First, let’s clear something up right off the bat. I am not a relationship expert, I am not a life coach, I am not a marriage counselor.
I am however, in love, married and head over heals for the same man I fell for 10 years ago.
This morning, as I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and screenshotting some inspiration photos, ideas for our upcoming photo shoot and funny memes to send to Heidi, I came across a post that stopped me in my tracks.
Beating 50 (who you MUST follow) posted this:
A man is proven by the smile on his wife’s face.
At first, it took me back to my our own wedding, when my dad spoke about his impression of Adam over the 8 years of our relationship. He said,
“You raise a daughter, knowing that there is going to be this man in her life someday. I hoped this man would love her. I hoped this man would adore her. Adam, you have exceeded all of my expectations and I have never been more pleased to see the smile on my daughter’s face.”
If you feel like watching our wedding video, like I do all the time, go for it here!
Then, as I stared at this post a little while longer, I began to think more about my relationship, my marriage, to Adam, and quickly, instinctively, smiled. It’s like that “life coach” move when they tell you to “Look in the mirror and smile at yourself. It will make you happy.” But I don’t have to look in the mirror. I just think about Adam.
This isn’t meant to be a love letter to my husband for the world to see. Though it may be one a little. What I really want to talk about is why this relationship between man and his wife is the most important relationship that exists, and how it has become so apparent, in my life, why God chose marriage as the most sacred off all things.
There is so much circulating right now about women lifting up other women. It’s absolutely incredible, so insanely needed and important, and inspiring beyond belief. I feel generously blessed to be a part of a movement in the 21st century where women have the audacity and grace to help each other, and recognize that envy, shame and guilt are very real and multiplied by social media, particularly. It is so easy to feel so small in comparison to others.
As I sit here, wearing my “I’m a blessed hot mess” shirt (that barely fits over my 29 week belly), I think about the other women drinking their coffee on their sofa with their laptop at this very moment. Are they happy? Are they writing something that floods their heart? Are they working on something in an effort to better themselves and not impress others?
But my real question is this: Is what they are working on something that would make their significant other proud?
It may seem naive, on my part, to assume that, one, they have a significant other, and two, that they are, in fact, working on something this morning. I understand that she may not have somebody in their life in that capacity right now. And I understand that everyone lives their own life, and that instead of working this morning, with coffee and a couch and a laptop, that you may be watching the news (and cringing) or feeding your kids or vacuuming or sitting in the dentist’s office.
But whatever the case, if it’s now, or if it’s a dream, or even if it seems so far out of your grasp, remember that God CREATED marriage. And his hope was this: that the relationship between a married couple would mirror and strive to replicate the relationship God hopes to have with you as individuals. God is the center, literally, of a marriage.
Honor, cherish and love one another. Strive to make each other PROUD. Help each other, in all things. Be patient and kind. Lift up and disciple one another.
These are all things that God hopes to do in His relationship with you. And in parallel, that He hopes you will do in your relationship with your spouse.
I am so proud of my husband. I’m literally honored to be his wife. And in my prayers this morning as I dwelled on this topic while it poured down rain outside (weird but wonderful), I found myself saying out loud, “I’m proud of YOU, Lord, for creating this human that I married. I am proud to be Your child, and I’m proud to be his wife.”
Last thought, I promise. Adam and I do this thing, to Adam’s dismay since his love language is quite literally NOT WORDS OF AFFIRMATION but mine is: when one of us is feeling doubted, down or dismayed, we say “Three Things.” The other one quickly, intimately and truthfully says three things they love, admire or cherish about the other one.
We did not do this today, yet, but if Adam were to need “Three Things” this morning, this is what I would say:
You are proud of me.
You have been so accommodating and honoring my pregnancy ups and downs.
You are funny.
My prayer for all you lovebirds out there today is this:
Do and say things to make each other proud.
Do and say things that honor each other.
Do and say things that make the other smile.
Oh, and follow Beating 50 on Instagram. It will make you want to write a post like this that really turned into a love letter to my husband for the world to read.