I’ve been accused of many things in my life, but I must admit, one of my favorites is being called a newlywed – after being married for 16 years! Karl and I don’t have all the answers, not by any means, but we’ve been greatly blessed and we are so thankful! But it wasn’t always easy and sometimes there was a lot of tears and misunderstandings along the way.
By the time we reached our 16th anniversary, we truly felt like newlyweds again, because of some amazing changes in our relationship. Those changes had to do with the various connections in our lives. We are a lot more related to the things around us than we like to admit. We had a few things that we considered to be non-negotiable. One of those was attending church together as a family. My husband wasn’t pastoring at the time, and the church we had as our home base was sucking the life out of me. The people weren’t bad. The people weren’t mean, but it wasn’t a good fit for me and my needs (and our family’s as well). I had to take a stand. I felt my salvation was at stake.
It was a difficult step, to tell my husband that the kids and I would visit another church and he could get a ride to go to the same one we’d attended for years (we only had one car), since it was the closest one. That was his wake up call. The family needed to stay together. Once this change was made, amazing things began to happen. I came alive. In so many areas in my life, I came alive. I started writing again, something I had always loved to do. Karl could see a difference in how I interacted with him and the children. His favorite benefit, however, was the fact that I was also coming alive in our marriage.
As the family soaked up the love, healing and nurturing that our new church family freely gave (it was a good fit for us and them), we in turn were more than willing to do our part and help in whatever way we could. The entire family came alive and my husband was finally able to reach a place where he could take that terrifying step of saying yes. You see, God had been after him to be a pastor for years, but it wasn’t until the entire family came alive that he was in a position to surrender to that task.
So many things changed for our family, when we committed to making one change that was desperately needed. With that one change, I began writing again. I interacted with my children in a much healthier way. I became a better lover to my husband. Karl was able to see that taking the time to help his wife who had been with three children all day long and desperately needed some adult conversation, had amazing results. Agreeing to God’s plan for his life is a step that might not have happened were it not for this one change.
So when friends accused us of being newlyweds, I smiled. When coworkers complimented me on the way I treated my husband respectfully instead of picking him apart like many of the girls at work did; I was grateful they could see the blessings of a thriving and happy marriage. It led Karl and I to joining the Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage team and also helped us to launch a facebook page together – Unashamed Marriage.
You have many connections in your life. Take the time to make sure they are healthy ones. You have great potential – live up to it!