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Submission in my marriage

07/20/2016 - Author: Jennifer

Lessons for DeclanI have struggled writing this. Other bloggers have done it better. (I have linked two of my favorite bloggers at the end). I have to say that reading wiser bloggers have caused me to reevaluate what it means to be submissive, and I am grateful for them. I would love to meet them and thank them, but alas, this will have to do. Thank you Sheila and Sarah.

I don’t want to bash Matt. (He is better. We are better). I don’t know that I can fully wrap my head around submission. However, my husband Matt did write about it. I said I would. So here it goes.

What I have learned from smarter, wiser women who love God and live to serve Him:

  • Doesn’t mean he makes all decisions–compromise is to be made. In our early years of marriage, what Matt wanted, Matt got. He wouldn’t think of how it would make me feel or how his decisions or words affected US.
  • Doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion
  • He isn’t smarter than me. 
  • I am not inferior. Yes, he is better at some things than others,  but we help each other in areas that we are better, not hurt each other or put each other down. 
  • I don’t have to feel guilty and it is not a sin to have opinions and even be right and my husband be wrong. 

What we did was emotional abusive and has fractured trust. I definitely do not believe that this was showing the love of Jesus to each other and the world. I still struggle and scratch my head at what we were led to believe. Growing up, nobody talked about husbands dying, but wives submit. I am not kidding. Nobody ever talked about Ephesians 5:25-32. Why didn’t the church say that women have value or worth other than to work the nursery? My husband’s actions were encouraged. I just don’t get it. I do not want my son to ever see this. I want him to value the roles that men and women have in church and the world. I want him to respect both genders equally.

The old ways of living out our intrepretation of submission has caused dreams to be crushed and caused low self-esteem.  I am sad to say that there wasn’t anyone until recently who tried to straighten this mess out. What I mean is that there was never any teaching or preaching against what Matt was doing and how we were living our marriage. Nobody seemed to be in a big hurry to correct how we interpreted it.

Since we have gone through marriage counseling, our marriage is healthier now that we are trying to value each others opinions.

What does submission look like in our marriage now? Since we have started the rebuilding of our marriage and I have gained insight from wise women, I believe that submission means helping each other out–be a team for the better of our marriage. It is believing that wives have a voice that husbands should respect (and dare I say adore and appreciate)? It means serving God together with our own talents and gifts. It means listening. It means compromise.

My husband Matt is way better and we have a healthier partnership. I am grateful.

So can I ask you a couple of questions? What does submission look like in your marriage? Were you raised with the word submission, and if so, what were you taught? I really want to hear your thoughts.

 

Be blessed 🙂

 

In which I disagree with Candace Cameron Bure about “biblical marriage”

http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com

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Learning to Fight

06/24/2015 - Author: Jennifer

This month, Matt and I will be celebrating 13 years of marriage. This is the first year that I have a goal. My goal is to fight correctly with my husband. Yup. Some background.

My husband and I were having an argument that I can’t remember about what. During it, I said that we don’t even want common ground, each of us just want to be right. Then my husband said “let’s fix that.” People, that shut me up. I can’t believe that this man actually wants to do this.

I have to be honest–I don’t know how or what that looks like in my marriage. It is sad. I won’t lie–it has broken me a little (a lot). Our arguments/fights are about proving who is right and no compromise. We don’t try to find even ground.

IMG_20140503_184239In the past, with our misguidance and misrepresentations about submission (that is another post for another time) and leadership in the home, what Matt wanted is what we did. If he thought it was right, we did it. Let me tell you, it is a hard place to be. I don’t have a lot of confidence. I don’t have trust in him (due to other things). I feel low. I know, I know, only I can make myself feel this way, but when you don’t have anyone telling you different and the person you love and vowed to stay married to for better or for worse treats you and your opinions like they don’t matter, well, a huge part of me died. It also doesn’t help when he has people who support him. (I am not kidding).

Sure, my husband is book intelligent, so yeah, he has smarts and knows stuff. Guess what? So do I and I crave for him to acknowledge when I am right or that I am better at some things than he is.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want him to keep opinions to himself or crush his ideas. Sometimes, they are great and helpful. I don’t want my marriage to be a dictatorship. I want there to be equality. There needs to be reconciliation.

How do we fight towards a solution? For us, I think it starts with being open-minded. I also need to believe the best of Matt. I need to choose to believe that he isn’t always being selfish, and that he really wants resolution or what is best.

