The last 10 days I’ve been engaged, I’ve been exposed to a few things that I’m pretty passionate about..
Almost everyday, I overhear wives talking “mess” on their husbands. The same girls who make vows to love and cherish these guys are the same girls that are going behind their backs and talking about them like annoying 8 year old little brothers. This makes me sick – even more so that one of the “wives” is only 3 months into her marriage. I would MAYBE understand if it was a one-time venting session, but it’s constant! A continuous flow of negativity and degrading of their “other half.”
Now, I’ll be the first to tell you that Paige and I will have run-ins, arguments & disagreements – but the same way that the conflict started is how it needs to be resolved – between each other! Overcoming conflict in relationships not only is healthy, but its also a great way of growing closer together and overcoming obstacles as “one.”
2 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.3 You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.4 So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
James 1:2-4 (The Message)
In these 10 days I’ve heard people say, “Michael, are you crazy [for getting engaged]?” or “Don’t ever get married – all wives do is take your money and nag, nag, nag!” When I hear stuff like this, I almost want to ask them more their relationship with their wives. How it started off? Are you pursuing her? Are you going “all out” for her and putting her needs in front of your needs? Are you honest with each other? Do you respect each other?
In this time, as an engaged guy, I aim to never get to that point. I’m sure some of you reading just shook your head as if to say, “Michael, Michael, Michael – your young, in love, only time will tell before you and your [future] wife will want to get rid of each other.” But the thing is, that’s the trend – that’s the norm – to have a good relationship for a few months, maybe a few years – then it being all downhill for the rest of your lives. Well, my focus, and our focus, Paige being involved in this, is to go against the grain. To continuously love and pursue each other, while keeping Christ in the center. Sure, things won’t be perfect all the time, but that’s life. But it’s also a choice on how you handle your imperfections, your conflicts, and how you come out on the other side – stronger or weaker.
I strongly encourage you to really seek out your other half – find our what their goals are for the week, encourage them to pursue them, & be their biggest support. After all, your on a team. There is no reason for married relationships to be short lived.
So, go against the grain, be a salmon and swim upstream. Love your fiancé/spouse unconditionally, trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, and love extravagantly — even in world where that is obviously not a trending topic. #twitterreference
I’ll conclude with this passage from 1 Corinthians 13 — one of my favorite chapters:
3 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.4 Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
5 Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
6 Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
7 Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
1 Corinthians 13:3-7 (The Message)