Marriage is what brings us together today….

by mendibpng

So here’s my hypothesis (I am not a researcher, more of a ‘thinking outloud-er’ kind of person!) When I live in my home country, I have various things that help me desensitize myself to the real issues of life. I have a lot of props there that are not available to me in PNG.  For instance, if I’ve had a frustrating day with my kids, I can call on the grandparents to come over and babysit while I take a much needed trip to Walmart.  There are so many things embedded here, but I’ll point out a few of the perks for us back home in the US: 1) availability of parental units 2) being able to get in a car alone and drive, drive, drive….(here in PNG it is not advisable for women to drive off center or walk at night on their own) 3) Walmart…need I say more?   When all these props are gone, I am left with myself, dealing.

When I was newly married, a former missionary told me that I needed to look at the props I had set up in my life. Where did I go when life was hard? Shopping? TV? Talk on the phone with a friend? What kinds of things did I do for fun?  He urged me to think about what I would do when these things were ripped from me.  I don’t think he said “ripped from me” but that’s the idea I had in my head when he said it.

Being married to Ben is the best and hardest thing in my life.  We came from different worlds culturally.  We were brought up by different parents.  We have different gifts and abilities.  But in recent years, it seems that we’ve been able to notice more.  About ourselves, and about the other person.  I think we’ve been asking more questions and gaining more self-awareness. And this has helped us appreciate those maddening qualities that were so attractive in the first place!  The deeper we get, the less props we have to run to, the better our marriage is.  The more God is in the middle of it.

We still have our moments where we don’t get along or we say hurtful things to each other. But I think the difference now is that we know where to go. We know what strategies for handling stress work for us together as a couple and individually. Maybe grace and mercy are a little more a part of our lives as well.

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2 Comments to “Marriage is what brings us together today….”

  1. Interesting prospective on marriage, Mandy. Thanks for sharing it. (I like your Living Lettters.) Uncle Arthur and I have been married for 49 years and we are so blessed. Of course we know that is the Lord’s doing, but it’s so special to grow together through the years and to “weather the world” hand-in-hand, fully convinced that God is in control. Right now the challenges are physical. Uncle Arthur is recovering from open heart surgery and we have two relatives who have been smacked with horrible issues. A 28-year-old is recovering from a paralyzing stroke and an 18 month-old has a rare form of liver cancer. Please pray for Joseph. He has been on chemotherapy for several months. The tumor has shrunk enough that he’ll have surgery on Friday, but it’s high rish. Love, Aunt Hope

  2. Mandy, I really enjoyed your thoughts. My hubby and I celebrate 10 years this year. Years 8 and 9 have been the hardest with the perpetual need machienes (small children) eating up all extra energy. I priase God for perserverence in Christain marriage. It makes the celebrations al that sweeter!

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