Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Marital Adjustment

In just a couple of weeks, Honza and I will celebrate our six-month anniversary. My, how the months have flown by! This past half-year has been an adventure, filled with joys and triumphs, illness and struggle, love and intimacy, conflict and repentance. What a beautiful six months so far!

I remember hearing a quote long ago, that getting married reveals how selfish you really are... and even though I'm still a novice in the marriage field, I can agree wholeheartedly! Marriage is a unique bond, wherein we've promised to be together for the rest of our lives (whether 2 or 62 more years!): to care for the other when they're sick, to love each other even when it's difficult, to embrace and forgive after a fight. Marriage strips away our pretenses, and reveals what lies underneath: selfishness.

For me, one of the greatest adjustments to make as a newlywed was in the realm of my mind: transitioning from thinking as "I" to thinking as "We." Whether with finances, time management, chores, or communication, this was shift I hadn't expected would be difficult to make. 

After two years of living on my own, I was no longer used to telling someone my schedule, or to discuss a purchase before buying... and I'm not saying that these are a bad thing to do! After all, Honza and I have intertwined our lives, and are counting on each other financially, emotionally and with our time. (In the reciprocal way, I wouldn't be very happy if I'd planned a dinner for us, because he'd forgotten to communicate that he'd be busy for the evening!)

As married people, we can no longer live as if we were single.

This morning, I sipped on my tea and pondered these events, and realized how much it relates to a conversation we had on Tuesday's "Talk the Night Away" English meeting. We were discussing how the assignment of our paths to heaven or hell doesn't depend on our good works (having an open mind toward God, praying, going to church), but on our acceptance of Jesus Christ as the forgiver of our sins, and giving Him authority over our lives, as our friend and our King., what does that have to do with my marriage?

One of the students asked me if it's not necessary for us to do good things, then. I realize now that my response is much like how I've been adjusting to married life: Your actions don't determine whether you go to heaven or not. That lies in whether you've embraced faith in Jesus. However, this relationship with Jesus won't leave you unchanged. Just as He forgives our sins, He will also guide you and teach you how to leave this life of sin, and become more like Him: perfect, loving, holy, and selfless.

To tie this in to the beginning of my post, I think of my relationship with Honza in a similar way. We are married, and our actions don't change that: whether I cook dinner or not, whether he vacuums or not. Whether we remember to coordinate our schedules or not, Honza is still my husband, and I am still his wife.

But our actions do affect us and our relationship. Our actions can either heal or hurt our marriage. I can't live the same way as I did before we got married, but this is a beautiful thing! Being Honza's bride, and experiencing his love daily, is worth far more than all I've left behind in my singleness.

And just as deeply as Honza loves me, I know that the love of Jesus is even more perfect, more precious... and this love from God helps me to love my imperfect husband more and more, just as God loves this imperfect me.

"For God so loved the world that He gave
His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him
should not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:16

"For by grace you have been saved through faith.
And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may 
boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."
Ephesians 2:8-9