12/13/14: When the Chapman Legacy Began
Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need”. Before I met my husband, I strongly desired to be loved and accepted, to be in a committed relationship, and to one day be married. I believe the greatest moment of my life took place when I decided to let go of my own desires, ambitions, and traded them for the life that God intended for me to have. And thank God I did.
Many have asked me about the story of how I met my husband. Truth is, I met him when I focused on searching after God. What I mean by this is that I didn’t go searching for my husband. In fact, God brought him to me. On December 13, 2014 was the day that I said “I do” to the man that God strategically placed in my life. This year, my husband and I will be celebrating 3 years of marriage! God has placed it on my heart to share some insight with you of what I have learned in these 3 years of being married.
Communication: A Moment of Truth
Ladies, can I be honest with you? I didn’t realize how much I needed to improve my communication skills until I got married. I also learned how to seriously manage those negative emotions that can get you into big trouble if you’re not careful. This means, not saying or doing things that you would soon regret. You see, the Lord really worked on me with channeling my emotions. I believe that any successful relationship begins with a solid foundation of communication. If you think about it, how can you enjoy a friendship or relationship if you are always at war with one another? This is so profound when it comes to a healthy marriage. I can recall times, where I’ve had to admit that I was wrong about something. Talk about swallowing my pride and being willing to own whatever decision that I had made.
You know the word “expectations” comes to mind when I think about healthy communication. Being married has helped me to understand the importance of setting realistic expectations with my husband and communicating these expectations to him. It seems very simple, right? But when the business of life takes place, you can easily overlook the importance of telling your spouse the very things that are important to you. One of things that keeps our union healthy is having a family meeting every week to discuss upcoming events, budgets, spiritual growth, and more!
Trust: Knowing How to Trust the God in My Husband
Have you ever been in a relationship where all you could think about was whether your significant other was truly trustworthy? I sure have. Ladies, I have found that when we allow God to be the center of our marriage, we put our complete trust in God. Now does this mean that I don’t trust my husband? Of course not. What this means is that I not only trust my husband, but more importantly I trust the God in him. You see, our relationship with God came before our marriage. I believe that there’s a level of maturity that is developed when you understand that you both must answer to God for whatever action is taken.
In addition, we’ve learned the importance of having boundaries in our marriage. As a married couple, it’s important to protect our covenant in every way possible. I can’t help but to think of the scripture: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it ” (Proverbs 4:23). I believe keeping our heart guarded through what we watch, listen to, and who we spend time with, will have a direct impact on our marriage. To the married ladies, there are some things you just can’t entertain in order to protect your marriage. To the single ladies who desires to be married one day, I encourage you to begin guarding your heart now and setting up the necessary boundaries in your life.
Support: Where you go, I go
In the Bible, there’s a story of two women who were journeying through life together and had lost their loved ones (Ruth 1:16). Ruth had this determination that she would not return home after such a tragedy. Instead, she chose to stay by Naomi’s side and go wherever she went. God spoke to me through this scripture, reminding me of the commitment that I have to my husband. I recall, when my husband and I were dating, I said this scripture aloud to him. I believe it was a foresight of what kind of commitment our marriage would be. In addition to being committed, I have also learned how to support my husband’s dreams and goals. As well as the importance of speaking positive affirmations over him, encouraging him, and being there to listen. I have learned that this kind of support is especially needed for a healthy marriage. In the same way, he also encourages me to reach my greatest potential and pursue my dreams. My husband is one of the biggest reasons why I am writing you today!
You know I have found that God wants us to love beyond limits or conditions. Often, we think of love is based upon conditions— 'If you do this, then I will love you. As long as you continue to take me out for dinner, I will keep loving you.' The problem with this kind of love is that it’s contingent upon an action beforehand. God is always reminding me to love without conditions. This means loving my husband whether he cooks or doesn’t cook, loses weight or gains weight--no matter what, always loving him. I have found that love can be beautiful if demonstrated the right way. Ladies, my hope is that through my experiences and insight, you have been encouraged in some way. I share these things with you to help you to understand that for one, God knows your desires of being married one day. If you continue to seek Him first, He will provide you with your hearts' desires. But remember it all starts with seeking Him. And ladies, if you are already married, I hope that you’ve been encouraged to shift your focus to what will help build your marriage even more!
“For this reason, a man shall leave his father and his mother. And shall be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh”. Genesis 2:24