Recently, I shared with Jim, "Hey you know what, I think marriage is going to teach me A LOT of stuff." Know that may sound like a dumb observation, for of course it will teach me many things. But I guess that is something I have been thinking and praying about recently; the lessons I think marriage will teach me.
So here are my thoughts on what I think marriage will teach me:
Marriage will teach me to be less selfish: For over 26 years, it has just been me. Me taking care of me. Not that I am the world's most ego-centric person, but I admit I am comfortable being selfish; having to only take care of my needs and how things outside in the world affect me and my life. As Jim and I have been together, I have learned more that real love is about putting the significant other in my life first....to think about his needs first....to think about how something is affecting his life before my own...to sacrifice my own wants or needs to take better care of him. I want to and pray a lot for the grace to be a good wife, and I think it takes time and probably A LOT of practice to grow in selflessness.
Marriage will teach me not to keep score: When I was growing up, I was really good at keeping score. like really good. Of how many more times I had to unload the dishwasher than my sister or how many more times I had to run a last minute errand for my Mom, etc...you get the idea. But you know what, those childish ways won't work in a team work effort like marriage. I am sure there will be plenty of times I will have to rely on Jim to do extra things around the house when I have a busy weekend full of Youth Ministry activities or long evening meetings. And there will be plenty of times Jim will need me to help him out by doing the grocery shopping or house chores so he can study for finals or meet with his clients. Keeping score in a marriage, I think will only frustrate and create tension between husband and wife. Keeping "track" of who does more stuff around the house from one week to the next is not healthy of right...because marriage, Christian marriage is ALL about self-sacrifice. Hopefully by realizing and thinking about some of these things now, will help us out when push comes to shove.
Marriage will teach me to love unconditionally: I am perfectly aware that marriage is not all butterflies and roses; that it's not always two people skipping on a sandy beach holding hands. Living with Jim in the sacrament of marriage will help and teach me to love NO MATTER WHAT. To love him even when he drives me bonkers with annoying habits...to love him when we disagree and argue about stuff....to love him when he makes mistakes...to love him at times he needs it most. In short, marriage will teach me to be a better Christian lover to my husband. And at the end of life, that's what I want to know I did a good job in...my marriage.
All in all, I pray Jim and I can always work together to create a happy, holy, and healthy marriage. As June 22, 2012 draws closer, I think about all I have to learn...and the journey we will share in learning it together with each other :)