So that is my goal for this year (and all of the years after). To learn to fight, but not because I think that I am right, but to come to an understanding. For Matt and I to be on the same page and not do battle to prove who is right.

Be blessed 🙂

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The Unveiled Wife book giveaway

03/23/2015 - Author: Jennifer

 

There are bloggers who really want to help others and tell you about God, but there are few that are so transparent and vulnerable and helpful as Unveiled Wife. People, she and her husband over at Husband Revolution are honest, and frankly, needed. I need to read about real life, not just generic marriage statement that marriage is hard. I am also tired of reading that if you work at it and have God in the center/above all, it will work out. I am not going to say that this isn’t true, but I find you relatable if you tell me what you endured — not fluff it up — and how God healed your marriage. When you are honest about the ugly, then I can believe that God has made your marriage beautiful. When you tell me what your struggles are/were and how you are healing/healed/still being refined, well, honestly, God is more believable. It is easier to believe that God can restore. Your belief in God is more real. This blogger does it and she wrote a book. Unveiled Wife is raw and honest, but not oversharing. I appreciate her not skimming over the hard and ugly stuff.

In her book, The Unveiled Wife, she tells you about her struggles with pride, anger, doubt, insecurity, addiction, and other stuff. She wants to encourage you with her story of healing and refinement. She isn’t perfect and never will be, and she doesn’t try to tell you that she is. (See what I mean by relatable? I totally get her!).  There is no false hope of perfection. Just a story of how her marriage was hard and how she had to let go A LOT and let God work in her. Jennifer does not lie and say that she still doesn’t have some struggles, BUT she does have hope. She let’s us know that we are not alone. I take comfort in this. I need relatability (is that a word?) for you to be believable. Her story shows you there is a God who wants to heal and help, but it takes surrender.

This book of 30 chapters (don’t let that overwhelm you, they are easy to read) is fantastic! (I could probably write a blog post on each chapter because I so get her and you probably will too). Your struggles may not be identical, but you will definitely take something away from it.

So now–the giveaway! I have 2 copies of The Unveiled Wife book to giveaway. All you have to do is follow the instructions to be entered. 2 winners will be contacted by email if you are the winner.

Thanks for stopping by and be blessed 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Unveiled Wife Book Review

03/02/2015 - Author: Jennifer

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If you have been around here, then you know I have had the privilege of stumbling across Jennifer’s blog Unveiled Wife. When I found it, I was looking for resources that focused on wives, not motherhood. Please do not misunderstand me–I enjoy being a mom and there are a lot of good resources out there, but as a new mom, I wanted something to help me focus on my most important relationship here on earth: my marriage. I did not want to neglect my husband like I see so many moms do, which usually leads to a decline in the marriage (or sadly, the end of the marriage). I did not want that to happen. So, when I did a search, Unveiled Wife was found and I have been following her blog since due to her honesty, vulnerability, encouragement, and how God uses her to help me be a better wife. Well, this has taken me on a journey I could not of expected! One of them is contributing some articles to Unveiled Wife in the hopes of helping other wives.

So, when I learned that she was writing a book, I wanted to help spread the word because I knew it was going to be good, especially after going through her devotional. I knew it was a story that needed to be shared. I knew that her story would help marriages just as her blog is doing. Here is what you get when you read The Unveiled Wife:

  • A love story between Aaron, Jennifer, and God who never gave up.
  • Bravery as she tells her story of the struggles she and her husband endured in the early years of their marriage.
  • Vulnerability as she opens herself up to us and admits where she needed to be “unveiled”.
  • Encouragement in the fact that you are not alone as a wife with struggles.
  • Hope because she shows you how God never left her or abandoned their marriage.

There are times that I felt like my heart was breaking for her. There are times when I cringed because I understood what she was saying. I related to how she felt lonely, isolated, ashamed, angry, frustrated, doubtful if their marriage should have happened, and questioning God, all while being a newlywed.  If we are honest, I believe that we have all walked those paths as humans, not just wives. I have questioned God’s existence, but like Jennifer experienced, He never stops pursing us.

The book is broken down into small chapters with questions at the end of each chapter. I honestly did not think that I would care about the chapters since I did not have her exact struggles, but I was wrong. Jennifer dares to ask tough questions that I challenge all wives to honestly answer. She asks what causes you to be “unveiled”? I never thought that this was an issue, but whoa….she has me thinking. The Unveiled Wife bravely tells her story of refinement and just how hard it is, but worth it. I believe that every wife, no matter how long you have been married or where you are in your marriage, can benefit. I encourage you to buy a copy of The Unveiled Wife, but until then, here is a preview–you can download the introduction and Chapter 1 for free!!!!!! Also, check back here soon because I will be hosting a giveaway of The Unveiled Wife. I hope you will stop by.

