It’s funny how when you look back on things you said before, problems you thought you had- you almost admire “the old days”. I posted this one a while back on our old blog but it’s still so relevant I thought I’d share it again. My dad gave us this advice right before we got married. I hope it gives y’all a word. September 4, 2014 We all know that marriage isn’t just a walk through the daisies. As a matter of fact, It can feel worse than walking on hot coals sometimes. I mean, you know when you’ll be done with those coals- 3 more feet to glory- but you don’t always know when the waves on the ocean of marital life will hear that “Peace, Be Still” you’ve been screaming. Promising to spend the rest of your natural life with your “best friend” seems like it will be a breeze in the beginning, I mean, what could go wrong? He “loves” all your unsightly little quirks and you love his -proverbial- “dirty drawers”. (I know y’all have crazy aunties that say that too! Don’t front!) But what happens when that new love flame starts to fizzle and you realize that no, you don’t love picking up his crusty socks-or drawers for that matter. And he really doesn’t think your snore is all that cute? What happens when “I do” turns into “I wish you would!” ?? You stick it out! It’s funny how other peoples’ marriages bring out the philosopher in folks. Most often it’s single folks-perpetually single folks- who just have to give their two cents. Most of the time they don’t have the slightest clue what their yappin’ about. But sometimes they drop a jewel that changes the course of your relationship for the long haul. Case in point, my dad. Some of you know, but some of you dont- today marks a year since I lost the old man. Tragic as death can be, it has a funny way of making you remember EVERYTHING you truly valued about a person. ALthough my dad was absent for most of my young life, one thing I can say he always gave me was hella-good advice. See, my dad was a borderline genius. He knew a little something about a LOT of everything. He never seemed to connect the dots in his own life but, fortunately for his children, we’re connecting the dots in our lives through his many quotes and quips. My dad was 45 when he left here. He had 5 grown children by that time. Yep, you read that right.. FIVE. My siblings and I never got much facetime as kids so it’s safe to say that- if only in his youth- our papa wa a rolling stone. When my older aunts would tell me about him, they always said “child, your dad is just not the marrying type”. For all his great qualities, settling down wasn’t his strong suit. I remember several “almost” step-mothers but they never really panned out. So we were all shocked as shizzle when, about 4 years ago, he popped up married. To a woman we barely knew. Needless to say, when Miri and I went to ask his permission to get married, he had YEARS of relationship advice to hand down. And of course I’m thinking “what do you know about keeping a marriage together old man?!” Well it was just my luck, he knew enough to give us everything we needed to stick it out when things got rough and then some. Here’s my dad’s lasting advice to us on how to keep our heads together when the whole thing seems like it’s ready to fall apart.
It’s Not about YOU! Trust me, this is easier to say than to believe sometimes. His actual spill went more like this: “Remember yall are making a covenant. Not just with each other but with God. God ordained marriage for His own purposes. So remember, when he’s not making you feel like you want to or you fee like you’re about ready to choke the spit out of her (yes, he said that), remember your covenant.” Honestly y’all, those few words has gotten us through some really trying times. Remembering that at the end of the day, it’s bigger than US, keeps us grounded when petty disputes come up. It stops us from “going there” when emotions run high. It reminds us to “see God” in each other even when we’re looking like Damien from the Omen. Trust Your Husband No Matter What! “If he says something, believe him until you KNOW otherwise. Don’t believe anyone’s word over his”. He told me this personally the day I called and told him we were going to get our marriage license. He also reminded me that the “naysayers” would be those closest to me more often than not. My list of “friends’ has dwindled to a staggering low since I said my vows so where this really hits home for me is within my own consciousness. –Example: As a stay-at-home mom things get really testy with the finances at times. It can feel like “I just don’t know”. But I don’t just stay at home because I hate the job circuit. I do it because this is the lifestyle we chose from the beginning. In choosing to get back to the natural family order, I am also choosing to TRUST my husband to provide. That means, when things get rocky and I want to quit my day job and find “real” work, I have to trust that he will make ends meet- and he always does. Of course, we contribute our never being without to the care and keeping of our heavenly Father but we also know that my trust- and expectation – that he will provide for our family compels him to elevate and meet those needs. It firmly grounds him in his position as Head of our household and King of the castle. Always Be the Woman He Married. Okay, so dad’s getting to sound a bit biased right? Well, if you knew him you’d know he was very “traditional” when it came to men and women. He understood gender roles and -thankfully- he passed that wisdom on. See, my dad knew what most women have forgotten- and that’s this- men are easy. And all it really takes is a woman who understands that fact to keep a good man happy. If he’s marrying you it’s because he’s found what he’s been looking for (or you held a gun to his head but I’m talking to the sane people here). That being the case, if you want to keep a happy husband, don’t go flipping the script on him. If you started out cooking him dinner every night, don’t make him eat fast food because you’re mad at him…or you just got lazy. If you’re getting your hair done weekly, don’t start wearing a du-rag because you “got him” now. Now of course, we’re not as heavily biased as my dear old dad so we’re talking to the fellas here too. Brothas, don’t start off flexing those kitchen skills if you don’t plan to feed her at least every once in a while. And don’t make the mistake of spoiling her with “romance” just to snatch the magic carpet from under her feet when you give her the ring. Be who you are from the beginning. Give your mate a chance to love the real you so they know exactly what they’re getting into. Marriage is a Beautiful Journey! But every road has it’s bumps, cracks and potholes. If you’ve ever been to New Orleans you know that sometimes you’ll get more potholes than you bargained for before you get to level ground. Prepare your heart for the obvious challenge of sharing everything with another person. Prepare your mind for the long haul. Divorce rates in America are depressing. The marriage rates in the black community are even bleaker. Much of it comes from not going into it with a level head and a focused heart. Don’t be so caught up in the butterflies that you miss the stinging bees, cuz they’re there. Look at the whole picture, and don’t FALL into it. Walk- softly- one step at a time. **Some scriptures that guide us through: – Ephesians 5:22-29 – Colossians 3:18-19 – 1 Corinthians7:3-5 & 10-11 – 1 Corinthians 11::3 –1 Peter 3:5-9 Peace and Blessings family. Love and More Love! **Amiri&YahYa