I want to always share from my heart. To be able to share from my heart, I have to be completely transparent. Words cannot express how grateful I am to have a husband that supports me sharing myself, our marriage, and our faults with everyone. He supports my vision of sharing, as a testimony, in hopes edifying other women, wives, and couples.
No Prior Experience
In my previous post, I mentioned that I faced much opposition during my first year of marriage. I don’t want to give the impression that the first year of my marriage was bad, because it wasn’t ALL bad. The first year of marriage was challenging because marriage was something that I never experienced before. I was a wife for the first time and I didn’t have any prior experience. I wasn’t prepared.
I can imagine the first year of marriage is comparable to the process of accepting an entry level position right after college. In college, you take the recommended courses, study the material, and take exams to test your knowledge. The typical exams give you 4 options to choose from. You select either A, B, C, or D after you thoroughly read all the available choices. The professors, the subject matter experts, give you a grade based on your selection. The grade you get usually depends on a variety of factors: such as, your learning styles, your study methods, and your test taking abilities. In some instances, the test is not a reflection of how well you know the material at all. You could very well know the right answer, but just aren’t good at taking test under pressure.
After taking all the recommended courses, you obtain a degree. The degree is your confirmation that you are ready to work in your field of choice. You usually have an employer in mind that you want to work for. Prior to working for that employer, there are more steps you need to take. You need to research the organizational culture, write your resume, and freshen up on your interview skills. Next, the employer either accepts or rejects your application for employment. If accepted, you start working. If rejected, you start all over again.
The steps to marriage aren’t all that different. Similar to being in college and selecting courses you are interested in for your major, you will watch romantic comedies, read romance novels, and listen to love songs all while thinking about how you will apply what you are learning when you get chosen to be a wife. You begin preparing yourself like you would to apply for any job by learning to cook, manage money, and maintain a household. A gentleman comes along and the two of you begin dating. Based on your previous knowledge of dating and marriage, and how well you present it to the gentleman while courting; he will either accept you or rejected you. If he accepts you, he will propose to you. If he rejects you, well, you start the process all over again.
You are advised to take premarital counseling prior to getting marriage. In premarital counseling, like courses in college, you are given resources by the veterans in marriage and tested to gauge your knowledge. At the conclusion of the counseling, you are then given the confirmation that you are ready to say your vows.
The Real Test
The real test of your knowledge, after college, comes when you start working for your new employer. The real test of your knowledge of marriage comes after you get married. You face different scenarios at your new employer; however, unlike college, you aren’t given option A, B, C or D to choose from. You have to determine the appropriate answer on your own. Marriage is the same way, in that you face various scenarios without the ease of choosing the best out of four. College can’t fully prepare you for every scenario in the workforce, and premarital counseling can’t prepare you for every scenario you face in the marriage.
Subject Matter Expert
In the workforce, you can get a mentor to help you on your job in areas you need help. The mentor is a subject matter expert in your field that can share how to be success in that field. In marriage, the Holy Spirit is your subject matter expert.
John 14:16-17 AMP describes the role of the Holy Spirit.
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever—the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be in you.
You are not in your marriage alone! You have a Helper that is there on standby to comfort you, advocate and intercede for you, provide counsel for you, and be your strength! Are you using the Holy Spirit as your subject matter expert for your marriage? Despite what you are facing in your marriage, you can utilize your personal subject matter expert to turn things around. If you are wondering how you can be successful in marriage. The answer is you need a subject matter expert. You need the Holy Spirit.
For those of you that are not married, but are facing challenges in any area of your life; the Holy Spirit can be your subject matter expert for whatever challenge you are facing.
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Grace and Peace