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Sunday, October 16, 2016

He Trusts Me

One year, two months and one day. That is how long I have been married for as of today (the day this blog is written). It seems like time has flown by! I cannot believe we have been married over a year already, and yet it seems as though I have been married for forever, in the most wonderful way of course! Through this first year of marriage I have grown so much as a person, and we have grown so much as a couple! We have been incredibly blessed to also have some married couples that have been willing to walk through this journey side by side with us. Together we are learning SO much about what God has designed marriage to be, about the ways we as wives can come beside and encourage our husbands, about financial planning, healthy living, and basically, learning to live as couples who daily strive to honor Jesus with all we do and say. It isn't easy, we aren't perfect, but it is a journey that is totally worth it!
One of the areas that I particularly have been growing in this year is in being a woman worthy of my husband's trust. Throughout this year I have been studying Proverbs 31 and what it means to be a woman and a wife who brings honor to God. Within the first couple months of married life, God placed a part of this passage on my heart. This verse has since then become one of my "life verses", through which God has continued to push me to grow and become more and more the woman He and Caleb need me to be. Provebs 31: 10-12 says, "An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life." Wow! I so desire to be the excellent wife that is more precious than jewels. And if we are all honest with ourselves, as wives, we all want to be thought of as the most precious thing that our husband has in life. But in my mind, the next part is the kicker! That is where God tapped me on the shoulder and said "Daughter, take notice of what an excellent wife does." An excellent wife does her husband GOOD and not harm! Right now you might be thinking well, duh Breanna. If she harmed him how could she be excellent. You're right... but there is more! Just hang out a sec and hear me out.
"The heart of her husband trusts in her...". Oh how I long for this. For Caleb's heart to trust in me. To know beyond a doubt I will not bring him harm. And truthfully, this harm I believe God is speaking of isnt just a simple thing... it can be a combination of many little things that are SO easy to do as a wife. Here are a few of the examples I can think of:

Breaking budget- Men are innately providers. God has placed it in their heart to provide for their families and they do this by daily working their butts off for us. As their wife, we are given access to their money to pay for groceries, bills, and everything else. But often times we become selfish and want to buy new clothes we don't actually need, extra treats we crave, top comforts to make our homes perfect, but by doing so we break the budget they have trusted us with. We harm their trust. We are devaluing their desire to provide for us by constantly seeking "more" and "better". We harm them. Now I'm not saying its always a bad thing to buy new outfits, treats, home-making things ect... what I am saying is if we break the "budget", if we make ourselves go farther in to debt, and if we don't seek out their opinions on larger purchases, they are hurt by us. We lose their trust in our abilities to respect their hard work and manage our homes well.

Bashing- If you're in a relationship, dating or married, you've probably been around a group of women/girls that all they said about their man was negative. From what they dont do, to what they do actually do, these poor guys seemed to never catch a break when it came to pleasing their woman. The gossip about their men seems to spread and soon, everyone within that circle of friends knows exactly how terrible of a boyfriend or husband that guy is. Because all that they ever hear is what he does wrong. Eventually this gets back to the guy himself and his self-esteem takes a plunge... sometimes so deep the guy will never recover and believe he can be a "great guy" again. I absolutely despise this habit women have. It is SO harmful to a relationship and to a guy in general. Not to mention that God calls us to respect our husbands! We are to be under them, which requires respect. If the words we say when they aren't around are not respectful, we truly are NOT respecting our husband. This bashing habit is so harmful not just to our men's self-esteem, but it will long term affect his reputation. It also creates a nasty habit in ourselves as wives to assume the worst about him. If we constantly assume the worst, instead of purposely thinking the best, we build ourselves up to be bitter women indeed. Their trust in us disappears, along with so many other good things. They are harmed.

