use their ability to think and make decisions. When Jesse and I disagree because we are both strong people with opinions. But what makes these arguments so good is that we're willing to let someone or something prove our opinions wrong. May we never get set in our ways! is our motto. Truth does not allow for minds that won't be changed.

Submission. I hated this word. In fact, there are moments when I still loathe it. People defile it, making it into something ugly and sinful. They demand it, manipulate it, revel in it. I was very leery of relationship for this reason. What I did not realize was how beautiful submission can be. Yes, it does mean giving up one's will. Yet, when submitting to someone you respect and cherish, submission also means retaining your will. I submit to Jesse because I want to. Jesse submits to me because he wants to. We are equals. We do not demand it of each other; we submit freely. We have learned that submission from both is necessary for any healthy relationship. Just as Christ submitted himself to us so that we might have a relationship with him, so must we submit ourselves to him. True, biblical submission involves purity of heart and soul.

Being Involved in Theatre TogetherTaking Walks Together. Holding Hands. Laughing Together. Talking to People Together. Encouraging Each Other. Hating Raisins Together.

Thanking God for Each Other.

This turned into a longer post than I had intended. :-) I am just purely grateful for Jesse and how healing he has been for me. I have grown and changed so much because of him. His heart is mine and mine is his. Our life together has been beyond my wildest dreams. I love who he is. I love who I am.

Take heart. Joy cometh in the morning.


JCR said...

I could think of a million things to say about this post, but I won't for lack of space and time :)
Just this:
This is beautiful.
Pure joy.
So glad for you and Jesse that you found your soulmates and are serving Jesus together, that is so special! God is great!

Naomi T. said...

Thank you, my dear. :) You are an inspiration to me. May we meet again!

MaryPat Weatherl said...

Naomi, I am so proud of you for learning from your past and growing into your future. God has truly blessed you both with the gift of each other.

Naomi T. said...

Thank you, MaryPat. We *have* been blessed. So blessed. We enjoyed being with your family this summer. You and Chet are a great example of how our past molds us for today and how we can live through joy. :hugs:

Anonymous said...

" Just as Christ submitted himself to us so that we might have a relationship with him, so must we submit ourselves to him. "

This is quite a new idea to me. I have always thought that Jesus submitted to God and God alone- His Holy Father. Could you direct me to where in the Bible it says that Jesus submitted to us, sinful people?


Naomi T. said...

There are many examples of Jesus submitting himself to man and to God. Beginning when he was born of Mary, a woman of earth, obedience when she asked him to make water turn into wine, when he baptized of John, when he washed the feet of his disciples, when he took children into his arms and heart and most importantly, through submission to mankind and to His Father, he allowed himself to be crucified for the sins of the world. There are many other instances. To me, each time he deemed us worthy to walk with, speak to and call us friends, it was an act of submission on his part. Just as we submit ourselves to him by allowing him to have a relationship with us. Because he is waiting, that is all. We must make the choice.

Yes, he submitted himself to God but he also submitted himself to us, a sinful, unworthy race. That is called grace.