I’ve been working through Becky Thompsons marriage devotional “Love Unending.” I’ve been sharing my journey through her wonderful book on my personal Instagram (honorableliving) and Facebook page. But they have been so lengthy I thought, why not come dust off the blog.
Discover Daily: Almost 6 years ago, Sebastian and I were a few months away from our wedding. At 19 years old, everyone wanted to share the statistics and opinions on young marriage. I think I heard the negative predictions twice as often as I heard “congratulations.” The statistic that was shared the most often to try and convince us to wait and reconsider was, “you know, people change the most between the ages of 18-25. You don’t even know who the other is really going to be. Don’t you think you should wait before making a decision so permanent?” This week I turn 25. Sebastian has been 25 since April. We absolutely changed a LOT in our 6 years of marriage.
“But at some point the newness wears off. It just does. It’s not anyone’s fault. We just know most of what there is to know. That’s not falling in love. That’s being in love…but when we think we know all there is to know about one another, we essentially declare that that person will always be the same way. It’s easy to forget that the other person changes a little each day.”
I’ve heard many quotes that say “love is choosing that person every day” and continuing on to explain that you have to make a commitment to them, every morning, to love who they are today because they will never be who they were yesterday.
In a sense, that’s exactly the right idea. But it’s just the start. Not only do we have to keep working on that relationship, never getting complacent, we have to nourish and encourage growth.
We have had 4 children and another on the way in our 6 years of marriage. We had no choice but to drastically change and grow as people. Individuals and a pair. Sebastian has been such an incredible person to work beside. My dad told me once when I was little that, “deciding who you marry is very important, but it’s not the most important. The most important decision a person can make is who to become a parent with. Divorces happen. But when there’s a child or children involved, that individual will always be in your life as a co parent. Even if you’re no longer married.”
He didn’t share that with me to lessen the beauty and sanctity of marriage. My parents have been married for over 40 years. They are my first inspiration. He shared that thought with me because he recognized that when you add parenting into a marriage, everything gets a lot more complicated and while having a family is exactly right for many who are married, it’s a really important step when deciding WHO to marry.
In most premarital counseling sessions, finances and children are major topics. That’s for good reason. Those two reasons cause a lot of added stress in marriages.
When someone asks a 19 year old Christian couple if they plan to have children, how do you think those 19 year olds react? With blushing and hesitant nods.
He continued on to ask us if we planned to have one, a certain number, or play it by ear. Sebastian said one, maybe two, if any, and not for awhile. I said 3-5. His eyes about popped out of his head. We agreed to go one kid at a time. Salem was born 40 weeks after our wedding day. We are having our 5th child next year.
Looking at those hard facts, adding in the military lifestyle and moves, and then stacking our “married too young” statistics against us, how did we ever make it?
Communication and discovering each other daily. Parenting matured us quickly. The military matured us quickly (and had quite a few negative effects, also). But every day we knew the person next to us was a different person than the day before. Sometimes we had growing pains. One of us grew faster or slower than the other. But we never said the words “you’re just not who I married” because that wasn’t true of either party.
It’s important to ask yourself, “how have I changed? How have I asked the person I’m married to to accept me in new and different ways, every day?”
When you see how many ways they’ve adapted to you, you can start to open up more to the ways they’re asking you to love their changes.
People never stop changing. Nor should they.
“We don’t refuse to let our husbands change, but rarely do we treat them as though there might be something about them we have yet to learn.”
The first part is realizing that they are going to be growing as peopleevery moment, the next part, is to ask them how far they want to grow.
Do you encourage your husband to dream? Do you know what he dreams of doing one day?
Everyone has goals. And every goal looks different.
What are your goals? Does your husband know them? What are his?
Someday, we want to have a homestead. We want a big garden that feeds our family. Chickens, ducks, goats, a dairy cow. A compost bin. A basement full of canned goods we grew and canned ourselves. A compost bin. You get the picture.
Sebastian is coming to a point is his life where he has big decisions to make for our family, and himself. In about 3 years, his career with the navy will be coming to an end (or moving on. Not likely). I spent most of our time in Hawaii believing that he wanted to just operate a power plant. I often asked if he thought he’d enjoy that forever. A few years later, he mentioned he loves brewing beer. He wants to discover quality control on making the perfect brew every time. Maybe he’ll get his masters in that. Maybe he wants to own a brewery.
Okay. That definitely sounds like something you’ll love.
Since living in New York, I asked again if that’s where he wanted to pursue his masters degree. Maybe. He said. But, you know candace, I really love teaching. And more than that, I really love learning about and teaching the Bible. Maybe I’ll get a theology masters. Maybe I’ll teach theology to college students.
Okay. That definitely sounds like something you’ll love.
You see, he’s changed his mind a few times on me. But it’s never a crisis. He’s just growing as a person, and I’m just loving the person he’s becoming more every day.
Change is new and scary and sometimes hard. But it’s also beautiful, healthy, and normal.
Discover who your husband is today, not who you think he’s always been. Ask him where he’s going tomorrow so the surprises are fewer. Dare to dream together and apart. Most of all, remember to pray for who he was, who he is, and who he thinks the Lord wants him to be.