Be blessed 🙂

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Prayed for Future Husband, Praying for Now Husband

01/12/2015 - Author: Jennifer

Screenshot 2015-01-12 22.57.09Ladies, I know I am not alone. We are told from a young age to pray for your future husbands. We are told to make a list and tell God (basically recite it). Now, I am not saying to not tell God what you think you want. I did it. It sounded so spiritual and Scriptural (Psalm 37:4 anyone)? This was easy for me. (I don’t remember praying for my role as a wife very often, oddly enough). Now that I have been married for a dozen years, I have been humbled by a real lesson:

Pray for future husband=easy. Praying for the man I married and for my marriage=hard.

Not that I have never prayed for my husband or marriage–I have intermittently. They have ranged from blissful lovey-dovey (thank you God for my marriage), asking for God’s favor (please bless this marriage), to desperate (God save my marriage!).

I have asked God a couple of questions when I have prayed:

  • God who is THIS man?
  • Why did THIS happen?
  • Why did I marry him? (I will say that I feel the advice to remember why you got married in the 1st place feels ill-advised when I am going thru a hard season. People change and if he isn’t the same man anymore, I need a new reason).
  • WHO am I? I don’t remember anymore.

I have also been bossy and told God what to do (He is God. He can handle my bossiness):

  • Since You allowed this to happen, help me!
  • My husband does not meet my list/needs/wants that I prayed for or meets my expectations. Open his eyes.
  • He doesn’t get me anymore. Please tell him what I need since me talking is not working.

Why is it hard to pray for my husband? Why do I not devote sometime EVERYDAY to praying for someone that I made a covenant with and promised to forsake everyone else? I have a list of excuses:

  • Facing an unknown diagnosis/future for our son
  • Selfishness
  • Pride
  • Feeling defeated
  • Doubt
  • Life gets in the way. (Social commitments, church, family, etc.).
  • Health issues
  • Family issues (mine and his).

In all fairness, I do also fail to to consistently pray for me. I am a work in progress. I have no excuses.

I type this for a couple of reasons.

  1. I want to be honest and say that praying for my marriage is something I struggle with and I hope that I am not alone.
  2. Go ahead and tell God what you want, but you might be surprised. I married a man completely opposite of what I thought I wanted and honestly needed. Yes, I know saying needed will offend people, but I am just trying to live and learn where He leads and marriage is one of the ways He is refining me. I am trying to go with it.
  3. I can not give up! I can’t give up on this marriage when I don’t get my way or when times are hard.
  4. The Bible says to not stop praying. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Wives are you with me? Let’s commit not making any more excuses and be consistent in praying for the most important relationship here on earth?

Be blessed 🙂

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A Fearful Wife

12/13/2014 - Author: Jennifer

When you see this title, maybe you thought about fearing God. That is a good thing to do, but that is not what I a talking about here.

I have in the past wrote about 3’s a crowd. Today, I talk about something else that crowds its way into my marriage–a confession really.

I hope you stop over at Unveiled Wife today, check out the article, then offer any advice you have.

Be blessed 🙂2014-05-01 19.30.07

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The V Word

09/04/2014 - Author: Jennifer

The V Word

 

I recently read an article where the writer had talked about her regrets over not having sex before she was married. Not only did she have regrets, but she had guilt on her honeymoon. As I was reading it, I felt sad for her, and there were a couple of other things that stood out to me.

She said she lost her virginity when she got married. I was a virgin when I got married, but I didn’t lose my virginity–I gave it to my husband. I considered it a gift to him. I can honestly say that I feel that Matt’s virginity is the best gift he gave me. He saved it for me, and I for him. What an honor. When you lose something, you want it back. You can say I surrendered my virginity on my honeymoon.

She had guilt. Ok, this one I could almost relate to. If I didn’t have a friend to talk to before I was married, I would probably have felt guilty also.  I can understand that churches will put the fear of God in you with the purity pledges and whatever else they scare you with. I don’t think churches emphasize emotional bonding that comes with sex–that you leave a piece of yourself with every sexual partner. I felt sad for the writer because instead of having one of the most amazing, once-in-a-lifetime bonding experiences with her husband, instead she felt only guilt about losing her virginity.

