In exactly one month, my wife and I will celebrate 2 years of holy matrimony. As most people know, the first 3-5 years are the roughest years of a marriage because there is so much that has to be learned that we haven’t learned yet. This is why I’m very big on reading AND applying what I read especially on a topic that I’m not familiar with. As I am close to turning 29 and I survey the blessings I’ve been afforded to have in my life, I can say confidently that marriage is one of the greatest blessings of my life. I would like to share with you all 5 reasons why marriage has been such a huge blessing to my life:
1. There is an everyday process of being like Jesus in loving my bride as Christ loved the church. Everyday I am confronted with the question of if I’m loving my wife as Christ loved the church. Ephesians 5:25 gives a picture of what Christ’s love for the church looks like. That love is sacrificial. As a husband, I have an obligation to sacrifice whatever is needed to love my wife wholeheartedly. If that means I have to put down some of my own personal desires to make sure my wife is loved as Christ loved the church, then so be it. One thing I’ve learned about marriage is that if you don’t have a mindset of sacrifice, the marriage will not survive. Sacrifice is something that the Lord continues to teach me because I like to have what I want. At the same time, some of those things may need to be sacrificed for the better of my marriage and ultimately relationship with God.
2. Marriage allows me to walk in accountability daily. This is kind of a continuation from point 1, but everyday I have to face the reality of who I am. As a part of that, marriage allows someone to hold me accountable daily for my behavior and attitudes. If you’re not interested in having your behavior checked, I can assure you that marriage is not for you. There have been times in the almost 2 years that I’ve been married that my wife will get on me about something detrimental to who I am. I love it because it keeps me on my toes and in a condition of self-evaluation. As marriage partners, we should be holding each other accountable not out of spite or hate, but out of love. True love holds one another accountable. A part of being accountable is not wearing our feelings on our shoulders when we are rightly held accountable for something we shouldn’t do. I thank God for my wife holding me accountable because it allows me to become a better version of who I am.
3. Marriage has led me to maturity in many facets of my life. One of the shocking realities that I had to come to grips with upon dating and eventually marrying the love of my life is that I wasn’t as mature as I was thought out to be. I’ve learned that being a nice person doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re mature. Maturity has all to do with being the adult in every situation, which includes taking responsibility (not shifting blame) and making decisions not just for yourself but the good of others. Maturity is not an overnight sensation, but a daily process. Even close to 2 years in our marriage, I know that I’m not at the fullest maturity state that I need to be, but I’ve also seen myself grow so much.
4. God has entrusted me with a great responsibility. I’ll admit that this is an area I’ve failed in a lot in the close to 2 years we’ve been married. One of the joys of marriage is that it shows that God has trusted you with some pretty enormous responsibilities. Leading your household, being a husband and father is not something that should be taken lightly. God has basically said to us “it’s mine but I’m trusting you to operate it the way it should be done.” That mindset keeps me humble because it reminds me that my wife nor my child belongs to me. As a matter of fact, the fact that they belong to God should challenge me even more to be a great steward of what God has blessed me with. Therefore, I must do the things necessary to make sure that my family has their basic needs met and are loved. Too many of us treat our families as our own property and don’t show the love we are suppose to show. However, I am determined to do whatever it takes to take care of my family. I ask God quite often to bless me with the tools needed to be a great steward of what He’s blessed with me. It’s a huge responsibility, but with God all things are possible including the care of my family.
5. Finally, marriage has been a blessing to me because in addition to Jesus, I have someone with me on this journey called life. I have someone I can share my deepest pains and burdens with. In this world where most people struggle trusting not only their neighbor but themselves, the value of having someone I can be totally transparent with without judgement is priceless. My wife is my best friend. We laugh, we cry and we share wholeheartedly what’s going on with us. Please don’t take it for granted if you’ve been blessed with that type of confidant in your life. I’m convinced that too many people are suffering in silence because they haven’t identified another human being they can be honest and transparent with. Marriage has blessed me with a wonderful woman that I share my raw feelings with. Let me encourage you to seek God’s direction for someone who you can have raw honesty and transparency with. It’s tough but I believe it can be done even if you aren’t married.
At the end of the day, like I’ve been told many times, marriage is what you make it. Nothing more, nothing less. I vow to view every facet of marriage (the good, the bad and the challenging) as a blessing to my life. I hope that in years to come my wife and I will be able to share with other young couples how we made it and be a source of encouragement for them. Lord, I give you thanks and praise for the life of my wife Lashunna A. Yancey. I pray that you would empower me daily to love my wife as you loved the church. Thank you for the blessing of marriage and I vow forever to treat it as a prized possession belonging to you, in Jesus name, amen!