Gift Shop Diamonds
I have to share a story about the gift my hubby got me for my birthday. A few years ago I was in a hospital gift shop, trying to pass time while my mom-in-law was having surgery. While there, I saw this BEAUTIFUL ring. Now my wedding ring was yellow gold, but I had realized I was wearing more silver and wanted a silver wedding ring. I however, with my frugal self, in no way wanted to pay a lot of money for a new set. I called my husband and told him about the ring and he told me to buy it. So I bought this sterling silver ring with 3 "diamonds" for $25. Yes! I loved it and it was beautiful. When I tell you I got more compliments from people about that ring than I ever did with my real diamond ring, I am not kidding at all. I ended up losing the ring (I can be a little absent minded sometimes) and my husband bought me another one. Great right? Had he spent thousands on the ring originally, me losing it would have been devastating. The new ring he bought was the wrong size. Because I had lost 130 lbs, it was way too big. The gift store did not give refunds and it would cost $28 to size the ring. I could not see the logic in doing this, again with my frugal self. I told hubby we could just buy another ring but the gift shop never seemed to have my size.
It's been months since we looked for the ring. Hubby and I hadn't talked about it at all. So when I opened that box and saw the ring I was so excited! I had my ring! My husband was thinking about me. He took the time to go to the hospital and get me this ring, which by the way went up in price. This time it was $48.
Now some of you may be uncomfortable with me sharing the cost of the ring but I'm not. I recently took the 5 Love Languages quiz. I scored a 10 in acts of service and a 1 in gifts. I'm not the "spend a lot of money on diamonds" type of woman. In my younger years, I wasn't comfortable with that. I thought that's what women want, so that's what I should want. But at 35 years old, I'm good. Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with expensive jewelry, if that's your thing and you can afford it. As for me, I would not have been any happier if all three of the stones on that ring were real diamonds. The truth is, I would have been disappointed because it would have created debt for us.
The point of this blog is to encourage you not to get caught in the societal norm. Issues are often caused in relationships because everyone is trying to do what is "expected." I am supposed to be excited when my husband buys me a $5,000 ring. What really makes me happy is that he remembers the things that I say I want and forget. It meant the world to me that he took the time to go the hospital, find parking, go to the gift shop and get the ring I loved. The cost of the ring meant nothing to me, because that's not my thing. Be who you are and like what you like because you like it. #tilDeath
*Cracker Barrel staff came to my table to see my ring.*
Rights vs. Responsibility
Anyone who grew up in the 90s can likely attest to the concentrated exposure to rhetoric regarding rights. Issues ranging from the Rodney King incident to the Michigan State student riot were all that could be heard in the media and music of the day. Like many others, I rallied behind the voices and felt proud to spout what little “knowledge” I’d picked up from these sources. However, as I reflect on those days of old, I cannot recall much mention of responsibility. Ironically, it is responsibility that holds communities or cities together when rights are trampled.
Ok…brace yourself; I’m coming out of left field.
What are you focused on in your marriage…your rights or responsibilities? Tempers flared and emotions sat on edge during the 90s because rights were being disregarded. This led to unrest and violence that destroyed communities, cities, and some would argue our nation. Is your marriage living in the “90s?” Are you so caught up in the fight for your rights that you have neglected your responsibilities?
The truth is, as Christians, we have no rights. That’s right, we are slaves to Christ (1 Cor 7:22b, Eph 6:6).
Now I know that’s deep, so I’ll keep it on a more practical level. When the Bible speaks of forgiveness, it’s done in terms of our responsibility (Matt 18:21). Restoring someone who falls…our responsibility (Gal 6:1). Relationships…our responsibility (Prov 18:24). How to treat our spouses…our responsibility (Eph 5, 1 Pet 3). And here’s the kicker – how to treat our enemies…I think you get the point (Matt 5:44).
Marriages (or anything else for that matter) can seldom survive when partners are focused on fighting for their individual rights. Those that do are left tattered and burned like the communities and cities I spoke of earlier. And while it’s true in most cases that survival is better than death, the negative effects can last for generations (just look at Detroit).
So who’s willing to lay down their rights… and take responsibility? #tilDeath
*unable to find photo credit
The Sexless Marriage
Most couples don’t plan to be in a sexless marriage. Even still, one must understand that the phrase “sexless marriage” is relative to each respective couple. Your decision to go at it like wild beasts twice a month may work for your marriage (as long as both partners are fulfilled). On the other hand, to a couple that is accustomed to having sex three times a week, twice a month may feel like celibacy.
So what causes a sexless marriage? In many cases, the couple doesn’t even realize they’ve stopped having sex (at least one of them anyway) until it has already become a major issue. The disconnect often stems from some unresolved issue – an argument that didn’t end well, financial tension, an act of mistrust, individual stressors/anxiety, etc. Everyday life can also hinder sexual connection. The demands of small children (or not-so-small ones) can be stressful and exhausting. Differing work schedules, health issues…any of these could wreak havoc on a couple’s sexual intimacy.
But I can’t just tell you to focus on having more sex and act like that’s going to fix the problem. While more sex could definitely be beneficial (this just got 20 more husbands to subscribe to the blog), communication needs to be the first step. The fact that there is an issue – lack of sex – has to be brought to light. Then the couple needs to discuss the potential reasons why they’re not connecting. Once these obstacles have been addressed, the physical act will be a lot less taxing…and a lot more fulfilling.
Ok…so what now? When ending a sexual sabbatical in your marriage, it is important that communication happen well before you reach the bedroom. Let your spouse know you are looking forward to your time together. Go on a date. Arrange a getaway. Send a suggestive text. Sex may even need to be scheduled in order to ensure it does happen and that both your needs are being met. Yeah, it doesn’t sound romantic, but it is way more romantic than not having any sex at all. Allow your spouse to feel safe being vulnerable. It’s been a while; so it may seem awkward at first...but it'll get better with time.
So in the famous words of Salt-N-Pepa and Tone Loc..."Let’s talk about sex, baby" and "Let's do it!"...#tilDeath
Our society's view of marriage is abbreviated at best. Disturbing metaphors such as short-term or whimsical are used to describe modern-day unions. Consider these lyrics from a popular song, “…It’s a beautiful night, we're looking for something dumb to do. Hey baby, I think I wanna marry you.”1
It’s no wonder that “current estimates suggest that 40-50 percent of recent marriages will end in separation, prior to the death of either spouse.”2 And sure, one might argue that surveys show that couples go into marriage thinking it will last a lifetime.3 But the reality is that few are willing to devote a lifetime to making their marriages last. When two people choose to spend their lives together, it should be unconditional. No take backs.
Our passion is to expose a fleeting truth – Marriage is resolute! We are determined to embody the commitments we made in our vows. In doing so, our hope is to inspire and build legacies of rock-solid marriages. God's commitment to us is not circumstantial; neither should ours be toward our spouses.
So the next time you attend a wedding or reflect on your own vows, allow those powerful words to echo as loud as the proverbial wedding bells themselves: ...for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, honor and cherish...#tilDeath.
1“Marry You” by Bruno Mars 2The State of Our Unions 2011 edited by W. Bradford Wilcox. The National Marriage Project and the Institute for American Values 3Marriage Expectations: Young People Expect Marriages to Last, Study Says by Katharine Lotze. The Huffington Post
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
To expose a fleeting truth - Marriage is resolute! #tilDeath
To equip marriages and individuals with Biblical and practical knowledge resulting in legacies of Christ-centered marriages and healthy relationships.