Several years ago one of our pastors who teaches a Bible study for married couples asked me speak to them about some things I had learned in my marriage to Paula. (In June, 2016 we will be married for 37 years).
After agreeing to do so I opened my computer and began to write lessons I had learned. When I completed the list there were twelve items I had written. As I read them I discovered they neatly fit into two separate headings, one negative and the other positive.
One category was “Things I Wish I Hadn’t Done in our Marriage” and the other was “Things I’m Glad I Did in our Marriage”.
Recently in preparing for premarital counseling for a sweet couple I stumbled across the notes from that lecture in a file. I thought it might be helpful to share them in upcoming posts.
To be honest, as I perused the list I balked in doing so because some of the material is very transparent and painful to share. However, the masthead of this blog is “Family Encouragement” and the top right hand corner has my purpose for writing it.
“The purpose of this blog is to be an encouragement and help in building a godly family”.
I learned long ago that when a preacher is the hero of all of his stories (1) he doesn’t encourage me very much and (2) I don’t think he is being completely honest.
On the other hand when I hear a broken, transparent person sharing (1) I am encouraged that I’m not the only one that has dealt with failure and (2) he has more credibility with me because of his vulnerability.
So, I would simply plead for mercy as you read, especially from the ladies, as this is written from a man’s perspective. The first six posts will deal with negative attitudes and actions I wish I hadn’t brought into my marriage to Paula. The last six will focus on some areas I felt were helpful and a blessing to her and our family.
Perhaps this will motivate you to compile your own lists. It may be a catalyst to change areas where you are weak or have failed. And in areas that are positive it will encourage you.
Consider putting it in a written form to share with your children. Our kids learn more about marriage from us than any other arena in life. For over thirty years I have written notes in a journal for all of my children. I did so because I wanted them to know my heart for them if I died when they were young.
I hope you are helped and encouraged by this blog, but one reason I write it is for my children and grandchildren that it might help to guide them one day. Hopefully, the lists I share will help them – and continue to minister to them even after I’m in glory. And I pray it might encourage and help you, too!
(Here’s another blog I write. It’s different in that it is about personal things that highlight the brevity of life and the sweetness of relationships with family and friends).