I was raised in church and I feel like I was given the myth that you will have a perfect marriage if you both are virgins. If you don’t have sex until you are married, then you will have an amazing marriage. Yes, my husband and I were both virgins when we married. Does that mean we didn’t have issues? No. Does that mean we had the best sex ever on our honeymoon? Well, I guess, but only because we didn’t have sex before. What am I most grateful for? That my performance isn’t compared to anyone else. It is hard enough to deal with my husband’s porn addiction and all that comes with it. I am so glad I don’t have a real experience to compete with.

She said she would of had sex when her husband was her boyfriend, if she could do it all over again. I would be surprised if she didn’t have guilt then. Her source of guilt is not being a virgin until she was married. She felt guilty because she was caught up in the rules of the church. Being a virgin when you get married is not your ticket to heaven and not being a virgin when you are married does not send you to hell. Not having a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus sends you to hell.

I don’t known if churches today talk about sex or not. I do know that sex does not seem to be not a big deal in church today. What do I mean by that? A lot of people in the church are having casual sex. I don’t get it. How.do.you.have.casual.sex? How do you treat sex like it is no big deal instead of a gift? This makes me sad.

I have no regrets about saving my virginity for my husband. I don’t think that makes me a better Jesus follower. In the end, being a virgin when you get married has benefits, but it should not become an idol.

Anyway, just some of my thoughts from an article.

Be blessed:)

 

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Why Get Dressed

04/08/2014 - Author: Jennifer

Why Get Dressed

When I became a mom and chose to stay home, I made a decision–I was going to get dressed.

Before I had my son, I would notice a lot of moms say they don’t care, don’t have time, wasn’t worth it when you don’t go anywhere (ummm….I see you out of the house) anywho… or they wear what is comfortable. What I saw was sad looking. They looked depressed. They looked sad when they say that being a mom is a good thing and are happy with where they are in life.  They looked tired (and probably are).

I personally do not believe in having “good yoga pants” or whatever. I also believe that if you wear clothes that are meant to work out in, then exercise. If you have clothes for lounging in, then please, lounge at home. Let’s make being a wife look appealing. Let’s make motherhood look fabulous, not depressing, dowdy, sad, or frumpy. I am not saying spend a lot of money or time, just a little effort.

Why I think that getting dressed is important:

  • I feel better. It helps my mood
  • I want to be an example for girls and my son–that being a wife and mom does not mean you have to “let yourself go”
  • I like looking good for my husband. Wearing pants that button and zip can communicate I love you, you are important, and you are worth some time
  • I.am.worth.it.
  • I don’t think it is sinful. Let me expand on that. Yes, I know that we shouldn’t judge how people look on the outside. No, we shouldn’t make fashion or make-up,etc an idol. We HAVE to wear clothes and I am not saying go in debt, but please, putting in effort should not be considered sinful.
  • Your husband appreciates it. You put effort when you were dating, so don’t stop.
  • Fashion can be an expression of who you are and what you like.
  • Remember who you were before kids. Before becoming a wife. Don’t forget who your husband fell in love with.

There will be times when you oversleep, kids get sick on you, etc. but can we please make that the exception and not the rule? Looking back, I appreciate my home-schooling mom who did get dressed everyday and I don’t remember her going out in pants that had elastic waistbands. Thank you mom!

Now, maybe because I live in a college town, but I have to get this out there. Husbands–if you are willing to spend over $50 on a sweatshirt to show what team you support, then please, be willing to spend a little on a shirt or jacket to wear when you go out with your wife.

I know that it can seem exhausting or seem useless sometimes, but maybe having a different attitude can help. You are worth it. Your husband is worth it. Your kids are worth it.

Be blessed 🙂

 

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Is There Really A Purpose To Marriage?

04/01/2014 - Author: Jennifer

I had the privilege of chatting with Unveiled Wife about Day 1 in her devotional Wife After God. You can click here to see the video. I wanted to expand on it a little bit.

I need to live less selflessly. I can’t serve expecting something in return. I can’t serve thinking that I am the better spouse. I have to stop thinking of ways that Matt can be better and how I can help him be better. I need to let God take care of him. If He wants to use me, then I am honored.  I also need to pray for me to be a better wife. I believe that being a better wife is being a better servant to Jesus.

It is true that I have never thought about marriage serving a purpose. Jennifer really did open my eyes to see that it does! How cool is that? That God would allow my marriage to be used for Him? (If I let Him). How amazing is it that one of the biggest blessings from Him can be a tool for Him? Ummm…sure! It never occurred to me that marriage can mirror God’s love–marriage can tell God’s love story. How did I miss this?! Ephesians 5:22-33 talks about it, but all I ever heard was how wives should submit. (People usually don’t talk about how husbands are to die for their wives, but, that is another topic).

