Y’all I am so excited to share the first in the series “Marriage Talks – Keeping God at the Center.” I wanted to find married couples who would share a bit of their story and advice with us. The idea behind this series is to get a real look at real relationships and to provide lessons and information for people who want to keep God at the center of their relationships. In a world that promotes and admires teen pregnancies and not getting married, I want to share a message about why it matters to have Him in your relationship.
This first interview is a former coworker of mine, Helena, who showed me what a godly woman looked like in the workplace. Despite the challenges and stress, Helena was always kind, gracious and poised. She never let go of her values and helped me find my spiritual feet through the gift of Kyle Idleman’s “Not a Fan” book. I hope you all enjoy Helena’s story. ❤
Tell me about yourselves (name, age, location, how long you’ve been married, how many children, etc.)
My name is Helena. I am 45 and I live in Fairfax Va. I have been married 14 years, and have 3 children, and 5 grandchildren…yes 5!
How did you two meet?
I met my husband at work through a mutual friend.
Tell me your love story.
When we first got married (2002), neither of us knew the Lord in the pardon of our sins. This allowed for 10 years of anger, pain, mistrust, and almost divorce. But I let God in and He changed my life. Through my change, prayers, and God’s will we were able to forgive, trust, and learn to love each other the God loves us…unconditionally! It’s still hard work, but it’s worth every moment!
Tell me about how you set boundaries when you were dating.
Well, I didn’t allow him to meet my kids for 6 months, and even after he met them it wasn’t in a home setting…always in public. Also, he didn’t meet my family for quite some time…I just wanted to be sure we were going to be together (at least for a while) before weaving him completely into my family. Other than that, I think what I/we thought were boundaries were merely statements and/or expressions that diminished in importance over time…that’s probably why things were a bit rough through the years.
What were some lessons learned during dating?
Understand how to set boundaries, and reasonable expectations. Listening vs. hearing when the other is expressing a concern (this really helps when the communication starts to break down).
How did you know this person was “the one”?
He made me feel safe
What tips do you have for the single person? The dating couple? The engaged couple? The newly married couple?
Communicate…communicate…communicate! And not just talk, but listen. It seems trivial and easy to do, but effective communication takes work on the part of the hearer and the speaker. Also, don’t judge each other’s actions by your standard…let God do the judging. Forgive, and forgive completely.
How does keeping God as the center of your relationship work?
It’s the only way it does work. We are humans and have emotions, and the bible tells us we will have trials and we will get angry, but as long as we are able to recall the Word and apply it to the situation, the down time (or angry time) is minimized and we recognize that the enemy wasn’t the other, but the devil himself trying to cause divide. Each instance strengthens our relationship, believe it or not.
Can each one of you share one thing you wish you’d known sooner?
I’ll share two since he’s not here to participate J 1). To put God before my husband – before I turned my life over to Christ, I thought it was the other way around (judgement free zone here). 2). What true forgiveness meant. Once I truly forgave, I was able to live.
Share your favorite scripture.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”
– 1 Peter 5:10 (ESV)
We hope y’all enjoyed this first glimpse into love in action. Let us know what you think or if you’re interested in sharing your advice and perspective as a guest blogger. As always, we love hearing from you! ❤