Discussion in 'General discussions' started by AnnaBanana, Jan 11, 2018.

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  1. AnnaBanana

    AnnaBanana Puritan Board Freshman

    Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening to you! :hug:

    I had today off and I was doing some thinking.

    For those of you who are married... what are some things that now you are married, you can no longer do? I spoke to a friend of mine who just recently developed a passion for missions, but her husband would rather stay locally and reach out to those in our own backyards.

    I guess I'm curious because I haven't ever been married and the way my friend made it seem was that marriage was hindering her passion to go serve in a third world country.

    Before you are married, you obviously share your thoughts and passions together, but what about if you develop one while your in marriage but your husband (saying husband because he makes the final decision) disagrees. Like, what if I randomly, 3 years into marriage, I wanted open up a food pantry, but my husband disagreed. Would I consider that a hindered or a blessing?
  2. Edm

    Edm Puritan Board Freshman

    What is something I can't' do now that I have a wife? Show up somewhere on time.:rofl:
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  3. Logan

    Logan Puritan Board Junior

    There's lots of things I "can't" do, such as stay up late, change plans on a whim, go out with friends, or yes, serve in the church as often as I'd like. I used to teach Sunday school, go early and set up, stay late and take down and now I have a responsibility to my wife and children that in some sense "hinders" that, you could say.

    But on the other hand, there are lots of things I can do that I couldn't before:
    My wife gets things done at the house while I'm at work, we mutually encourage one another in our Christian walk, I don't have to shop for groceries. In other words, we accomplish a lot more together by splitting duties than either of us accomplished individually. The same is true at church: she brings things in service that I don't, and I bring things she doesn't. Together we accomplish more for Christ's kingdom than I did by myself.

    This is complementing rather than hindering. The two of us can plow more yoked together than if we were separately pulling plows. This won't be true for everyone (some will serve better single) but if God has called us to marriage, we can trust it is for the better service of his kingdom, not worse. And if God has called us to be single, then in his plan, that is how we will better serve.

    Might your friend consider that being yoked as she is, perhaps God is telling her, through her husband, that the place she can best serve is not where she thinks it is?
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  4. AnnaBanana

    AnnaBanana Puritan Board Freshman

    Great response Logan. Thank you
  5. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    You might have to adjust the timing of actions. You might have to delay your goals (food kitchen, etc) a few years.
  6. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    There's nothing I "can not do," but a lot of things I decide to not do. What I mean by that is I certainly have the ability to disregard my wife's wishes and preferences and I do have the ability to live completely for myself, but I don't really want to do that....

    A while back I was reflecting with our pastor about what a blessing being married is. We both had somewhat misspent youths, and we both acknowledged how easy it would be to become slovens, were it not for being married and being given the focus that involves. For one thing, you quickly realize that it is not "all about me."

    BTW, here are some of the things I can do after being married for more than two decades:

    Pray with my wife and discuss Scripture in the comfort of a nice, well-kept home;
    Go Steelhead fishing with her in a boat I built;
    Eat better dinners, again at home with her, and at much less cost than restaurants;
    Walk with her among mountain goats;
    Build an airplane, with her assistance;
    Exchange silly emails and nice photos while I'm in court waiting for my next case to be called;
    And, pretty much anything else that we might decide to do--jointly, and taking into considerations each other's strengths and preferences.
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  7. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable Staff Member

    How you viewed the matter would depend upon how you view your role as a wife and help-meet to your husband. It would also depend upon how your husband viewed his role as a man who loves his wife as Our Lord loves His Bride, the church.

    I am doubtful anyone can answer this hypothetical beyond the above without a great deal more information. This is why it is important to have frank discussions with one's intended (or hopeful) marital partner.

    During over 35 years of marriage there have been not a few times I or my wife considered something a hindrance, only to be shown much later what a blessing things turned out to be. For example, when I was laid off from work, I decided I would start my own consultancy and work from home. It was (and is) painful for the both of us, especially when work was scarce and money even scarcer. My wife was overcome with illness less than a year into this endeavor. This required me to be near her 24/7 as her primary care-giver. The hard providence of God initially became a blessing for me and my wife in the past decade.

    It is the general will of God that we are to be fruitful and multiply. How can that will be considered something that will pose hindrances, as the term negatively implies? God is not double-minded.
  8. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Since the example in the OP mentioned missions, I will mention that I know many folks who plan and train and even gain home-church support for missions but then end up getting married to someone who decides they will not or cannot go. It happens often. In my case it hasn't (I live in the middle of the jungle), but for several friends and acquaintances this happened (usually with spiritual-sounding justifications such as, "I feel the Lord is calling us back to the US" or "I feel the Lord redirecting us..." when it was actually the wife).

