Monday, April 18, 2011

Marriage Monday: Teachable Hearts, Newlyweds and the Missing Ingredient

In the movie Fireproof, there is a scene where I just want to stand up and yell "Amen Brother!" It's when Caleb's co-worker is explaining to him about studying his wife. He encourages Caleb to learn all he can about his wife. Now that is something that can be overlooked. Even by strong Christian wives.

Sometimes we pour more energy into 'blessing our husbands', but we miss the mark. He really would like something simple, not our grand plans. We should learn from our past mistakes.

For years, on the Gman's birthday, I would go to Marshalls or T.J. Maxx and pick out a shirt and a tie. Most of the time, he ended up returning it. Wrong size, color or style. Why did it take me so long to figure out that he wanted to pick his own clothes with me? He liked the experience of shopping with me. I guess I am just a slow learner.

Now for newlywed couples, the learning curve is even greater. Meals, clothes, family issues, houses, work schedules, habits and preferences are all things to study. I don't remember having anyone to walk beside me and give me advice. I just jumped into the crash course. My poor guinea pig husband. The trials and errors of our new life together, had it's ups and downs. Thankfully, we had a great church and a pastor who directed us. My pastor gave me a list of books to study. Study I did. Pray I did. I realize that not every couple jumping into marriage these days has such support.

There is a lot of information on the web to encourage newlyweds. I was asked by Propeller to review a website and share it with my readers. In exchange, they offered me a free book: Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married by Dr. Gary Chapman. I was more than happy to oblige, I plan on passing the book on to a newlywed couple, after I inspect it.

My best advice for newlyweds:
Keep your eyes wide open before the ring. Keep your eyes half shut after! is a guide for couples as they prepare for marriage. This site includes:
  * Interesting articles/blog
  * Fun and insightful videos
  * Links to practical resources from marriage counseling experts

I had a chance to poke around the site and I see this would be a fun tool to use to begin talking to each other before you say 'I do.'

Things I like about this web site:

  • They have answers to questions you may be embarrassed to ask.
  • The advice about 'expensive weddings' vs. getting married was sound.
  • The ability to submit your own question. The readers add their comments.
  • The author's commitment to strengthen marriages.
  • This appears to be a non-denominational web site, and would appeal to many people.
Things that were noticeably missing:
  • Scripture! 
Now to be fair, I did not read every article. There were many balanced articles with great ideas, but I found it to be very simplistic, common sense advice. Sometimes, I need more than great advice. I want the powerful word of God to support the advice. I realize that not including controversial quotes from the Bible about marriage will make it more appealing to all faiths, but it falls short for me personally.

Biblical roles of men and women and submission can is not easy, but it plays a major role in the harmony of a couple. I could not easily find anything addressing this aspect of marriage on this site.

I also disagree with some of the advice that was given here. It was a question about sharing your sexual past with your future spouse. He recommends telling our future spouse past details and work through the emotions. Bad idea! I am not for lying to my spouse, but I would never share my life before Christ. Obviously, I had a child out of wedlock, he knew all he needed to know before the engagement. That information can cause more damage than good. I feel if Christ forgave us and we repented, I should not drudge up the past. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more, the essence of grace. Sharing past sins can stir up unnecessary jealousy and create unwanted images of each other. Couples need to be honest, but discerning in their engaged life discussions. That is my personal conviction, I understand others may feel differently. has a great goal, they just need to not forget the best and most important marriage resource, the Bible.

Thanks for stopping by,

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Nelson said...

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