Just as you would protect your valuables, your marriage should be protected too! We often focus our attention on the things that are clearly visible. For example, our kids need new tennis shoes, the car in the driveway needs to be clean, the living room needs a new paint job, the water filter in the refrigerator needs to be changed and so on. Life can be so demanding, we can forget about the things we cannot see or touch, like our marriages. Yet, marriage is one of the most valuable parts of our lives and the infrastructure of our home, it needs protecting. Continue reading “Fortify Your Marriage Before It Decays”
We had been dating for four years and we were in our last year of College, scheduled to graduate in the Spring of 2003. Although Juan often expressed interest in getting married while we were in College, I often turned down the idea. I didn’t want to be married until we graduated. I had big dreams and I desperately wanted to stay focused on them. Despite my hopes of getting a doctorate degree and my desire for a house to call my own, Juan knew I wanted a long engagement. Time was ticking so he began planning his proposal and working two jobs to pay for my engagement ring.
Honestly I’m shocked! Perhaps not for the reason you think. No, our little Macee hasn’t arrived, which I’m ecstatic about because I really want a September baby. What I am amazed about is my weight gain!
One of the silent killers in many marriages today is the absence of boundaries. We often convince ourselves into thinking they are unnecessary in marriage. Many times, I hear spouses say they don’t want to appear controlling or they don’t want to be controlled. I’ve even heard married couples say, “I should be able to do whatever I want!” Yet the truth is we surrendered our “want” the moment we made a vow to “become as one” with someone else. Continue reading “Setting Boundaries in Your Marriage”
It’s amazing for me to believe I have been with Juan, my husband, my best friend, the man of my dreams for nearly 19 years. [Side note: You can expect this to be mushy…it’s my love story after all.] To think I’ve spent more of my life with him than anyone else, including my parents, helps me realize the impact he’s made on me. I’m incredibly thankful to God for orchestrating our paths together. We seriously needed one another (and still do) and not in a dependency kind of way, rather in a way to improve and benefit each other’s lives. Although he is hardly the same guy I met back in 1998, I am more in love with him and appreciate who he is today more than ever before.
One afternoon I was enjoying a manicure while my husband, Juan was giving me a much-needed break from my mommy duties. All of a sudden, I received a Facebook message from my brother. With both of my hands occupied, all I could see was the question he asked me, “How are you still in love with Juan after 13+years?” His question completely caught me off guard at first. We normally have candid, deep conversations, but they’re usually not about marriage. Nevertheless, I admired his sincere question. I admittedly feel like we are living in a world where love has an expiration date. More and more, I find it rare where both partners want to put forth the effort marriage requires. I can honestly foresee the vast majority of this upcoming generation asking the same kind of question with a genuine concern: “How do you still love your spouse?”
Although we are born into this world eager to love and trust emphatically, we learn over time not everyone is trustworthy and some people are hard to love. We all go through heartaches, frustrations and disappointments from the people that enter our lives and test our ability to love, to forgive and to move on. Sadly, those that are the closest to us often challenge our “love walk” the most. It’s probably because they’re the ones we are the most vulnerable with. We hold our lovers, friends and family’s opinions with high regard and are sometimes caught off guard when they hurt us.
I remember a time in my younger married years, following my husband around the house like a puppy dog begging him to plan our next year together. I wanted to set marriage, financial, spiritual and physical goals together. However, at that time he wasn’t fond of setting goals or planning. He admittedly was ignorant about the benefits of goal setting and planning. He thought they were restrictive and that they would chip away from his independence. He didn’t want to be accountable, limited or bounded by any words printed on a paper or on mounted on the wall.
How we met…
Our love story begins the Summer of 1998. We were both accepted into a math summer program for minorities at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS) prior to beginning our first semester. Oddly enough, we were both on the fence regarding whether we’d be attending CSUS in the Fall. I sent my application to Oral Roberts University and I was eagerly waiting for my acceptance letter. I later found out they never received my application. Juan on the other hand wasn’t even sure if he was “College worthy” (something I’ll need to blog about at another time). Through what may have seemed like the eagerness of CSUS’s organization to recruit minorities, because neither one of us actually applied into the program, we both received invitations to participate with all provisions supplied. I now acknowledge it for what it was-the hand of God leading us on His path for our lives.
Since the beginning of my husband and I’s relationship, we’ve had this unintentional motto that has stuck with us over the past eighteen years, “Together is Better!” Honestly at first we found it silly, but we kept saying it after we’d complete some task together, like it was our victory chant. Before we knew it, our silly little saying started to sound profound as it proved itself over and over true. When we’re given a task or presented with a decision, we instinctively look to each other. Still we have those bad days on the “marriage field” where we’d like to call each other out on performance-because every team has those days. Nevertheless, we have put considerable effort into working as a team over the years and still do; whether it’s in ministry serving, at home cleaning, completing projects, discussing our budget or even being in agreement on how we should discipline our toddlers. This doesn’t mean we have lost our individuality or identity in each other. On the contrary, because we are different people it has greatly enhanced our success as a married couple. We realize we are bringing more to the playing field of our marriage life than if we were replicates of each other’s skills and talents. When you’re a teammate to your spouse you… Continue reading “How to Build Teamwork in Your Marriage”