    You gain a lot by marriage. But it does cause some to give up on some goals in life. I Corinthians 7: 32-34 plainly states this:

    32 But I would have you be without cares. He that is unmarried careth for the things which belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord;

    33 but he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

    34 There is a difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit; but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
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  9. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I have less free time due to being married, so that surely keeps me from some things I otherwise might do. But like Logan, I find there are more things I can do, or things I can do better, because I have a partner doing them with me and encouraging me. I don't think marriage should be seen as limiting our investment in Christ's kingdom. It may change the specific activities we engage in, but on the whole I think it tends to help us, provided the spouse is godly.

    Missions is a special case. Both spouses do need to be willing, and marriage keeps many would-be missionaries at home. But strong husband-wife teams also keep many missionaries on the field and productive.
  10. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    I found that having a child had more impact than having a wife.

    Of course, being somewhat older than most at the time of marriage meant that both my wife and I were more independent and self sufficient than are many couples when they get married.
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  11. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Sophomore

    This is an excellent point. Our first few years of marriage were super flexible with freedoms to do just about anything we wanted. We loved and respected each other, and were selfless, and tried to do everything for each other's good. As for the bigger decisions, the wife should give her input but cheerfully submit to the husband who values her input but makes the best decision. This is the easy stuff so to say.

    Once children come into the household, everything changes and life must become extremely selfless for the husband and wife. The blessing is immense and I wouldn't trade it for anything else, but life changes completely.
  12. AnnaBanana

    AnnaBanana Puritan Board Freshman

    These are some great replies.

    For the ones who were speaking about children coming in, what type of shift is made in the marriage? I once heard, not sure from where, that the husband and wife must keep their relationship above their own relationship with their children because in 18 years or so when your children (if able to) move out, it’s back to the two of you.
  13. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    With our first-born child it was sort of a shock. Date nights got very hard and the home revolved around the kids. Now we sort of like that and have trouble thinking of ourselves separate from our kids. We plan big activities for the kids and not just for me and my wife. But at first, the transition was rough. We have a long time before we are empty-nesters, but I imagine that transition also will be hard since we like the kids always about our feet.
  14. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    Some thoughts:

    1. Freedom is not the ability to do whatever we want to do, but to work as intended within confines. If married, we need to not live or act as individuals because the two of us are now one flesh. When we seek what is best for the family and not the individual, we are living within the confines appropriate for marriage.

    2. My wife is very different than I am. She has pushed me to become something more than I was by myself. For example, she asked a while back what I thought about fostering to adopt. I said that I didn't think I could love someone else's child as my own. She wanted to look into it and I went along. *Fast forward...* By this spring we will have adopted four children through foster care. Loving them "as my own" began the first day they arrived!

    (As an aside, the "mission field" begins in the family.)

    3. It was definitely children that changed the equation the most drastically. I cannot stay at church as long as I used to, I cannot be as helpful to others, I cannot have an uninterrupted conversation unless there is careful planning, etc. The biggest "hindrance" certainly feels like our six daughters (especially the youngest three), but God calls them "fruit." Whether it is our spouse, children or something else that makes us feel "hindered," I think the problem is often us not being content with our own situation and viewing something else as more glorious than, well, changing diapers.

    I often think about the Holy Spirit's work in us. If I could be a little facetious-- Jesus is at the right hand of the Father in heaven while the Spirit got stuck here living in me. He definitely got the dirty work, although I'm confident that He is preparing me a glorious body and sanctifying me even now in this body of death.
  15. jckdymond55

    jckdymond55 Puritan Board Freshman

    same here.....
  16. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Professor

    I have had to tone down being a sport junky, as when single, every time any sports came on, had to view it. Now basically follow just my own teams.
    And if the will of the Lord is for a wife to be involved into say missions, God will either bring someone like minded to be the husband, or else will change his mind, as both have to be like minded for this to work.
  17. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Senior

    Building boats and telescopes are not build airplanes too?
  18. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)


    The last line of the OP mentions the hypothetical desire to open a food pantry and what if your husband did not agree.

    This is a real possibility. I have seen the goals of many married people change or disappear once they are married.

    For instance, a food pantry sounds great and charitable, but where would you build it? Next to your house? And then the homeless might be knocking on your door at all hours? Or they might know that you are a sympathetic soul and because of that you might get hit up for money and charity all the time. This all could adversely impact the happiness of your married life and strain your relationship with your husband. Then, when your husband goes away he might worry about your safety if you run the pantry alone while he is at work. Because of this you might conclude he is hard-hearted towards the poor and he might conclude that you are naive.

    Even simple things become complicated in marriage sometimes if the partners are not agreed.

