Thursday, February 16, 2012
High School Sweethearts
Teachers of Good things is a series of interviews we will be conducting on Tuesdays and Thursdays here at Ruby in the Rough. It is our goal with these interviews to follow the instructions found in Titus 2:3-5 for the "older women" to teach the younger women good things such as: loving their husbands, keeping their home, and conducting themselves with all purity both before and after marriage.
Today I am featuring an interview with the woman who has had the greatest impact on my view of marriage--my mother. Having a mom who loves the Lord, honors her husband, and patiently serves her family has been a tremendous blessing to me. As we worked through this interview I realized that she really had a lot more to share than would fit into a single post, so starting in the near future she will be doing a weekly guest post on specific housekeeping topics, following the (general) outline of things that she lists in the fourth interview question.
As a single woman, before a serious relationship, what were some practical things you did to focus more on the Lord and less on guys and romance?
I don’t remember being interested in boys at all really. I had brothers. They were just guys. Maybe I’m strange… Plus, I did not have a long wait period to meet my man. We met in high school our Junior year.
Around the time I turned 13, my family started going to a Bible church that had 6 classes a week: 3 on Sunday and 1 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. As a family we were in the word a lot. Personally things I did to focus on the Lord were: play hyms on the piano and sing to the Lord; I read books of a spiritual nature; memorized Bible verses; that kind of thing.
How to focus more on the Lord and less on guys? Stay busy serving the Lord, serving your family; serving in the church.
What steps did you take after you met your future spouse (during dating/ courtship/ engagement) to keep your focus on the LORD first?
My focus during our dating time was on Jeff. It seemed to be nearly impossible to think about anything else.
When we met and for the first year, he did not know the Lord. Through a series of painful events the Lord worked in his life and January of our senior year Jeff came to know the Lord. It was NOT because I was focused on the Lord. After Jeff became a Christian, we enjoyed being able to share spiritual things. His passion for the Lord encouraged me to focus on Jesus again.
How do you think single woman should pursue/prepare for marriage?
Learn to cook.
Serve your family. Make friends with your siblings. Learning to live with your siblings, will teach you a lot about life.
Develop the habit of having a morning quiet time with the Lord. Focus on the Lord BEFORE your man ever comes along.
In what area were you the least [and/or most] prepared to be a wife?
I knew how to cook and clean. Jeff and I were like minded in every area. We were best friends. Any troubles we had between us were taken care of before marriage. I felt prepared, eager and ready and we just learned things together.
What would you have done differently [and/or what you did] as a single woman to prepare for this?
Well, one thing I have observed my daughter Sophie do, that I didn’t, is she has done tons of research on Singleness and on marriage and on parenting. The internet is a lovely thing that I didn’t have at the time. There are more books available now. I didn’t do any research ahead of time. I didn’t purposely prepare at all but I didn’t really FEEL unprepared.
An example of how Sophie did it different than me: before she got married she was eating a diet that would help grow a healthy baby. I didn’t even know there was such a thing :-)
Things that are handy to know:
Staying in a budget
Nutrition and Exercise and How to take care of yourself
Making home made bread
Making home made yogurt
Growing your own sprouts
Prayer, Bible reading, How to have a quiet time
What does being a helpmate look like in your marriage?
I have learned from my husband to have a servants heart. He has the policy of “If Mom isn’t happy then no one is happy.” He is ALWAYS doing things for me. He cooks. He cleans. He plays with the kids. He is interested in the things that interest me. After watching him over the years, I have started to have a servants heart (I think maybe). I know that this question was asked of me as a wife BUT I learned to be a helpmate by watching my sweet husband.
To me being a helpmate means having a servants heart. Be careful to give expectations to the Lord. As the stay-at-home wife, I try to have supper ready. I’m not great at keeping the house clean but I consider that a responsibility. I grocery shop and stay within my grocery budget.. I take care of the kids and (since we home school) I teach them.
What was the biggest surprise to you after marriage?
I think the hardest lesson I had to learn the first year (and even now) is that Boys and Girls are different and that difference is OK. I’m thinking about the areas of: what we need, what we want, how we communicate.
For the first year of marriage I thought there was something wrong with me because I didn’t want physical intimacy as often as he did. (Hope this isn’t too blunt. But this was something that had me very upset the first year). The thing that solved this for me was a book. The book was a blessing from God. “His Needs, Her Needs” by Harley. It’s one of those books that is good to read every year. It’s been a while since I read it but It was definitely a life changing book. I can’t remember if it would be OK to read BEFORE marriage, but definitely after. Actually, as newlyweds you probably naturally take care of each other’s needs but it was good for me to learn that there was nothing wrong with me.
Here are some of the chapter titles:
The first thing she can’t do without—Affection. The first thing He can’t do without—sexual fulfillment;
She needs him to talk to her—Conversation. He needs her to be his playmate—recreational companionship.
She needs to trust him totally—honesty and openness. He needs a Good-looking wife—an attractive spouse.
She needs enough money to live comfortably—financial support. He needs peace and quiet—Domestic support.
She needs him to be a good father—Family commitment. He needs her to be proud of Him—Admiration.
There are some questionnaires in the back that help with communication and getting to know each others needs. I’m thinking there was a workbook that we may have gone through years ago.