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What My Mom Taught Me About Marriage

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Women Living Well Blog: What My Mom Taught Me About Marriage

Women Living Well Blog

Monday, May 31, 2010

What My Mom Taught Me About Marriage

My mom and dad are celebrating their 42nd wedding anniversary tomorrow. This day in age, that's a rare anniversary to celebrate. The statistics say divorce is on the rise and as a result any marriage over 21 years is remarkable - much less double that! I know that I am blessed to have parents who have role-modeled to me a Biblical Marriage and so I asked my mom to write and share with you her story.

My mom writes:

Forty two years ago, on June 1, l968, two somewhat naïve but madly in love 20 year olds made a lifetime commitment before God, family and friends to love and cherish one another . . .until death do us part. My husband and I were Christians, but baby Christians who really had no idea what we were getting ourselves into! We had virtually no marriage counseling, so we looked to our parents' marriages to pattern (or not) pattern after.

It was the era of the 60's, and the traditional roles of men and women in marriage – well, they were a'changin'! Being a woman who wanted to keep up with the times, I took my cues from the world. “Be your own woman, do not let a man own you.” “Do not be an appendage on a man's arm, known only as your husband's wife, make a name for yourself.” It was the the age of “I am woman, hear me roar!”

Obviously, this is not what God's Word says, and if I had pursued that path, I don't believe I would still be married today. Thankfully, God in His grace led me to a women's Bible study at my church. These precious women patiently and kindly showed me what God says in His Word about the role of a wife in marriage. Being the strong willed individual that I am, I balked and said, “If I had known all of this, I would never have gotten married.” But I WAS married, so what to do? I loved God and wanted to please Him. I loved my husband and wanted to please him too. I got on my knees and prayed to God - “Help me to become the godly wife you want me to be.”

God led me to the example of a well known married couple in Scripture, Abraham and Sarah. Sarah's relationship to Abraham helped me to develop the proper Biblical ATTITUDES and ACTIONS towards my husband. 1 Peter 3:6a: “Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord.”

Pretty radical for 2010, right?!

Sarah called Abraham “lord.” It was a term of respect. Sarah saw her husband as her supreme authority, her master, her leader. Because Sarah had the proper Biblical ATTITUDE of respect towards Abraham, she was then able to follow with the proper Biblical ACTION - Sarah “obeyed” her husband. She voluntarily placed herself under or beneath her husband as a subordinate, obeying/following his guidance and acknowledging his headship over her.

I know this teaching is challenging, especially in the culture in which we live. This is evidenced by the fact that so many brides today choose to omit the word “obey” from their wedding vows. But whether we like it or not, it is a principle from the Word of God. We must learn it and apply it if we want to have a marriage that honors and glorifies the Lord.

If you are struggling with respecting and obeying your husband, take it to the Lord in prayer. He will give you the strength and the grace to do it. If you have failed in this area as I so often have, remember that our God is a God of mercy and forgiveness. He is also a God of hope. It is never too late, so look to the future. Change what needs to be changed, and improve in the areas that need to be improved. Then thank God for the wonderful husband that He's given to you and for the privilege of fulfilling your God given role as his wife.

Because tomorrow is our anniversary, I want to tell my husband how much I love and admire him. “My beloved is mine, and I am his.” (Song of Solomon 2:16) What a blessing to have shared 42 years together with my beloved, my partner, my provider, my protector, and spiritual leader. Thank you for holding our marriage in honor among all!

And to all of Courtney's readers, may you continue to “walk with the King” as you live out your marriage according to the design of God.

***Thanks Mom! You never cease to challenge and inspire me to do what is right! Thank you!



Blogger GlowinGirl said...

Happy Anniversary to your mom and dad!! I love it when she said, “If I had known all of this, I would never have gotten married.”

Too funny and too true for many of us!

May 31, 2010 at 7:04 AM  
Blogger Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

Happy Anniversary to your mom and dad! It is so encouraging to listen and see couples who are still in love after all this time!
My parents celebrate their 41st in a just a couple of weeks!

Have a blessed day!

May 31, 2010 at 7:15 AM  
Blogger daningo said...

Wonderful post! I love that picture of their wedding. They do look so young and naive :) I have so struggled with that concept of obey. In my wedding vows I changed it to "trust to lead" instead. It is still hard to understand and so against our culture. Thanks for these posts that help guide us back to the truth in God's word.

May 31, 2010 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Congrats to your parents Courtney on 42 years. Happy Anniversary!!!!

I really enjoyed reading your mom's words this morning. I can see how she is a blessing to you and your family.

Would love to see her guest post again sometime. :)


May 31, 2010 at 7:42 AM  
Anonymous Amy said...

