Two Years of Marriage

MJC_3722Tim and I have been married two years today. On one hand it feels like its gone really quickly, yet on the other it feels like we have been married forever. Last Year I wrote about the things husbands do. I thought today I would write about some of the things I have learnt in marriage:

1. Keep things special – It’s really easy to get in a rut. Same routine day in and day out. When date night comes its easy to think – well lets just eat dinner in front of the TV like we always do, nothing special. But keeping things special, with surprises, presents, date nights when possible is really nice. I appreciate it when Tim comes home with a bunch of flowers!

2. Turn the screen off – TV can be a conversation killer. The ping of the mobile phone can be a distraction. Sometimes we need to turn that off and enjoy a real live conversation. Like face to face.

3. Mundane things need to happen – And that’s ok! Shopping needs to be done, washing up needs to be done. Someone needs to cook. You often don’t see the behind the scenes of the prince and princess story where the princess is vacuuming the castle and the prince is washing up. But it is a part of life. Unless you have servants, which we don’t.

4. Encourage, Encourage, Encourage – Words are a dangerous thing. As a wife I know how easy it is to use words to bring my husband down. But I have learnt that encouragement goes a long way and when he encourages me it really brings joy to my heart.

5. Everyone’s Marriage is different – It’s easy to feel like everyone’s marriage should be the same – that we should fit into certain roles of who should do what. But I have learnt that every marriage is different. I have learnt that while my husband is better at making and creating various things around the house, I am better at organising our diary and finance. While my husband prefers DIY, is much better at sewing than me and likes food shopping more than I do. I prefer to read books, iron and find useful ways to use the creative things that my husband builds while gently reminding him that perhaps making a lit up smiling robot isn’t AS helpful as putting up shelves. Oh and we both enjoy cooking.

Above all for us, having Jesus at the center and being a part of and serving in a church community is what helps us grow more and more in our marriage. I look forward to many more happy years together.

The heat of Love

There is the heat of Love, the pulsing rush of Longing, the lover’s whisper, irresistible—magic to make the sanest man go mad.”
Homer, The Iliad

Last weekend we were at a wedding of a good friend from Uni. I love weddings. I love watching the groom doing the nervous walk, smiling at people as they come into the church. I love the waiting, and you can see on the face of the groom the longing as the clock ticks time on. It could almost make him crazy.

I love how when the music starts to play everyone turns to look at the bride. She walks in and everyone gasps at her beauty, her dress, her hair and her smile. Eyes are on the bride. She is radiant.

    All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold.
In many-colored robes she is led to the king,
with her virgin companions following behind her.
With joy and gladness they are led along
as they enter the palace of the king.
(Psalm 45:13-15 ESV)

The bride is led to her groom and a union begins. He promises to care, cherish and die for her. She promises to receive his tender love and be taken under his wings for refuge.

Joy and gladness are filled in this place.

“There is nothing more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends.” ― Homer, The Odyssey

It’s a beautiful thing to see two people in love. Its even more beautiful to see how Christ loves his bride, to see how the church takes refuge in Him. As I was reading the book of Revelation, I was soon swept up in the wedding of Christ and the church – the heat of love burns here and the church is covered by the blood of the lamb and she is beautiful. All eyes are on her as she enters the palace of the king, bringing delight to friends and confounding enemies.

Jesus loves the Church. But we aren’t at the wedding yet. The church isn’t quite finished yet. We look forward to the wedding day, but the bride is still being prepared, she is still getting ready. At the moment the church looks messy, it looks broken, and it looks hurt. And so we wait with longing and groaning. We wait with patience and gentleness. We wait for the day when we will take refuge in Jesus, when we see his face, when he wipes away the tears. And Christ waits in eager expectation.

Perhaps one of the songs we shall sing is:

Sands of Time are sinking – by Anne Cousin:

4. The bride eyes not her garment,
But her dear Bridegroom’s face;
I will not gaze at glory
But on my King of grace.
Not at the crown He giveth
But on His pierced hand;
The Lamb is all the glory
Of Emmanuel’s land.

5. O I am my Beloved’s
And my Beloved is mine!
He brings a poor vile sinner
Into His house of wine
I stand upon His merit –
I know no other stand,
Not e’en where glory dwelleth
In Emmanuel’s land.

 

Christmas: The One Who Sings

CB_Singing

Advent Day 15:

Christmas is a time of singing, with our carols and mince pies we like a good sing-song.

In church we sing songs to God, giving him praise and lifting up our voices like the Angels in Luke 2:13-14, saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is please!”. Heaven and Earth sings to the Lord.

But the Lord sings over us too:

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. ” Zephaniah 3:17

What kind of song does the Lord sing? The kind of song that a husband sings over his bride. We catch a glimpse of this is in the Song of Songs. A husband who sings: “Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful” (1v15) “You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride” (4v9) and we, the bride, can sing back “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me” (7v10).

Christmas is about singing, it’s about the bride singing to her bridegroom, singing out that she is his forever and his desire will always be for her. But a greater and louder song is sung by the Lord, a song that rejoices over his bride with gladness, a song that will sooth and quiet her hurts and anxieties, a song that declares that we are beautiful and have captivated his heart. This husband is Jesus. The bride is the church and Jesus sings over us.

Christmas is about the birth of the Son of God who will sing a beautiful song over his bride.

First Year of Marriage

Yesterday marked our one year anniversary being married. I can’t believe time has flown so fast!  It has been an amazing year and I have to say that I love being married.

Before we got married we got many warnings about our first year, warnings that it would be the hardest year of our lives, that we would hate it and be ready for the divorce papers to be signed. So we went into marriage with a reality punch and found it surprisingly wonderful and a lot of fun. I guess people react in different ways, everyone is different and so some of that advice was helpful because marriage isn’t exactly the “happy ever after”, stare into each others eyes with fluffy bunnies eating grass around you and birds tweeting songs to your favourite love melody. Nope. You learn quickly that marriage is that of the mundane, where there is washing up, going food shopping, cleaning the house and working out finance. There are evenings where you just watch TV or read a book and there are weekends where hubby has to work. It’s not all adventures and romantic dinners because at some point the ironing needs to be done!

That’s life.

And its nice to share it with someone and that someone being my husband!

23 Days Left

23 Days to go and what am I looking forward to? Christmas presents? A day off with family? Yes but also something more… So you may look at the human race and think why? Why did the Father send his son to us to die considering we turn to idols and things that fade away. The place that gives me a glimpse of the Fathers heart in all of this is Hosea 2v16-20:

And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ 17 For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. 18 And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. 19 And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. 20 I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.

Why? Because the church is a Bride and we are betrothed to the Son and all in love, mercy and faithfulness. We don’t deserve it. But soon we can call the Son our husband… ! There will be a wedding feast and so in 23 days time what am I looking forward to? Well the reminder of the Brides husband being born and a wedding feast to take place in the future. Just as I eat my turkey and stuffing, it reminds me of a better feast to come. (without sprouts I hope!)