Today I am pleased to feature an interview with Amanda Rhoades, bride of Jonathan Rhoades and new mother to Abigail. Amanda has been a good friend for many years, and married my brother just a few weeks before my own wedding. As Valentines Day is on Tuesday,
I am posting this interview a few days early. The next interview will be posted on Thursday, at the regular time.
I will be the first to admit I was not very good at this. But I think what helped the most was meditating on and memorizing scripture. When my mind was occupied with His word there wasn't room for daydreaming about romance and who my guy was going to be. It's like a battery though (and one of those cheap ones too!) that you have to replace all the time because, although it worked really well for a little while, I had to keep going back to the Word to get focused again. It was not a one time thing. And again, I'll wasn't the best at this :)
What steps did you take after you met your future spouse (during dating/courtship/engagement) to keep your focus on the LORD first?
That's a hard one. When your emotion are going crazy and you're head over heels with the most amazing person....well yeah it's not easy. But I focused on thanking God for giving me that amazing person. Think of it this way: If, when you were little, your mom made you this big chocolate cake all for you! Wouldn't you cover her face with chocolate smeared kisses? If you remember that GOD started the relationship, it's a good step towards letting him lead it.
How do you think single woman should pursue/prepare for marriage?
There are practical ways and spiritual ones, and they should all be practiced before marriage till you are confident. (of course my list will be missing some things) I think a girl should learn to cook and well. She's most likely going to need it and as they say "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach!" Something I wished I had figured out before is a good time management for the home. How much time needs to be set aside for this laundry or for food prep to have everything ready at a decent hour. I think with the rise of feminism people have gotten so scared of stereotyping girls that we don't end up getting the "Home Ec" education our grandmothers got that helped them get a handle on all this.
On a more spiritual note, I think women should make sure they have solid habits formed before the wonderful chaos of merging lifestyles. Make sure you know your goals for memorizing scripture, studying, spending time with the Lord. Learn to value them and prioritize them. Then when you meet that man you can make sure you are on the same page. He should be the spiritual leader but dragging along someone who doesn't prioritize spiritual growth would be hard on him.
In what area were you the least [and/or most] prepared to be a wife?
Oh great. Now I have to share my weaknesses with you all. The things I emphasize above are probably areas I didn't do so well and am now having to struggle to learn. Except cooking. I'm a really good cook. The way to my husband's heart is well paved :P
What does being a helpmate look like in your marriage?
We have a very traditional marriage, I think. I stay home (and am ecstatic to) with our daughter and tend to the house. I cook, clean etc... (course Jonathan helps me with both of those on occasion in the evening. Ahhh. good man). P We also decide together the big things, Jobs, ministry opportunities, etc... Making sure people see I respect and admire him.
What was the biggest surprise to you after marriage?
How fast you can get pregnant! :P
What is one thing about men you learned after marriage?
Well in my case, I'm married to a man who is not sentimental at all. Now, that's not to say he doesn't realize that I am, and he is very careful with that. However, when it comes to keeping the little moss pillow I made for the ring bearer at our wedding, he has no clue why I would want to do that. It's served it's purpose now we can/should toss it! :) (No little moss pillows were harmed in the making of this marriage)