Love Is Patient. Love is Kind. Love Means Slowly Losing Your Mind. Day 2

I recall a line from the movie 27 Dresses with Katherine Heigel who plays Jane, a personal assistant who thinks she’s in love with her boss and who has been a bridesmaid 27 times. Along comes James Marsden who plays a cynical reporter who writes the weddings column in the local newspaper. During one of his initial conversations with Jane, he says, “Love is patient. Love is kind. Love means slowly losing your mind.”

Yep, I remember during the engagement I thought I was losing my mind to try and plan a wedding on top of trying to finish college, working three jobs, and helping my husband set up our apartment (since he moved in 4 months before me). But do I actually believe it? I don’t particularly recommend the movie given a few risque scenes and a little language, but the point is…the line makes me chuckle because I’m sure many of you who are married remember hectic wedding planning mode. In fact, I’m sure, if you’re like me at all, putting your fiancé first, and showing him the love and respect he deserves was probably not on the top of your list of priorities.

I remember not having a clue where to start or how to plan. I remember feeling pressured to complete everything on time and to do well, not only in my studies but in my wedding planning. I remember unexpected wedding expenses that required me to tweak my budget with money I didn’t have. I remember purchasing my wedding gown in June and when trying it on in October, much to my horror and shock, I realized I didn’t fit into it anymore. I’m pretty sure I burst into tears a lot. I remember trying to compile a guest list and my fiancé wouldn’t get back to me about his guests… or with the addresses I needed. I’m pretty sure I blew up at him in front of the student center on my college campus.

Adam and I read a book called Before You Plan Your Wedding…Plan Your Marriage by Dr. Greg Smalley. At the end of chapter 2, there is a discussion question I’m going to pose to you: “In order to strengthen your future marital relationship, what things would you like to see accomplished during your engagement?”

I’m sure I accomplished many things during our engagement for the wedding, but I’m not really sure how much I accomplished in terms of our preparing for our marriage. Precious engaged one, if you would like to see at least one thing accomplished during your engagement as preparation for marriage… 

Purpose to be kind!

I remember not having a clue where to start or how to plan. I remember feeling pressured to complete everything on time and to do well, not only in my studies but in my wedding planning. I remember unexpected wedding expenses that required me to tweak my budget with money I didn’t have. I remember purchasing my wedding gown in June and when trying it on in October, much to my horror and shock, I realized I didn’t fit into it anymore. I’m pretty sure I burst into tears a lot. I remember trying to compile a guest list and my fiancé wouldn’t get back to me about his guests… or with the addresses I needed. I’m pretty sure I blew up at him in front of the student center on my college campus.

Dear wedding planning sister, let me give you some of the best advice you’re ever going to hear: The wedding doesn’t have to be perfect! Trust me! Things will go wrong. I woke up the morning of my wedding, stumbled downstairs in my maid of honor’s house, and grumpily asked, “What genius decided to set the wedding at noon?” My hairdresser got lost coming to the church, Adam almost saw me (or caught a glimpse of me) twice, and my dress was a lot lower in front than I had remembered. When we lit the unity candle, I dripped hot wax on my hand. I hit my sister in the face with the bouquet during our sister dance song, and Adam and I changed out of our wedding clothes too soon at the reception, staying an additional hour. And the wedding night wasn’t a piece of cake either as I had nicked myself shaving and we were both exhausted.

So I am going to pass on 5 simple ways to purpose to be kind during your engagement, some things I did, some things I didn’t do, but nevertheless A.E.I.O.U. for your wedding planning…

Accept that things will go wrong…

in planning, in the wedding, in your marriage… Instead of freaking out every time something doesn’t go your way, remember to keep an eternal perspective.

Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

What are all these things? All the little details that make up your relationship with your future spouse and the wedding ceremony you’re excitedly planning for. Take your concerns to the Lord first before lashing out at your fiancé. I can tell you that the times I was most content, relaxed, and at peace during my engagement were the times when I was spending time in worship and prayer.

Proverbs 21:21 says, “Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor” (ESV).

Keep a kingdom perspective. Spend time alone in prayer and ask God to reveal to you ways that you can be kind to your fiancé in your thoughts, words, and deeds.

Establish healthy, holy habits now!

Respect starts in our heads, ladies. It starts with your thoughts toward your fiancé/spouse. I noticed I became overly critical of Adam when we were engaged. I would think to myself, “Now why is he wearing that silly shirt again?” or “Why can’t he just do things for me without me having to ask?” These aren’t the most respectful of thoughts. This would spill out into verbal criticism to his face and sometimes, shamefully, behind his back to my female friends or family members. And this habit didn’t magically go away once I was married. I had to work at it for months to reprogram my mind, heart, and mouth to think and speak respectfully to him, with him, and about him.

