When I was growing up, every summer my Great Grandparents, Grandma and Pop Pop Roberts, would always come out to Colorado from Florida for a month. Looking back, I realize how blessed I was to not only get to know them, but to have their example set before me. They were that cute old couple who were still holding hands and still had the light and adoration in their eyes for each other. There's a picture somewhere of them standing in their double wide holding hands and their eyes are just twinkling and out pouring with love. You can tell after all the years they'd been married, they were just as in love with each other that day as they were the day they married. I remember when Pop Pop Roberts died, January 31, 1999. I wasn't there for the services in Florida or New Jersey, but my Grandma would tell the story of her mothers reaction to seeing Pop Pop Roberts in the casket in Florida and then his urn in New Jersey. Grandma Roberts stared him down in both instances. She had anger in her eyes, because she always thought she'd pass away first. Grandma Roberts had macular degeneration in her eyes and she'd began to show signs of Alzheimers. She'd always prepared herself to go before him. Now here she was without the man whom she served as a help meet for over 3/4 of her life. In the 2 years between their deaths, Grandma Roberts would always talk about Pop Pop as if he were still alive. She told my Grandma many times that she'd talked with "Daddy" as she called him. As a matter of fact, I truly believe in my heart of hearts that Pop Pop Roberts came down and took her home that February day in 2001. I've always said I wanted a love and marriage just like Grandma and Pop Pop Roberts. The only problem was, I had absolutely no idea how to achieve such a thing.
Over the last 7 years, there have been many lessons, blessings, and hardships. Every year on this date I'd write out this perfect declaration of love and affection towards Jonathon. Highlighting all of the changes our relationship has faced and yet we still made it through. A few months ago, a friend and fellow blogger posted something that really stuck with me. It was her wedding anniversary and instead of posting a similar declaration on her facebook page, she chose to write a blog post that was real. The true struggles of marriage. This post is somewhat inspired by her post.
A little over a month ago, I was talking with another friend and fellow blogger on the phone. The purpose of the call quickly changed from business to personal. I shared some struggles I was having both professionally and personally. This dear sweet friend gave me advice that has changed my life. She encouraged me to read "Created to Be His Help Meet" by Debi Pearl. The book has not only helped me put God's purpose for marriage into perfect perspective for me, but it's also completely transformed my marriage. There were a couple chapters that were hard to swallow. Some I took completely out of context. I had to do some research and I had to pray. God put it before me in a way that I understood not only what the book was saying, but why I read it in the context I did. If you are a wife seeking direction, I highly reccomend this book. I was a wife looking for a Christ Centered marriage, but not quite sure how to achieve it.
Since I began reading this book, I have been amazed by the transformation my marriage has taken. Before I began reading this book, I'll admit I was skeptical about the impact it could have on my marriage. How could I alone make my marriage better? Isn't a marriage 50/50? Since reading this book, I've realized that no, I can not change my husband. He is the way God made him and that is that. However, I can change my response. I have control over myself, my thoughts, my actions, and my words. There used to be many times when Jonathon would make a comment that I took offense to. My reaction to said offense was to ignore him or say something equally offensive. Now if he says something I take offense to, I ask myself "Am I taking this the way he meant it?" "Is being offfended going to have a positive or negative impact on my marriage?" "Is this something I'm going to remember tomorrow, if for some reason, God forbid, he not live to see another day?" One of the Bible passages we had read during our wedding ceremony was 1 Corrinthians 13:4-7. It's one of the most popular and most recognizable passages in the Bible. "Love is patient, love is kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail." Re-reading this passage was such an eye opener for me. How many times was I selfish, irritable, keeping a track record of wrongs, allowed pride to steal my joy? Love is not a feeling, love is a choice. I choose to love my husband and accept him, faults and all, with grace and understanding. I choose to not let my emotions control my thoughts and my actions. Those are things I can control.
I will be forever grateful for the people God has placed on my path. Especially the one He made for me. If I can continue to be half the help meet Grandma Roberts was, I can only hope that one day there will be a picture of Jonathon and I after 60 something years of marriage. I pray the light in our eyes never burns out. I pray our hands hold firm together as we walk this life side by side. I pray that I never forget all that I have learned and continue to learn about how to be the best help meet I can be to my husband.