For the month of February, my husband Tony and I are co writing on the blog. The topic is marriage and we are excited for the opportunity to share from the perspective of the husband and the wife. We hope that one or both will speak to you.
A story from Lisa
As I typed in the topic for this post, it reminded me of the day that Tony talked me into tying our dog to the front of our kids razor scooter. He ensured me that our little dog (a chihuahua/fox terror mix) wouldn’t be able to pull me very fast. In fact, he insisted it would be fun!
I knew better and I was hesitant but my husband has always had a way of talking me into doing, just about anything, so I did it!
When I finally got on the scooter, Tony, who was further down the track, let out a whistle that sounded like he was summing the very soul of our dog to take flight!
Immediately, our little dog took off running like he was the lead dog of a Champion Alaskan sled Team!
Talk about instability!
That scooter was shaking like a broken washing machine, and me, with flip flops on, decided the safest thing to do, was jump off the scooter and into the grass so I could avoid a crash! Logical right?
Needless to say, I broke my first, and Lord willing, last bone that day! Not fun to explain in the emergency room, which happen to be where Tony was working at the time. #GoodTimes
I learned a few things that day. Being unstable doesn’t feel good but jumping ship isn’t the answer.
The Break Down
Let’s dig a little bit deeper.
Instability: the quality or state of being unstable
The first thing that stood out to me in the definition of instability was the quality.
I am grateful to say that in this moment the quality of Tony and I’s marriage is better than it has ever been but we have worked like crazy to get to this place and we will continue until the day we die.
I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that the thought of writing on this topic made me feel sick to my stomach! I still have root issues that I am begging God to remove, but man, I am so grateful for an amazing husband who is loving me through it all. I am also grateful that he is here to shed some light on some of the things we are doing right.
I don’t know if you can relate but some days I feel like I’ve finally surrendered to the Wildfire process and I’ll even see new growth. Then something triggers a fear and sends me right back to where I thought I had broken free from. Has that ever happened to you? If it has then you can feel my frustration.
Can I encourage you...and myself for a minute?
That’s why this blog is called Wildfire BREAKING free...I haven’t arrived and neither have you or any other human being on the planet! We don’t have to wait to be perfect for God to use us and we don’t have to stay bound.
Identifying the roots
I witnessed a lot of adultery and unstable marriages growing up. This planted a seed deep in my heart. A seed that created fear and insecurity. A seed that was watered by my own personal experiences of abandonment, being treated as less than and even being cheated on prior to getting married. Naturally, I carried that hurt into my marriage.
It wasn’t until I started to trace the fruit of my insecurity, fears and actions back to the root (of what grew that fruit in the first place) that I was able to surrender to the wildfire process of allowing God to expose and start to burn out the roots of destruction in me.
Before that, I worked at a surface level but the underlying issue (root) was still there and would pop up when something triggered it.
Tony’s View Point - Beyond the root
In my professional life I am charged with combining some of the most dynamic individuals and grooming them to become a team capable of accomplishing some of the most demanding tasks.
Believe it or not the recipe for success in my field is very simple. Identify the individuals, collect them into a group and add pressure in as many scenarios humanly possible. Lisa and I have taken a similar approach to our marriage. 18 years ago Lisa and I functioned as complex individuals, full of energy, and raw talent. We we’re ready to take on the world, and then some!
Like the teams I form today, Lisa and I came with our own individual strengths and weaknesses and together we had to form our family unit. Over the years the world has definitely added some pressure, 17 years later we have raised 4 kids, moved 10 times, pushed through 7 military deployments, battled cancer, lost loved ones and held each other’s hand through it all!
You see life is filled with constant scenarios that continue to build or weaken your marriage. As a team forms and continues to push through the stress of multiple events, their weaknesses as individuals begin to surface, and if not managed by the team through open communication and support they begin to create instability and at times a total collapse.
Marriage is no different, each individual comes into the relationship with their own weaknesses and roots of instability, and if not managed properly can lead to the destruction of even The strongest marriages.
Just like Teams, no two marriages are the same. But over the years I have found certain traits that are good indicators of future success. A strong team has members that trust their leaders and submit themselves to their vision and direction. The leaders of the team care more for each member than they do for themselves, and as a team pushes forward together they form a camaraderie that excludes all others.
That should sound very familiar to all of you, this is the same blueprint that was given to each of us in Ephesians 5: 21- 31. Lisa and I have found that like all roots of instability require constant monitoring and pruning at times.
Here are three things we’ve found vital as we build a stable marriage:
Communication is key: Your spouse isn’t a mind reader so communication is ALWAYS needed. Guard your words and do your best to speak from a place of love. You may not always be able to identify why you are feeling a certain way at the time but if you realize you are in the wrong, apologize. No one really wins in a fight so be the first to let your guard down and shower them with love. Never allow misunderstandings or disagreements to get in the way of forward movement and growth in your marriage. Have a clear vision and work together to achieving small goals that you set for your marriage and family.
Accomplish tasks together: The picture we used for this post is a prime example. It was taken on a hike we did shortly after Lisa had our last child, reaching heights over 2000 ft. but our point is, continue to develop scenarios where you will accomplish together. Lisa loves to make furniture (I do not love it as much) but as we build it together the event provides its own challenges. Lack of communication or vision quickly leads to mis-cut pieces and stress levels going up. Those events may seem small and simply frustrating at the time, so many people avoid them all together, but its in those moments that you can form a foundation for overcoming larger challenges that life will throw at you in the future.
Forsaking all others: Never allow others into you and your spouses intimate space. As your family and professional life grows there will be times that others may have to be prioritized, but never allow lines to be crossed that would take the place of each others love or lose of each others trust.
In the end, always remember, it is the two of you against the world!
You and your spouse are human beings, created imperfect but made for each other. Do the hard work, communicate through the process and know that remaining dedicated to your marriage has the most incredible payoff! One day you’ll be able to stand in awe of the beauty that has risen from your own Wildfire Process! It will be an uphill climb at times but stop avoiding it! The most incredible views in the world are found at the top of some of the hardest climbs.
We hope these post are encouraging you in the growth of your marriage and we would love to hear from you! Are these post helpful? Are there any other topics you would like to read on the blog?
We truly appreciate your support as we get the word out about the month of marriage on Wildfire Breaking Free. Keep clicking like, commenting and sharing these post using the buttons below! Your support means more than you know!