Friday, February 7, 2014

Real Life Love Stories | Godly Advice from Nancy

Ernest and Nancy are my sister's in-laws, but I have the awesome privilege of knowing and loving this sweet, godly couple.

As Nancy and I wrote back and forth about this series, she shared with me her incredible journey of faith that brought her and her sweet husband Ernest together 36 years ago. She also shared an incredible amount of wisdom that every married woman needs to read and hear.

We tend to look at Valentine's Day as a time to exaggerate our love, but Nancy reminds us that love is work and has to be tended on a daily basis- not just once a year.

Here are her words:

We must remember that our life is not our own and be mindful of our husband's needs before our own.  When I used to teach conferences when we traveled, I would make it a point to tell the women that good marriages don't just happen.  They are made.  It takes more than love to make a marriage.  It takes really liking one another and enjoying being together.  It takes good communication and having things in common that you both enjoy.  It takes being good friends with one another.  Marriage is not only a commitment but also a relationship.  We must continue to enjoy one another after marriage and always be honest with one another using wisdom.

Love is a "living" thing and anything that is alive can die or wilt.  Most of us have heard it said, "Love  never dies."  Don't believe it.  Human love can die.  It's "divine" love - "God's love" that never dies because it is pure.  God's love and human love are not even related.  Human love can turn into hate if it is made mad enough.  God's love is not like that.  God says "He" is love and the more of Christ we have in us the more of God's love we have in us to love one another with.  This is so important because marriage is a "living" relationship between two people.  You can kill it, you can just maintain it or you can make it grow.  You can usually maintain it by just doing the necessary requirements or to put it another way - only going the first mile and never the second.

We always reap what we sow, and these seeds will produce a very hum-drum type of relationship with nothing exciting, no shine or sparkle and just dull and lukewarm or just "getting by".  However, you can also choose to make it grow and develop into something very lush and beautiful, but it must be built upon the right foundation - THE ROCK - Jesus Christ and of course applying godly principles to make it work properly.  We should always practice the Golden Rule in our relationship with one another by doing unto them as we would have them do unto us. 

It takes giving our marriage the proper care and attention it needs.  We should set some time aside to spend alone with one another.  No, we never neglect our children but we can always find or make the time if we really want to.  Our children will do much better if their parents are taking good care of one another and their relationship.  It always spills over on them and makes them feel secure.

We should never be careless with one another but always sensitive to the other one's needs spiritually, mentally and physically.  We must nourish our marriage and build in trust and confidence with loving words and deeds of kindness and encouragement, and watching over our marriage closely and quickly rooting out anything that might harm it in anyway.  This takes time and effort, in other words - WORK!

Marriage is not a life and relationship based on feelings or emotions, but it is a life and relationship based on commitment.  Feelings and emotions can be deceiving because they fluctuate with our physical health and moods.  Almost everything is colored by our moods whether good or bad.  When we are going through a dry season in our relationship with our  mate,  this is especially where the commitment part comes in.

The birth of a marriage is very beautiful, but with time and age it should ripen into the sweetest and most beautiful experience.  With time and age it should become even more beautiful and precious.  This is a priceless home to create for one another and our children and a beautiful example to set.


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