Dear sister in Christ, if you’re engaged, curb your bad habits of disrespect now before it becomes a huge problem in your marriage.

A selfish perspective would say, “I deserve the best.” But an eternal perspective would say, “Give him the honor due him because as a wife, I am to ‘submit [myself] to my husband as [I] do to the Lord’” (Ephesians 5:22).

Just because you aren’t married yet doesn’t mean your fiancé doesn’t deserve respect. The habits you set up now during your engagement will be the habits that stick with you throughout your marriage.  

Inspect the attitudes of your heart.

Brides, this may be a hard one to strive for, but your habits need to be Christlike. As Dr. Smalley writes in Before You Plan Your Wedding…Plan Your Marriage,

“Many couples start sowing the seeds of unsafety in their relationship when they imagine that marriage is all about making each other happy…God’s preeminent goal for your upcoming marriage is not your mutual happiness at all… the goal of marriage [is] to help you become more like Christ.”

Make this your daily prayer in your wedding planning (or in your marriage if you’re already married): Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Offer your husband-t0-be the gift of you!

Too often the time spent together as a couple during engagement has to do with wedding planning: guest list compiling, picking out a venue, cake tasting, dress rehearsal, etc. Every night before the wedding, Adam and I talked on the phone and prayed together for each other. This is a habit I highly recommend to any engaged or even seriously dating couple, and one that is mandatory for married couples. Spend some quality time together every day (not talking about wedding planning or honeymoon planning or anything wedding-related), but focusing on each other.  It doesn’t have to be long. It can just be the mere 10 or so minutes Adam and I spent on the phone with each other every night praying, but take the time to de-stress, put wedding planning aside, and focus on growing together spiritually/emotionally. Don’t be so busy that your husband-to-be is a stranger to you on your wedding day after six months, nine months, or a year and a half of planning.

Uplift each other verbally.

You may not like that shirt your man chose to wear to the cake tasting, but instead of complaining, find something to compliment him on. Maybe the lighting is really bringing out the blue in his eyes, or maybe he remembered to open the car door for you without you needing to remind him. Whatever it is, focus on the positive when you’re engaged, instead dwelling on the negative.

Proverbs 16:24 says, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

Lather on some verbal honey and let your man know just how much you love him and appreciate him for who he is… not who you want him to be.

——Bottom Line————————-

1 Corinthians 13:4 says, “Love is kind…” Replace the word love with your name and ask yourself if you can truly say, “Love is patient. Love is kind. Love means setting aside self to honor God and my husband-to-be.”

This is Day 2 of the ½ marathon blogging challenge from the CMBA. For the first 13 days in October, you will get a nonstop taste of my writing. To see the official rules, click here. To see other CMBA bloggers’ posts, click here.

I’d love to hear from you…

How is God calling you to be kind to your fiance/spouse today? What kind acts have you done for your groom-to-be since being engaged? Or if you’re already married, what kind acts did you do for your spouse when you were engaged or tell us something he did for you? I’d love to hear your stories. One of my biggest pet peeves is dirty feet. Adam came by one evening when we were engaged after I had walked across town from work to get home in flip flops and my feet were disgusting. He found a bucket and some water and soap and washed my feet. I felt like a princess because of his act of kindness! ;o)

Related Posts

1. Blazing into the Great Known, 13.1 Blog Challenge Intro

2. I’ll Be Waiting for You Baby, 13.1 Blog Challenge, Day 1

3. Broken, Love Poured Out (The Holy Trinity of Kindness)

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6 Comments

  1. My husband is getting tips from someone, some blog, and I’m all about letting him, without trying to figure out what he is reading. The other day he came home with a rose. Last night, he got me a drink and while he was in there took a little strip of paper and wrote a message on it, then tied it around the bottle, before giving it to me. These are things that my husband often time just doesn’t think to do, but I recognize his efforts and am sure to tell him how much I appreciate these things. He post something last night on my FB wall, which he would never normally do. It’s the little things. Little things that were missing from the first 12 years of our marriage. Kindness leads to kindness, because where I had been edgy and upset before he got the drink for me, his note took away all the tension and I was able to look at him and think how much I love him and thankful I am to God for bringing healing to our marriage.

  2. Awesome post!! Every bride-to-be needs to read this:))

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  1. Driving to the Moon and Back – Protecting Your Husband’s Heart, Part 2, Day 10 | Becoming His Eve

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