Sunday, 22 May 2011

Some more thoughts on Marriage

2. Marriage is Worth it’s Weight

Marriage is valuable. It is precious. That is why it is worth waiting for because it is so important and should be treasured.

In Hebrews 13:4 we are told that marriage should be honoured by all. Or in the New Living Translation, we should give honour to marriage.

In our western culture, marriage is considered disposable. Something that we’ll stick with as long as it keeps us happy and we’re enjoying it, but there’s always a way out if we need it.

This was not God’s original idea. In fact in Malachi 2:16 it says, ‘“I hate divorce,” says the Lord God of Israel’. Divorce is not a convenience to God. God literally sees a married couple as ‘no longer two but one flesh’ (Matt 19:5, Gen 2:24, Eph 5:31). You cannot easily separate one flesh without a huge amount of pain and damage. Even if you do it surgically with pain relief. There will always be scars, and part of you will never be the same again. Which is why God created marriage to be permanent.

Our marriages are designed to be an example to the world of God’s love for us (Ephesians 5:22-33). The way we love our spouses and families is to be part of our light shining in the world (John 13:34-35). It is the place to bring up children, to share life’s ups and downs, to support one another, to welcome those without families. It is the place where we are free to be who God created us to be because there is a love and security that is based in God’s love for us.

That’s why, in the words of Cheryl Cole…’we gotta fight (fight, fight, fight) fight for this love…if it’s worth having it’s worth fighting for’!

We’ve got to see our marriages as God sees them. We have to give them the value/honour/significance that He gives them. We have to prioritise them and give them the time and attention that they need. And we have to support and encourage each other in our marriages. We have the potential to share the gospel in and through our marriages.

Even when we feel our marriages are struggling, broken or over, God can bring tremendous blessing and healing, not only to restore but renew and refresh our marriages (Matthew 19:26). He wants them to be the best marriages that they can be. For us, for our children, for our families and for all those we encounter in life.

It is possible to have a lifelong and happy marriage and there is a deep joy that comes from a faithful and pure marriage. The secret is for both the husband and wife to be submitted to God and to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. We cannot do marriage without God. You only need to look at the statistics to see that.

I love reading Ephesians 3:20 –

‘Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think, according to the power that works in us’

Try and imagine the greatest marriage that you could have. The love, security, joy, hope…God can do that and more! How amazing is that! All we have to do is allow Him to work in us. That’s not always easy. Being refined, moulded, cleansed is a painful process (think of bashing stains out of clothes in a big wooden drum. Not adding a sachet of stain remover and turning the washing machine on). But through it we, and our marriages, can shine and bring praise to God. There can be glory in the broken, beauty in the mended and power in restoration.

If you are married – how do you view your marriage? Is it valuable and precious to you? Do you give it the time and priority that it deserves? Are there areas that you need God’s wisdom, help, and encouragement? Is there brokenness or hurt that needs to be restored and healed?

If you’re not married but think that one day you would like to be – what are your hopes and dreams for your future marriage? What can you do now to help cultivate the value and honour that marriage deserves and requires? Is there a married couple that you can come alongside and learn from whilst honouring and encouraging?

If you’re not married and aren’t fussed whether you will get married or don’t particularly long to get married - Are there married couples that you can come alongside to honour, support and encourage?

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Some thoughts on Marriage

I don't know whether it's because I celebrated my wedding anniversary yesterday, or because of recent conversations and situations with family and friends...but I've been thinking about marriage a lot recently. And a few thoughts just keep coming back to me so I thought I'd share them.

1. Marriage is Worth the Wait

For some reason, whenever I see this vest of Ethan's I think about marriage. I think about the time before I was married and the desire I had (and that so many single women have) to be married. Marriage is great and wonderful and amazing (it is all of those things and more), but it is also very hard.

In Matthew 19:4-6, Jesus responds to questions from the Pharisees regarding divorce by quoting Genesis 2:24.

He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Matt 19:4-6

When two individuals join their lives together to become 'one flesh' they are also bringing together two sets of opinions, values, ways of communicating, backgrounds, insecurities, baggage, families...etc etc. Obviously, it is assumed that some of these are likely to be more aligned and in some areas you will be 'on the same wavelength' or have the same values in order to have got you to the decision of marriage in the first place. However, there will always be occasions when you don't agree, when you don't understand each other, when you speak or act without thinking, when you don't respond out of grace...or when you simply wind each other up and drive each other crazy.

I think we've become so enamored with the abundance of chick flicks and period dramas that subconsciously teach us that, although the journey to finding ‘Mr. Right’ may involve heartbreak and hurts, once we’ve found ‘The One’ life will be sweet and wonderful and full of romance. Whereas what we actually step into is a process of molding two whole people (not two halves) into one flesh, a single unit. And that is not easy.

So we struggle when we disagree because that’s not what happens in the movies. We get upset when we feel misunderstood, because aren’t we just supposed to ‘get each other’?! We worry if we’ve made a mistake because surely it can’t be right to fall out once your married?! That’s not what people in good marriages do!