What a great post!
My parents will be celebrating their 43rd anniversary in July. It is such a blessing to have that example to look towards through all the challenges of life (and marriage).
Congrats to your parents. They are such a beautiful couple--then and now!

May 31, 2010 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Joseph Wood said...

Good Morning Courtney!
I loved reading your post from your mom. My Joe and I have been married almost 20 years. I related to the World and their ideas of what being a woman looked like. However, for us it was the women in the church. The church we attended when we were first married had most of the leadership ran by the wives. Joe felt the Lord leading us somewhere else. I am so glad he did. We found a church that had other families that truly wanted to set up the right order in the home and the chruch. They were instrumental in my life.
Happy Anniversary to your parents! You are blessed!

May 31, 2010 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger becca said...

Your mom ROCKS!

May 31, 2010 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

I find this so encouraging! To think your parents were baby Christians when they married, and look how great they did in raising you! This gives me hope. Thanks for sharing.

So when is your mom going to start a blog?

May 31, 2010 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger jen said...

Happy Anniversary Dad and Mom!! I enjoyed your post, Mom - very well said. Thank you for teaching us and modeling for us how to have a marriage that honors the Lord and a marriage that will last a lifetime. This is a rare gem in our culture and shines as a light for our Lord!! Love you, Jen

May 31, 2010 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger jen said...

So funny! I just showed Mom and Dad's wedding photo to Julianna, and she said, "They look young." I said, "Well, they were young." She said, "No, I mean, they look like little kids!" She felt better when I scrolled down the page, so she could see the Grandma and Grandpa she knows and loves!! 42 years!! Congratulations! Love, Jen

May 31, 2010 at 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Darla said...


Happy Anniversary to your Mom & Dad!! truly the godly example of your mom shines through in you!

My daughter is getting married in 20 days!!!(this is my first i am excited & nervous) i am sharing with her as a wedding gift all your posts from Prov. 31 i hope it will help her to get her marriage started off right! Truly have been challenged, corrected, reminded, & Blessed by your blog.... so thankful i found it at the beginning of this year & now i am part of a good morning girls group :)
Thank you Courtney!!

May 31, 2010 at 11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOVE it!!! I just joined a "christian" mommies group online and to my horror most women there have never even been taught that the Bible means that we must literally submit to and obey our husbands. It is so refreshing to see that there are still women out there embracing this Biblical truth that will bring so much peace, harmony and joy to our lives if we will just not buck up in pride...humble ourselves... and be obedient to our God.
It is a treasure that many women have left behind and have no idea what a blessing we have lost.
Thank you for having the boldness to stand firm and hold true to God's Word on this subject!!

p.s. this comes from a VERY strong-willed woman!
I have to pray for God's grace and help every day and some days I fail. We must remember that when we submit to our husband's we are doing so to be obedient to God!!

May 31, 2010 at 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Tiffany said...

Happy Anniversary to your Mom and Dad! 42 years is amazing! My parents celebrated their 30th this past year and my hubby's parent's number 44! It is so encouraging when you see couples older in years and still madly in love with the folks they said I do to many years prior. Thanks for sharing!

May 31, 2010 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Joy @ SAH Missionary said...

What a beautiful testimony! Thank you so much for sharing with us today!

May 31, 2010 at 4:31 PM  
Blogger momstheword said...

What a wonderful testimony to the beauty of submission. It is a mutual submission in love.

My husband always does pre-marital counseling before he marries a couple.

Happy Anniversary to your parents, they are so cute in their pictures! My parents made it to over 50 years before my dad went Home to be with the Lord.

Thanks for linking up today!

May 31, 2010 at 6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mom and dad will celebrate 49 years this summer -- And I too know what a rare heritage that is these days -- and I am truly thankful for it.

Happy Anniversary (to your Mom and Dad!)


May 31, 2010 at 9:42 PM  
Anonymous Alison said...

Thanks to your Mom for sharing. When I look back on the ways that my (mini) marriage has changed over the past six years, I know that the focus points she mentions in this post are what have kept my husband and me together. And happy:)

June 1, 2010 at 8:06 AM  
Anonymous Julie@comehaveapeace said...

What a great testimony from your mom. We need to hear more of those, and what a wonderful heritage for you and your fam!

June 1, 2010 at 9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see what you mean about the traditional vows not being accepted. When my husband and I got married 3 years ago, the preacher asked if we wanted to do the traditional vows that included the obey part...he said that most couples choose not to use them. We went with the traditional ones and I took quite a grilling from many women on why I would choose to say that I would obey my husband.

June 1, 2010 at 11:19 AM  

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