wow. has it really been one year since i said "i do" to mark! crazy! i am no expert but here are five personal thoughts about my first year of marriage that i didn't expect:)

1) Needing God NOT Mark

i will be totally honest with you, i had this weird idea that once mark and i got married and started living together he would supply my needs. hahah. this was one of my first major lessons God taught me.
how dare i get my worth and needs met from mark! how dare i put that on another human being when only a perfect, spotless God can do that.
i love when mark compliments me or tells me i look beautiful, but if i am needing my worth and acceptance from my husband something is so wrong. that is exhausting to put such unrealistic expectations on my poor husband.
we get our worth and acceptance from God…not our spouses.

i am still learning this one but i love my marriage because mark and i are getting our worth from God and not each other…there is something so freeing and liberating about this.

2) Submission is the BEST

"for the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Saviour of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.." - ephesians 5

i once heard a sermon where he talks about so many wives coming to him and telling him submitting to their husbands is so hard… he replied with "you think submitting to your husband is hard… i have to be freaking JESUS to my wife- who has it harder?"

that quote has stuck with me and convicted me hard. look at what the scripture says.

it's so true. mark is called to be Jesus to me, just as Christ loves His church. It's that perfect picture of marriage that the bible talks about. marrriage is an example of how Christ came and sacrificed himself for the church. mark is called to love me and give himself up for me… yikes. he has it harder.

i was so scared about submission in high school and after attending so many women's studies classes in university my mind had automatically correlated submission with something awful. but actually its the best ever.. and it's so much fun!!! Submitting to mark is fun - why? because He is striving to serve and love me like Jesus loves the church… and that is the most amazing, incredible, beautiful thing.
still i am so passionate about women's rights and being equal but submission to your husband has absolutely nothing to do with that.

God created male and female equal. God loves both male and females equal. God just has different roles for males and females to live out in marriage and the church. God creates the most beautiful perfect things and that includes marriage. it really is an honour and blessing to try to live that out as a woman. its not a negative thing at all. ( i could blog about this forever..maybe another time!)

3) Don't fix your eyes on your marriage, fix your eyes on Christ

"but seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all those things will be added to you. so do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself, each day has enough trouble of its own" matthew 6

so many people told us to focus on our marriage and take time off from doing ministry. i get their logic and sure it can make sense but both Mark and I thought it was kinda stupid… so instead we focused and fixed our eyes on Christ. We didn't spend a lot of time working on our marriage and worked on our relationship with Jesus and a year into later we are so thankful for that.

we changed career paths and decided to go into full time ministry just a few months after getting married…sure people thought we were crazy but it's been such a blessing to our marriage. fix your eyes on Jesus Christ, everything else (including your marriage) will be added to you. it will fall into line when our eyes are fixed on Jesus.

4) SERVE together

when is mark the most attractive? easy answer. when we are serving together. when we are in the trenches, the front lines going out and making disciples for God's glory. we get to share such rich deep God moments together that we could never get if we weren't serving together. it is my most favourite thing because we are living out our God given purpose..to go and make disciples.

honestly, working for a church scares me. we were hired to build a youth group, live on a minimal income and start from scratch..scary. but mark and i have grown so close, holding hands praying together, dreaming God dreams for our ministry and building relationships with our students. its been the scariest and best few months of my life because we are serving all day together.

you want your relationship to thrive ? my best advice (from only one year of marriage)… serve together… get on the front lines for Jesus. you won't regret it.

5) Who has time to FIGHT?

i think in our first year of marriage mark and i fought once..maybe twice.. i'm not typing this to say that we are great or anything like that.. we just don't have time for it. we have kingdom work to do. and when both our eyes are fixed on God there isn't much to fight about. whenever i want to complain, the Spirit reminds me that i am being prideful and it usually shuts me up pretty quick.

i also love this quote about fighting… i feel like it puts my thoughts in words so much nicer
"eternal-mindedness keeps us from silly arguments. there's no time to fight. we have better things to pursue than our interests. too much is at stake! God created us for a purpose. we can't afford to waste our lives. we can't afford to waste our marriage by merely pursuing our own happiness" - Francis Chan

there is so many more things i've learnt from being married but thats a good start.
thanks for reading my thoughts:)


ps. these pics were taken by Hannah Durston for our one year and we are thrilled with them. Thanks Hannah!!

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