I once heard a speaker say that if there are never any disagreements in a marriage then there is something wrong with the marriage. It means that one or both of the individuals are not entirely open and honest and expressing their opinion, because no two people can ever completely agree on everything. A good marriage is not about never disagreeing…it’s about how you deal and work through the disagreements. It’s about compromise, constructive conversations, grace, resolution, sacrifice, humility, love and so many other things.

One of the greatest, but also the hardest parts of marriage for me is the fact that there is someone who is part of my life and sees and knows every part of who I am. It’s a huge blessing to have someone with whom you can be so open and vulnerable and who will challenge and encourage you. But it’s a challenge too. It says in Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another”. In a marriage we have a unique opportunity to sharpen each other. To help and encourage someone to become all that they were created to be. But, boy does it hurt sometimes.

One of the biggest challenges I have faced since becoming a wife, is the realization that I can be a very selfish person. I can sulk and throw impromptu pity-parties-for-one like you wouldn’t believe (probably because I don’t invite anyone else to the pity-party incase they spoil the foul mood)! I am ashamed of how many times I’ve felt that life just isn’t fair purely because I wasn’t getting what I wanted (not the same as what I needed!). Having someone else constantly challenge your attitude and response to things is tough, especially when you know that ultimately they’re right.

Another challenge has been learning to wait before I respond. To not just react to a situation, but to wait on God and respond in the right way. Not only is marriage worth the wait, but it’s also worth waiting within a marriage. Time, and prayer, can be a great eye opener/life saver/foot out of mouth remover!!!

All this to say, I don’t want people to think that I’m all “hey, don’t get married, it’s horrible. You’ll fall out, and you’ll cry, and you’ll say things you wish you hadn’t, and you’ll miss your freedom and independence and your life will never be the same again!”

I love marriage. I believe God loves marriage. He designed it! I think marriage is completely worth waiting for because it’s amazing. It is totally worth the wait.But I do think that we should go into marriage and live day-by-day in our marriages with the right attitude.

Part of the reason I love Ethan’s vest in the photo above is because we bought it before he was even born. He wanders around now wearing something that we bought, not knowing what or who he would be, but with lots of hopes and dreams and excited anticipation.

Seasons in life are so important. They give us the time and ability to prepare. To get ourselves ready. To do whatever we need to do and work through stuff that is in our lives before we enter the next season. And even in the middle of a season God can teach us, direct us, mould us and stretch us. It seems that whatever stage in life we’re at, there is always something that we are waiting for. Something, that if it’s right, will be worth the wait.

Whether you are single and waiting/hoping/dreaming about being married one day, or you’re newly married, or have been married for a long time…there is always something that God is wanting to do in and through you to improve you and your relationships.

Maybe take the time to read Ephesians 5:22-33 or 1 Corinthians 13. Is there something in those verses that God is speaking to you about? Is there something that he wants to do in or through you in your marriage or in your singleness? Is there an area in your life that you need his help with as you prepare for your next season?

What is it that you are waiting for? Make sure you make the wait worthwhile!

Part two of my thoughts on marriage tomorrow!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


I have a love/hate relationship with shoes.

I love them.

They hate me.

This makes me a little sad :(

I think it probably makes my bank account (and husband) a little relieved!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Ethan's 1st Birthday Weekend Extravaganza!

Warning - this post contains lots of photos! Don't say I didn't warn you!

Cute, but dribbly (pre-official-birthday celebrations)


Unwrapping presents is fun!

Dressed to party

Chillin' with the cousins


Sharing/Steeling Auntie Heather's food!


One of the perks of daddy's job!

Blowing out the birthday candle


Enjoying the applause

Post-cake happiness!

Being dedicated to God

Chatting to daddy


More fun times with cousins


We had a wonderful, fun-filled, action-packed weekend with lots of family and friends. I know Ethan won't remember any of it...but we all had a great time!

Monday, 16 May 2011

My April 2011

Ok, so it's a bit late...but here is a round up of my phone photos from April 2011.
April 2011 phone photos

1. Romantic messages in wooden blocks
2. Tiny bright flowers
3. Birthday bunting
4. A delivery of lots of boxes...
5. ...containing an abundance of Easter eggs...not all for me!
6. A box monster!
7. Rocking his new sun hat
8. Shh! You can't make lots of noise during the Royal Wedding
9. Too cool for...his buggy!
10. Tigger slippers
11. Helping with the housework and putting the dishwasher on
12. The best way to celebrate the Royal cake! Seen here.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Friday, 6 May 2011

Being me

If I'm honest...

...I struggle with comparing myself to others

...I struggle with the fact I still don't feel I really know myself

...I struggle with not feeling that I deserve the nice things

...I struggle with not wanting to blend into the background but not wanting to stand out either

...I struggle with feeling that everyone else has it more together/sorted than me...and usually looks better than me

...I struggle with some aspects of my post-baby body...even though I didn't think I would and don't think I should

...I struggle with not knowing what to do

...and at the moment, I struggle to remember anything!

Thursday, 5 May 2011


What I really want is to share some great photos from Ethan's 1st birthday weekend celebrations...but I'm suffering with a very poorly throat and feeling very sorry for myself and struggling to keep my eyes open.

So, I'll just build the anticipation and make you wait!