Wanna know the secret to a fulfilling marriage?
"Honor one another above yourselves" Romans 12:10
This post may sound a bit familiar. If you've read our Kingdom Marriage Post (see below), you'll recognize this idea...of serving one another, but this post digs a bit deeper and shares a specific example of what this looks like for us (and maybe even for a few others).
You may be wondering 'who the heck are the people in the photo?' Well...they are my (Carol's) Mom & Stepdad. And they are some pretty amazing people, if I do say so myself! They have had to learn firsthand how hard "honoring"one another can be through trials. Let's talk a bit about the world "honor" first tho.
The word "honor" above is translated in some versions as "Prefer one another"...above yourselves. That says it even better than just honor, we think!
The words before that in Romans 12:10 say to be "kindly affectionate" to each other. Several commentaries say that refers to "tender affection", like that between parents and children. And many of us know the abundant sacrifices a parent makes for a child (whether we know that because we are parents or because we had parents who sacrificed for us).
I love the way one commentary says it: "The meaning appears to be this: Consider all...as more worthy than yourself; and let neither grief nor envy affect your mind at seeing another honored and yourself neglected." https://www.studylight.org/commentary/romans/12-10.html
Whoa!!!So we are supposed to honor one another AND be happy about it. Delight in honoring one another?! Whew! That's a tall order! But I am here to tell you, THIS WORKS in marriage, y'all! It just does! There's no getting around it. That leads me to tell you about my amazing man and part of the journey we have been on recently.
So what does "honoring each other" look like in our marriage?
Let me start by telling you 1 of the many ways Allen honors his wife. For the past 3 years, he has been so abundantly gracious with our money and time, continually giving me up for a weekend (or even weeks at a time) so I can be with my mom who has been battling ovarian cancer. Certainly not a journey we would have chosen, but God has been so good to us in it all. We can't dare complain. She has been quite the trooper in it all, but so many times has had to be in more of a receiving season than she'd ever wished. Watching my parents go thru this together and learn how to honor each other even more deeply has been such a beautiful process. They never give up on each other but just keep putting each other first (even when it's hard). My stepdad continually gives of his time to sit by my mom for hours on end, holding her hand thru so many doctors appointments and as chemo pumps thru her veins. And my sweet mama continues to cook for my stepdad and take care of him in the midst of her pain and exhaustion. They are both such an inspiration!
So...back to braggin on my man tho. (Ha-ha) Last week Allen had to make sacrifices yet again. He not only gave me up to travel many miles south (to see my mama), but also worked extra hard to be sure I had a safe vehicle to travel in, traveling money and everything I needed for the trip. I know its not easy for me to leave him as single Dad for the week...grocery shopping and in charge of meals (along with everything else), but he always handles it like a champ! Oh, and did I mention that we HATE being apart? Seriously y'all...we sleep like pretzels! LOL. We find so much comfort in each others arms. Oh! And he never complains! He totally delights in serving me. He is the definition of "preferring" his spouse over himself.
This man CONTINUES to serve me and my mama by giving me up as much as necessary so I can be my mama's right hand for a few days. To have the opportunity to be with mama, helping her with paperwork, driving her around, cooking dinner, and taking her to the beach (A mama's gotta get some vitamin D! LOL) is such a sweet blessing! Three long years ago, we really didn't know how much more time we'd be granted with her. Never dreamed we would get 3 more GOOD years! Wow!! Again, God is so very good to us! So each moment we get, we will gladly take!
And sometimes that means my family makes sacrifices...the oldest daughter holding down the fort while I'm gone; the middle homesick daughter being gracious about mom not being home when she returns from camp, and the hubby not having his snuggle bunny at night. Hee-hee (Don't feel too sorry for the baby of the family. He got to party with cousins and road trip with mom! Ha-ha! However, he did make the sacrifice to keep mom company on a trip, not knowing he would get anything good out of it. Sweet boy!)
But that man of mine is constantly serving & honoring me, and this is just one of the many ways he does. Words cant express how grateful I am for him....for his love, his lightheartedness, and especially for his servant's heart. Its has blessed this undeserving wife time and time again. God knew this selfish heart would need someone to show it the tangible love of Jesus Christ...many many times, before I would pick up on it and begin to give it back. I am a slow learner at times, but Allen continues to show me love thru my kind moments and my grumpy moments (Don't be too shocked y'all! We all have those, right? Hee-hee)
So we just wanted to encourage all of you to find ways to "prefer" each other.
We know that wont look the same for all married couples tho. In addition, some days that may mean making small sacrifices and some days it may mean making huge sacrifices. Oh, and if you have a spouse that is a little slow on picking up the "preferring one another" vibe (like I was...oops), hang in there. Keep on loving that spouse and putting him or her first. Eventually, they will pick up on the vibe and play the "honoring" game right along with you. Some of us are slower learners, but when we do catch on, we've got it for life! (Seen the movie Fireproof anyone?)
So hang in there and keep on honoring each other. Your marriage is worth it!
Cheering you on,
Allen & Carol