Ephesians 4:2-3 Be completely humble and gentle; Be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the UNITY of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
I would say this scripture over and over again until it sank in my soul. Until I didn’t pop off every time I would get in my feelings. So life was great, and things were going well, but the debt that my husband had, on top of the debt that I had, honey it was no joke! He told me that he was better with the finances, so we both agreed, he would handle the bills. BUT, when the mail would come, and I began to see RED through the envelopes, I began to turn red in the face. Oh, that is not all church, then I would open the letters and see the This is the “FINAL NOTICE” before we take matters further letter, and I would whisper to myself Make every effort to keep the UNITY of the Spirit through the bond of peace! I wanted to yell, PEACE, where for art thou PEACE? I need thee oh I need thee! How are you good with money, but yet you haven’t paid these bills? He would then come to me and ask me where my financial contribution was for the month? He didn’t pay the bill because I hadn’t given enough money towards them. And again I say, Make every effort to keep the UNITY of the Spirit through the bond of peace. I wanted to say, why does my money have to go towards your school loans, your car note, your insurance, and your phone bill? BUT, it is no longer about ME, but WE! We are one, so that means what’s mine is his, and what’s his is mine!! I didn’t realize that included his debts. Did I work hard to give all my money to HIS debts and bills? Must he continue to wait until the last minute to pay the bills? Where was his financial contribution? Girl, be patient, bearing with this dude in love! What is love Nikea? Love is patient, Love is kind! Ok, no problem, I love him right? If I love him, why do I not feel patient or kind right now? I mean, yes, I have my bills and my debt too, but nothing like his bills and debt! When I lived the single life, I was used to having MY own stuff, doing MY own things, paying My own bills, and being responsible for ME! But now, being a married woman, the transition from ME to We was a struggle! Dear God, once again I didn’t properly prepare for life after sex!
Having UNITY, and harmony in your marriage is so important. We talked about how we would deal with our debt and finances in counseling, but that was before he was out of work for 9 months, and things didn’t go according to plan. I was putting more money out than he was for his bills. Lord Jesus, help a sista out! I began to feel that if he wasn’t working, then his bills shouldn’t get paid! You know one thing I can admit, MY NAME IS NIKEA MARIE, AND YES I WAS SELFISH! I had to truly have a selfish detox. I had to truly adjust to the new life I entered into. A Pastor once told me that marriage is a platform to practice the same qualities or characteristics of Christ. You are married to a person who is not perfect, and who does not meet all the conditions all the time, so that you might learn unconditional love. You are married to a person who needs mercy, so that you may learn to give it. You have to learn how to be selfless, because that is how God is to us. He gave his only son, and man what a selfless act that was! If my marriage is a representation of Christ, then I have to have the same attitude as Him! I can’t be all about ME, I have to be about WE. We were in this together, and while he was down, I had to stay up! For some reason, that was a struggle for me. While I was single, my mom would always tell me that I was going to get a rude awakening after I said “I DO”. I was like mom, I am ready! She then had to go down the list of the things that I was selfish about. She said, you are selfish when it comes to your money. All you want to do is shop for yourself, and only do you. You complain about tithing, she says. I was like no I don’t. She said yes you do! I mean, I know I am required to tithe, but I was salty ONE TIME because I couldn’t get those shoes that were on sale, because I had to pay my tithes. Those were some bad shoes mama, and I couldn’t get them. I know, I know, don’t judge me, but I was an immature teenager, but I realized tithing is what blessed me more, and not tithing actually hurt me more, trust me, I learned that the hard way! Then my mom says, how many birthday parties have you been to, and came empty handed? My presence is their gift mom! See, you are selfish! If you don’t get that together, it will hurt you later. Boy was she right! I have come a long way, but don’t be like me. Don’t waste time and years in your marriage trying to fix things, that God is allowing you to fix right now as a single person.
Ephesians 5:1-2 (MSG) should be a scripture that you live by! Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with Him, and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious, but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us, but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. God will show you how to be selfless, and walk in true love! Follow His leading, and His example. Don’t run from the process, endure it. It is preparing you for what you have prayed for! Check your selfishness, and make sure that you are unified with Christ, before you try and be unified with a man. I thank God that he showed me how to be selfless, and to truly love like HE loves. Now, there is nothing I wouldn’t do for my husband, or anybody else for that matter. I love to give, and I have completely died to my old ways! Won’t he do it! Yes He did! Yes, I can admit, marriage is hard work, but it is a job I wouldn’t trade for anything!
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