Jennifer asked me something that God has taught me. One of the lessons is that Satan is the enemy, not Matt. Another one that I want to focus on is that God is always there. I remember hearing that growing up in Church, but it was usually in relation to sin. To me, it seemed like God was looking down ready to punish me when I sinned. I felt like church people were trying to help me not sin and disappoint God. Then I read it in the book To Walk or Stay by Lara Williams and saw it in another way. I saw grace. Then I didn’t give anymore thought until it hit me in the head. However, I can honestly say that I HAVE FELT GOD WITH ME when I followed His will and when I have not. When I doubt. When I fear. When I am faithful and obedient to His Word. When I use harsh words. When I have bad thoughts. When I have tried to leave my marriage. When I go to counseling. He.is.always.there. He never left me. When I asked God “Do I really have to do this?” and I already knew the answer. God taught me/proved to me that He didn’t show up–He was already there and always is. [Really, I cringe when people pray for God to show up. I am ok if, like me, you ask Him to reveal what He wants or prove Himself (again). I am thankful for grace. OK–enough ranting].

Another way that my marriage is a mirror of God’s love is grace. I am giving it and so is my husband. Jesus does this daily for me, so it is only right that it goes into my marriage.

Yes, I know that all marriages need grace and selflessness, but for some people, grace comes a whole lot easier for them than it does for me. There are wives out there who serve joyfully with ease. I am too lazy and selfish for that sometimes. Maybe sacrifice is a way your marriage tells people about Jesus and His love for you, me, and them. Maybe it is something else.

I can’t tell you how grateful I am to Jennifer’s obedience to serving God with Unveiled Wife. I encourage wives out there to get the devotional. It might be hard to do, but worth it!

Also, thank you Jennifer for taking the time to chat and for the opportunity to serve in the Unveiled Wife community.

Be blessed 🙂

P.S. I do roll my eyes a lot, but it is not because I am bored. I assure you. I have a tic and my eyes do that and I don’t even notice it.

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A Secret I wish I knew before I Married

01/05/2014 - Author: Jennifer

Secret to happy marriage

I was debating and procrastinating about writing this. I mean, my husband Matt and I are going through one of our hardest seasons in our marriage and attending counseling. I felt like I would be a fraud writing for this. I struggled with wanting to be a part of this so I could feel like I was “fitting in” or one of the “cool kids”. I wonder if wives really want to read what I have to say? I feel unworthy and not-equipped, but the truth is….I am still happy being Matt’s wife.

If there was just one secret I would like wives to know is to remember that your husband is human, and a sinner, just.like.you. He will disappoint you when he fails. You can not depend on your husband to make you happy. Yup. He can’t do it. Nobody can. If you would have told me that any of this would of been me before I married, I would not have believed you. As a newlywed, I would have politely nodded, smiled, and said “whatever’ in my mind. (You can say that marriage has humbled me). I was so disappointed, and honestly, confused, when Matt made me so mad. I would blame him for my unhappiness. Yes, sometimes he was the cause and there are times I have made him unhappy, but to put that kind of pressure on him was wrong.

You are not perfect and you need to not expect your husband to be. He will fail. You will too. Learn, grow, and love through it all. I am not saying to make excuses, but don’t place each other on a pedestal. If you expect perfection, you will be disappointed. There have been times when Matt and I have had to choose happiness instead of discontentment.

I am still happier being a wife than when I was single, even though Matt and I are crawling our way out of the trenches. We have had to not heap guilt on each other, but instead offer grace. I would still do it again. Marriage has made me more selfless and has grown me as a woman. I am more empathetic and more sympathetic. Yes, women can grow in those ways without being a wife, but I feel that this is the path God laid out for me, so I am trying to be obedient to what He wants me do. I believe that being obedient to God by staying in my marriage is why I am still a happy wife.

Marriage is hard, but I do believe that it was designed by God. He didn’t say it would be easy, and I don’t think that His original design for anything was to be hard, but we have sin. If marriage (or anything really) was easy, He would not be needed in my life. Since He designed marriage, I am going to try and let Him keep doing what designers do–make things beautiful.

Be blessed:)

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PS–Fawn from Happy Wives Club wrote a book and I am so excited for my copy to get here! Check it out!

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