Hey everyone we’re exited to be back with you every FIRST Monday. Today we have a blog from guest blogger Lakisha Johnson.
My grandparents were married 65 years before my grandfather passed away. He and my Grams (as I called her) were thirteen and fifteen when they married. Mere children and somehow,they managed to stay together all those years. Lean in, it wasn’t easy. See, during the era of my grandparents, you rarely heard of people divorcing. Oh, they’d separate but divorcing really wasn’t a thing. Through raising children that ran into the double digits, most times, to struggling to overcome racism and poverty; marriage wasn’t easy.
But you know this, right? You know the strains and struggle. You know the burdens. You know the sacrifices. You know the weight. Then why are you trying to build your marriage on the backs of your grandparents when you don’t know the half of what it took to make it? Your marriage is your marriage and what worked for them, might not work for you.
Pause and allow me to clarify something … Every marriage is different. I will never tell anyone to stay in a marriage and put up with some of the things my grandparents endured while married in their era. I’m only sharing to encourage you to find what works for your marriage in order to sustain it for 60+ years.
You know why I can share? I’ve been married 22 years, since I was 21 years old. I know the strains of marriage. I know about infidelity, struggle, debt, him not liking me and I couldn’t stand him. I know the harshness of marriage and moving back with my grandparents when I was over it. See, I thought marriage was what I saw in my grandparents. As long as I did my part as the wife, he’d do his part as the husband. As long as we both contributed, came home and functioned things would work. Man was I wrong. Marriage is a whole lot more.
It’s sacrificing, giving, going, shutting up when necessary, speaking up when you have to, apologizing, being, doing, believing, struggling, overcoming, loving, trusting, honoring, praying, fasting, covering, shielding, protecting, compromising, warring in the sprit, destroying yokes, ___________ (you fill in the blank).
This is why you have to stop expecting your marriage to mimic what you saw grandma and granddad or others in your familydo. Your marriage isn’t your grandparent’s marriage. YOU AIN’T BUILT THE SAME! Yeah, I said it. We give up to easy. We throw the deuces as soon as times get hard. We want the forty-thousand-dollar wedding and two-dollar marriage. We argue and put other folk in the business. We get angry and go to social media. Baby, this isn’t your grandparent’s marriage. They were married at 15, raising ten and twenty children off one income in a 3-bedroom house. We got the houses with multiple rooms and yet we’ll still storm out the house after an argument.
Read this carefully … when I say your marriage isn’t your grandparent’s marriage, neither is it your parent’s, his/her parent’s, your sister/brother’s, best friend’s, pastor’s, or anybody else marriage. This is your marriage. You and your spouse have to create a marriage that works for the both of you. Sure, it may look different than what you’ve been accustomed to seeing, that’s okay. Sure, it may not be the way self-help books portrayed, that’s alright. It might not look like the happily ever after movies, it wasn’t meant to.
Your marriage is your marriage. DO WHAT KEEPS YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE HAPPY.
If this means changing your thinking, so be it.
If this means marriage counseling, so be it.
If this means different traditions, so be it.
If this means moving, so be it.
You owe it to yourself and each other because the length of a marriage means nothing when you’re both on opposite ends of it. Marriage isn’t about being perfect. Marriage isn’t about worshipping him or bowing down to her. Marriage isn’t happy wife, happy life … marriage is healthy spouses, surviving houses. It’s about loving each other enough to ensure you’re meeting each other’s needs. Marriage is caring for the other when they’re sick, knowing when something is off by their tone or knowing what they will or will not eat. Marriage is about compromise and making choices together. Marriage is about getting angry but not leaving and admitting when you’re wrong. Marriage is apologizing and saying I love you. Marriage is about the simple things like getting to your car to see your husband has made sure to put your umbrella in there because it’s raining and today is your beauty shop day. Marriage is when your wife doesn’t fuss every time you leave the toilet seat up.
Marriage isn’t for show, but it should be for sure. And if you get nothing else from this, glean one point … your marriage is YOUR marriage.
Ephesians 5:33, “Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”