Lessons Learned After 4 Year of Marriage
I am actually very excited about this blog because you will also get to hear the man's perspective (from my hubby) which we usually do not hear enough of. We wrote a relationship blog a few years ago and you guys absolutely loved it. So in honor of our 4 year anniversary here are just a few of our thoughts.
I am going to try to summarize these 4 years in as little text as I can even though I feel like I have so much that I would love to share with you. First and foremost, I would like to say that marriage is no joke and even though we have experienced a lot of good times in our marriage, we have also faced a lot of challenges. It's funny how you tend to remember the hard times more than you do the good times and if you're not careful, you can turn towards a lot of negativity. Sometimes you can completely throw out the sweet memories that you create together out of your head because you've focused so much on the challenges that you were facing. It can happen very easily especially when in certain seasons you experience a challenge after a challenge. It is as if though you cannot catch a break.
Every relationship and marriage is a unique bond. There is only one proven recipe that works for all of these relationships and that is the true and unconditional love that God gives us. It is not the easiest route because it will push you towards being selfless. I still remember my Mom's words that ring in my head from time to time. She told me that marriage is a life of sacrifice. (that was before I was married) She was and is so right. I can only imagine in my mind the amount of time, energy, sweat and tears that she poured out into her marriage to one man and 12 children. I have one child and I am seriously questioning my ability to handle anymore.
A marriage can only withstand challenges when there is selflessness from both the husband and the wife. This is not to say that at times, one will make more withdrawals than deposits, however, in the end, it should all balance out. Living in the society today that is so entitled and selfish that there are more divorces than we have ever seen before and that number continues to climb. This is what I learned. Marriage requires you to be vulnerable and selfless. You may think that you were vulnerable before but there are seasons of hardship that comes which will cause you to either retract or open up to your spouse more than ever before. I've never thought that there was another depth to my husband until we go through a certain season and I watch him be more vulnerable than I've ever seen him before. Most people think that getting married will, in fact, solve a lot of their problems, however, they fail to realize that it is only a magnifying glass that reveals the true heart and character of a person. Marriage doesn't fix problems. Children do not fix problems. In fact, if you and your spouse are not on the same page, parenting will be very difficult if not for some the breaking point of their relationship.
I've learned that children bring another dynamic to a marriage and even though parenting can be hard some days, you look down in awe at this beautiful little miracle that has some traits and characteristic of you and your spouse. It's truly a miracle. We've experienced so much joy and laughter this year just watching her hit every milestone. We've also had to rely on one another for support this year like never before because parenting is no joke. Hey, but that is what you get in a marriage, the good and the bad. I honestly don't like to call it the 'bad' because the challenges that you face just make you that much stronger. All of these moments make up a beautiful love story.
Well, it's been 4 years but it feels like we've lived a lifetime together already. Nothing could have prepared me for what was to come when I said: "I do". A collision of elation and responsibility came at me faster than I could have imagined. Marriage is God's design. It's not defined by the government, nor it is it maintained by the piece of paper that the government gives you. God created marriage as a reflection of his original intent for all of creation--for the expansion of his glory, his goodness, and his Kingdom. I feel like marriage has brought out the MAN in me. I understand now more than ever, God's original purpose for the man and for the woman. There is such amazing uniqueness to each, yet both are equally as valuable and necessary.
Marriage is hard, but is anything worth having easy? In fact, the great moments that we have experienced over the last four years have been so well contrasted by the tough ones. It was in the moments of our greatest challenge that we have had the opportunity to love like Christ did--unconditionally. When the scripture says that a husband should lay down his life for his wife and love her even as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25) it wasn't referring to one act. It's not a "what if" scenario of being faced with the decision to save my wife from a murderer. This command given to the husband is one that we have to follow every day. It means considering her in every decision, living less for me and more for the sake of my family, opening my heart, and casting a vision daily for what we build together. I am not sure that I have lived up to this quite yet, but I am striving to every day.
I can truly say that Viktoriya has truly been a Proverbs 31 example of a wife. She's not perfect and can have a hard shell to crack sometimes, but she is consistent. She put her career on pause so that I could pursue a great opportunity and so that we could build a family. Without question, she chose to build her company from home instead of choosing the traditional workplace route. She is brave, talented, and goes beyond what I could have ever wished to have in a wife.
This journey has forced me to look inward and confront the skeletons in my closet. Characteristics about myself that I do not want to pass to my children. Viktoriya and I have chosen a hard path but we have chosen the right path. It was hard to keep ourselves before marriage, not to date around aimlessly. We have chosen to repave an old way. One that is a bit unorthodox in our day and time. We have chosen to swim against the current of the culture to build our own Coleture. I'm not sure what the rest of forever will hold for us, but I am confident we will be able to face anything together. This three-fold chord (husband, wife, and God) is unbreakable.
Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses. -Ann Landers
Create Coleture, Be YOU
Viktoriya and Ryan Cole