Sex talk- This one might seem a bit random to some of you, but I have found that this is SUCH an important part of a healthy and trusting marriage. Sex details and talk should NEVER be a public topic. When you got married your bodies became one, as did your lives. "the two shall become one flesh" (Mark 10:8). Only two people became one. That doesn't mean all your friends, acquaintances and everyone else became one... you and your husband. Just you two. The world doesn't need to know details of your sex life. Intimacy is made to help strengthen a marriage and the trust between a husband a wife. When a woman (or husband for that matter) goes around sharing explicit details of their sex life, it is like emotionally placing their spouse naked in front of all that they are talking to. It is exposing the depths of their spouses heart for the world to see. Oh the pain it can cause. The utter agony of being completely and fully exposed by the one you trust with not just your heart but your body. How much harm can come from this nasty worldly habit of sharing too much. Not to mention the horror at arousing desires for your spouse in other people by sharing too many details. There are so many terrible relationship and trust wrecking side effects to this. I'm sure you will think of more as you truly ponder this. Sex talk to anyone other than our spouse harms them.

I know that there are more harmful things that wives can do to their spouses, but these are three that I feel as though God placed on my heart to share. They are by far the three most common ways I notice wives breaking the trust their husband has in them. We need to cut them out of our lives, out of our marriages, before it causes irreparable damage. If we truly desire to be more precious than jewels to our husbands, if we really want them to trust us, we need to ensure that we constantly bring them good things, and seek to never harm them. I know that deep in my heart, my greatest desires I have are to be everything Caleb needs as a wife, to be the woman God calls me to be, and to create a marriage reflecting Jesus. But the only way I will ever succeed in bringing God glory as a wife and as His daughter, is if I live out being called to be the woman my husbands heart can trust in. The world will see I am different through this, "He trusts me".

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Deal With Dating Well

Well here it goes! I'm about to share with cyber-world more about my relationship. So let me start back at the beginning. I met Caleb during my first year of college, but not at Bible College (no, we weren't one of those couples), we actually met as lifeguards at the pool. At the time I met him, he was dating someone else, and I wasn't really interested in dating. Not long after meeting him, Caleb was single again and began to pursue me. I was under the mind-set that I was NOT going to date again for at least a year after being dumped. Now what, you ask, changed my mind? Well, I had been praying that the right guy, when he came into my life, would pursue me differently than I had ever been pursued before. I desired romance and to feel like a princess, I am the typical romantic girl, who melts and flowers and walks through the trees at sunset. Not long after meeting him, Caleb was single again and began to pursue me. Caleb fulfilled all of that, he left me cute notes in my work locker, he figured out my favorite chocolate and left that in my locker, he purposely sought out my favorite things and asked to do them with me or for me to do them with him. It was very very hard not to fall for a man who truly wanted to know me and let me know who I was mattered. Eventually, he caught my full attention and I've been head over heels since then. Now comes the tricky part, actually surviving as a couple through dating.

Dating can be some pretty muddy waters sometimes. Don't get me wrong, dating is wonderful! It was and is fun, brings us joy and expands on our friendship and trust of each other. However, dating also gets your heart more involved and thats when you can end up in trouble. "Above all else, the heart is deceitful, who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9). This is truth guys! Your heart will tell you so many things that you may want to hear, but may be complete lies. The biggest lie that is faced in most relationships is the lie of "this is totally okay to do". As you are dating and your heart gets more involved, and it starts to long for closeness with the other person. It tells you that a simple kiss is okay, but then later will tell you that making-out is totally okay. Then it will say that your hands can go where they shouldn't, and it continues on from there. To date well, to understand dating, and to live out Christ within dating, one first must understand that the heart lies.
Second, a person must understand that "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Proverbs 4:23. If your heart is pure and has good intentions, if you guard your heart from the lies it may try to influence you with, if you rest your heart in God's hands by studying His word and seeking Him, you will reflect what is in your heart to every aspect of your life, including your dating life.  You will be able to romance your boyfriend or girlfriend and show them love in a God honoring way. You will be the person that they need and that God calls you to be, because you are first loving God in your life. This is the ultimate key to dating well that Caleb and I found. To properly love one another, we first had to fully and whole-heartedly love God. It took us a while to figure out the key to dating well was to not trust what our hearts said but to instead dig way deeper into God and find what He calls us to do. But once we learned that, our relationship grew, it had foundation and we could stand without being shaken. My desire is that you would be able to avoid the shaky times, and start out your relationship by knowing that your heart will lie, but God always tells us the truth. Knowing that through Him, your dreams for what love is like and your deep desire to be loved and romanced will be fulfilled, and He might just add a boyfriend or girlfriend into the mix too.