    That is why about 85% of your marital happiness all hinges on who you marry and not the subsequent actions you take after you say "I Do" (when it is too late), because personalities are stubborn things and rarely change much after adulthood. All the more reason why people ought to be very selective in choosing a spouse.
  19. AnnaBanana

    AnnaBanana Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you all for the responses in here. I hope you have a blessed Sunday
  20. Jo_Was

    Jo_Was Puritan Board Freshman

    I believe one of the most beautiful things about marriage is that both of you do change as people--but that you change together, and hopefully to bettering one another as well. It is perhaps most realistic to expect changes of goals as a person grows, matures, experiences new phases of life--that's just how people work. The trick is the growing "together" so that, as you change and grow, more and more your thoughts, actions, and goals are considered in light of one another.

    When it comes to practical things as you mentioned, I think there are ways in which new goals are good, but can be achieved together, or perhaps not in the way you thought or would have done as a single person. (You've got to be creative sometimes!)

    An anecdote from my own life to perhaps illustrate: I recently decided that I wanted to return to school to complete my undergraduate degree, but also in a field that I had not previously been in when I first set out to school. I had changed a lot in the time since high school and now, and I had come to re-affirm a new (rather, an old but resurfaced) passion. My husband was quite supportive, and so in the past year I have been going to school. This inevitably means that there are new things, and new opportunities that have come up that I might have jumped at if I had started the endeavor much earlier, pre-marriage, but also I find that the key is not to look at superficial, specific goals, but to satisfy those passions which are inner-goals, not necessarily dependent on the specific scenario. What I mean by that...

    First example - Finding local/nearer means to achieve the same goal--that benefit and work with your current situation

    For example, I am a biology major. One thing that I have learned since delving into my 'new' passion is that I love wildlife and ecology research and field work--I love working with critters, and learning about them. I have had some opportunities (and there are many fold others) to go a great distance and do intense internships--but doing them would be hard on both of us to be apart for so long, and might tax me. And yet, I love the 'doing' of science. So instead I have sought out local opportunities to be active in this new thing that I love--I am now part of 2 research teams and am hoping to be a part of a citizen science project involving box turtles in the southeast (turtles and tortoises are my passion!). In this case, there were alternative, closer or simpler means to 'do what I want' without sacrificing strain on our relationship.

    Second example - Seeking out the 'heart' of your passion, and finding what 'scratches that itch'

    Second example might resonate well with your friend. I, too, have always felt a passion for the mission field and reaching and equipping people, not just with the Gospel, but with practical aid and knowledge. When I was younger, I thought that meant becoming a missionary and going to other countries, but as I have grown, I have realized that the root of that passion is in meeting the lost, and encouraging people of want by meeting their situation. So instead of going to another country, I have sought out local ways to get involved with people. I am looking at perhaps getting involved with helping underprivileged people in my community, and also teaching to GED students, as well as getting plugged in more with church evangelizing and missions efforts. There are a whole host of things that can satisfy the soul of someone with a heart for missions -- working with young women (most disadvantaged) at a pregnancy center, or working with groups that help women/children in abused, or trafficked situations, feeding the poor with soup kitchens and food pantries (you don't have to *own* one to be involved with one!), tutoring young children or adults seeking GED or higher education, volunteering at old folks' homes, being involved with immigrants by helping with housing/accalamation needs or ESL learning, etc. I think the heart of a missions-minded person is reaching the lost, and while it sounds like a 'disappointing' or 'unglamorous' approach to say "we can do missions in our own backyard" -- the truth is that we CAN. If you don't start where you are, with the resources you have, how then can you learn to enjoy and utilize plenty?

    Another thing is that you can also be involved with global missions and charity work also. There are many economic, social, and other such efforts that lay people can get involved in--whether that's sponsoring a child or a poorer person in a village, buying a goat or a calf for a family, sending resources or other aid, getting involved with internet language-learning to help others, becoming a host family for international students (of all ages), and more! It is so much easier in the world we live in to be present and active participants in missions work. For me, I have found that the romanticized notion of "having" to go oversees to make a difference in people's lives--even people in the third world--is not the real heart of my goal, and that really it is a love for Christ's creation. Therefore, I can find ways to be a part of it wherever I am (and, yes, it IS just as satisfying to me, and I have no regrets).

    Marriage doesn't have to mean that you have "hindered" goals per se; instead, it can mean that you have new goals--new goals that you don't have to accomplish alone, but with a partner and constant encourager beside you, new goals that reflect who you are in your time and place, and with the providence that God has shown you. There are many things that we cannot change about our situations or ourselves, but if our ultimate goal is to love God, to worship and enjoy him forever, all other passions and goals in life that are worth following will be in accordance with that.
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