Marriage Chronicles IV: 4 Nuggets From Year 1
The Importance of Leave and Cleave
When a man and a woman marry one another, the directive, in so many words, from the Bible is to “Leave and Cleave” to one another. I love this directive because it sets a foundation that is INVALUABLE as it pertains to the health of a marriage. This directive is spoken exclusively to the two leaving their parents and cleaving to one another. In the exchanging of vows, the only two people up on the pulpit, front of the church, or wherever you and your spouse were. Her mom and dad weren’t up there. Your homeboy from college wasn’t up there either. It kills me when married couples bring ANY and EVERYBODY into their marriage. Find an accountability couple(s)/ a mentor couple(s) whom you can bounce things off of when you just don’t know. 2 important things to remember though. 1) They couple must be AGREED upon and 2) These people shouldn’t take the place of going to God FIRST and talking to your spouse SECOND.
Conflict Resolution/Check –In
I got this from the wife of one of our mentor couples. Speaking to her about staying connected to my wife, she gave me this nugget. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, work, school, social life, ministry, personal time, etc. A couple can go days and sometimes weeks without checking in. Ever so often (weekly), I’ll “check-in” with V. All that means is asking questions like, “How are we doing? Is there anything you need to tell me/we need to talk about? How are you feeling?” “Did I do anything to offend you?” This keeps both parties up to speed regarding what’s happening in their marriage. It’s INTENTIONAL CONNECT TIME. As opposed to having the T.V. on during dinner, turn the T.V. off and have INTENTIONAL CONNECT TIME with your spouse by having this conversation over dinner. Husbands, have Intimacy (her version of intimacy is IN-TO-ME-SEE) with your wife during this time. Give her your undivided attention during dinner. Trust me and Thank Me Later.
Husband’s Mandate/Check The Thermostat
As the husband, I’ve been called to lead. My Pastor challenged me in my pre-marital counseling to “Lead Her Lovingly” and in such a way that would MAKE her WANT to SUBMIT and FOLLOW me. I love that because it really puts the ownership and responsibility back on me; the husband. I hear a lot of husbands say what their wife doesn’t do, but never acknowledge the fact that they’re out of line themselves! Here’s the million-dollar question: IF YOU WERE A WIFE, WOULD YOU FOLLOW AND SUBMIT TO YOU? As a husband, I have to lead well and always make sure the “temperature” in my house is comfortable. It’s not too hot (anger, bitterness, rage, strife) or too cold (no connection, no emotion, on roommate status). I have to make sure it’s just right; intentional connect time, prayer, “Check Ins”, getting in the Word together, date-nights, etc.
“Different strokes for different folks.” “Whatever floats your boat.” “I’ma do me.” All those clichés pretty much mean “Do what works for you.” In this first year, everybody gave us advice on how to do a lot of things in marriage, finances/budgeting, conflict resolution, tithing, and some more stuff. At the end of it all, the advice maybe good but we have to find out what works for TEAM MCGEE.Find our identity as a couple. For example, “It’s great what the Smiths do and all, but that doesn’t work for us.” We ask each other questions like, What do we want our marriage look like to others? Where do we want to be in the next 5 years? How do we plan on disciplining our children? Home school vs. Traditional School? Because we’ve just completed year 1, we’re still conversing about these things and some of these conversations are in the infancy stages because some we have to wait to get there first, but these are the intentional steps being taken in order to form our identity as Team McGEE.
There were so many people who said, “Your first year of marriage is going to be the hardest. You just wait and see.” Well, I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOURS, BUT MY FIRST YEAR OF MARRIAGE WAS EXCELLENT! There are always going to be issues, but how you respond to them is what makes all the difference. I love the intentional preparation Veronica and I did individually and as a couple prior to getting to the altar. This helped a lot with our first year as a lot of stuff that came up called for application of the things we learned before from God’s Word, mentors, mentor couples, sermons, etc. I’m SO looking forward to year 2.
LETS GO!!!!! TEAM McGEE!!!