Tomorrow, April 11, 2016, represents the 2nd anniversary of my marriage to the beautiful Lashunna Yancey. My life has drastically changed for the better since saying “I do” in the sanctuary of the Elon First Baptist Church at around 12:10pm April 11, 2014. As with any marriage, we’ve been through the typical “first 3-5 years” drama that most couples go through. However, by God’s grace, our marriage is getting stronger and stronger each day. God has been so faithful to us. Today I want to share four lessons I’ve learned since becoming a husband. I pray these lessons bless and encourage you.
- Being a husband is a joy and a responsibility. I’ve said many many times that marriage has required me to mature in various ways. One way is in the avenue of responsibility. To be responsible for something means to put it in your care. God has blessed me with the responsibility to be a husband and lead my family. This responsibility is nothing to be played with. Every decision I make doesn’t just affect me, but also affects my wife. With our society looking for leadership especially male leadership, my role as a husband is critical in terms of the growth of my family. While being a husband is a responsibility, it is also one of the joys of my life. To be able to come home each and every day to a woman that loves me so much makes life a little less stressful. The joy I feel daily in spite of the struggles resonates in the gratitude I have that God has entrusted me with such a huge responsibility. Brothers, please do not go into marriage thinking lightly of your role. Your role is much bigger than being the head of your home; being a husband means showing the sacrificial love that Christ showed the church, which is the next lesson I want to talk about.
- My love for my wife should be the love Christ showed the church. Again, the love that Christ showed the church is sacrificial. In other words, Christ was willing to give up his rights so that His church could have life and life more abundantly. As a husband, I must have a sacrificial attitude that is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that my wife and family are loved and cherished to the utmost. There will be times in the journey where you’ll have to do something that you really don’t want to do, but you know that it is best for the relationship. One of the vows we make is to love our wives through sickness and health. What happens when your wife is sick, needs to go to the emergency room but you want to watch that football game? You ideally want to watch the game, but the well-being of your wife supersedes any recreational activity going on. When I said “I do” to my wife 2 years ago, I took on a lifestyle that will give whatever it takes to make sure my wife is loved at the level that Christ loved the church. If you’re a man considering marriage, please evaluate if you have the sacrificial mindset to go into the journey of marriage.
- I am creating a legacy to be passed on to the next generation. This is a point that I think a lot of people miss, but we must remember that EVERYONE is watching us. There are children who are pondering marriage watching me to see how I treat my wife and family. What they see from me can determine if they want to get married in the future or not. One of the reasons why some people are hesitant to get married is because of what they saw in their parents’ marriage. Everything that I do in my marriage, whether good or bad, sends a message to everyone watching me. This reality makes me evaluate my every move especially in my behavior towards my wife and family. Future generations are hanging in the balance based on how we do in our marriages today.
- It’s about progress over perfectionism. I want to be very honest with you all: I still struggle daily with the idea of feeling “worthy” to be a husband. I’m not sure if this is part of something deeper or an acknowledgment of the huge weight being a husband carries. Every day I’m learning that with anything it’s not about everything going perfect, but about making daily progress. Some of the mistakes I made in the first year of marriage I’m not making as often now. This will continually be the process as the years go on. Therefore, when I make mistakes (not if I make mistakes), it is counterproductive for me to be hard on myself. The best thing for me to do is be honest about my mistake and make adjustments not to make the same mistake again. Like anything in life, you’re not going to master marriage overnight. There are couples who’ve been married for 20+ years and will tell you that they’re still learning the ins and outs of marriage. If you can go from 20 arguments a month to 10, that’s progress! For every bit of progress made, celebrate it!
I share these lessons not from a position of being an expert, but as one continuing to learn every day the keys to maintaining a God-honoring marriage. I am grateful each day for the life of my wife Lashunna Yancey. She has been and continues to be a huge blessing to me and our family. My life has improved tremendously. I’ve made a ton of mistakes and bad decisions since we’ve been married, but through it all she continues to love me and push me to be the best person I can be. I pray that year 3 will be even better than the first two years have been. Lashunna, I love you and I thank God for you each day that I’m alive!