Written By: Heather Paton
Now that I have your attention, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty! Let’s be real, marriage is NO joke and is definitely not easy!! Marriage involves the good, the bad and the ugly. Seriously, did you think your spouse would look like that in the morning? All joking aside, I LOVE LOVE LOVE being married. When we first got married I remember thinking, “Who said marriage was a gift? A gift!! Really?! What kind of sick joke was this? If this was a gift then I wanted a FULL refund!” This was NOT what I ordered, and definitely not what I signed up for. Only to realize this waaaas what I ordered, and this waaaas what I signed up for.
Not only did I sign up for it, but I also made a covenant, not only with this man, but before Almighty God. I declared to my friends, family and the world that I would love, honour and cherish him. Do you remember declaring those words too? The ones you so boldly recited? I can almost hear them now… I, HEATHER, take you, Jamie, to be my husband. For better, for worse, rich or poor, in sickness and in health..shallowly focusing on the “better”, the “rich” and the “healthy” portions of my vows and quickly skimming over the thoughts of the worse, the poor and the sick. After all we were going to live on love and nothing could touch us, right?!
This man, the one I stood and declared my love for, the one I smiled from ear to ear when he asked me to marry him….was the very one I wished would walk out, would walk away. My life would be better, right? I could do it better on my own, couldn’t I? We battled, oh did we battle. I still remember the day I had spaghetti thrown at me, and the day I was so mad I locked him in the garage…for a long period of time. I remember him pounding on the interior door and me leaning against it laughing, thinking “I won this round pal!” Yes, we battled…and battled hard about nothing significant, nothing really worth battling over. We are the all or nothing type of couple. Gloves off, let’s see whose will is stronger.
Come on, here’s another scenario you may be familiar with…No you shut the lights off, no you shut the lights off…only to both be in bed with the overhead light blazing your face all hours of the night because neither one of you would humble yourselves and shut the light off. Hogging the covers? Oh wow, now you’ve really done it… only to rip them off and throw them over the banister to the level below and shivering all night because you wouldn’t cave and go get them. Looking back now I see neither one of us won… we both lost big time. We were both stubborn and to be honest very selfish… after all why should I have to unload the dishwasher…oh the audacity!! Change the baby??!! Are you serious? Can’t you?! After all you’re just sitting there, I know I’m just sitting here too, but I’ve been with the children all day while you were at work!
Come on, while you’re reading this, it seems so immature… but it happens all the time. Couples battling over the stupidest things, sacrificing the closeness and intimacies of marriage over childish things. We witness in marriages all the time. Watching those who have desired, prayed and cried out for spouses, now cuss and lose complete control over a 60 second diaper change. Oh God help us…. open our eyes to see the big picture and not focus on our blessings as inconveniences. Help us to see you’ve blessed us helpmates and not prison mates.
We had so much to learn, and so much to gain…if we would just die to self. Could we? Would we? People ask us all the time for marriage advice and for counsel. The answer we give them is this… Get closer to Jesus. Pursue the Lord. Some stare at us, wanting a magic pill or 3 step program and solution, but honestly that’s what we did. We never had marriage counselling… even though we were prime candidates for it on many levels. Literally, the closer and more serious we became about The Lord, the tighter knit we became. We fell in love with Jesus and it caused us to fall in love with one another in a way we never thought possible. The more we laid our lives down for one another, the stronger our relationship became. We soon realized we weren’t enemies, but we were on the same team. Team Paton, contending for the same things, the promises God spoke over our marriage and family. We realized there was a major war on marriages, and that if we allowed it … ours would quickly become another statistic instead of a force to be reckoned with.
My marriage advice… Pursue the Lord with ALL your heart, He’s the only one that can and will ever completely fulfill you. He’s the only one that will never let you down. He will lead, guide and protect you when you live under His covering. Love and cherish your spouse, I mean OOZE love…Go out of your way to serve them…they are YOUR helpmate. Speak reaffirming words over them and watch your marriage radically transform. Aim for selflessness not selfishness and watch how the resentment turns to joy. Marriage is one of the oldest covenants between God and man. Two people becoming one flesh. The Word says what God has joined together let no man separate. You’ve got to determine in your heart that giving up isn’t an option. Marriage is not 50/50, but 100/100. Don’t wait for your spouse to start…YOU start. Don’t allow the enemy to get a foothold in your marriage and if he has one… take authority over it, and pray!
NOTHING is impossible with God!! Believe that He who began a good work in you WILL complete it! I’m not saying each day will be easy…I”m saying each day and each trial will be worth it when you come out the other side knowing you made it!
I encourage you to …Seek the Lord with all your heart. Be selfless and learn to serve your spouse. BE FUN TO LIVE WITH! Cover your spouses weaknesses… if you won’t love, encourage, help and protect him, who will? Spice things up!
Whistle and wink when he walks in the room.
Plant a big wet kiss on him and gross your children out!
Pray with him and for him.
Go out for dinner… spend some money!!
Write a note and stick it on the bathroom mirror for him to see when he wakes up.
Throw a cup of freezing cold water on him while he’s singing in the shower….(remember be fun to live with).
Ask him what God’s saying to him or showing him.
Leave a gift card for his favourite coffee shop on his steering wheel so he can grab a treat on his way to work.
Throw out those nasty jogs he despises and invest in some fun lounge wear.
Text him mid day and let him know you’re thinking about him.
Text him a verse that came to mind when you were praying for him..( I don’t recommend, “Get thee behind me satan!”.)
Have sex… God created it, and it is GOOD!
Don’t compare your marriage to anyone else’s…our paths and journey’s are all so different. Find the uniqueness and beauty in yours!
Heather Paton is a passionate woman who loves The Lord and desires nothing more than to see His name made famous and for the captives to be set free. She is married to a one of kind running mate and together they have been blessed with five awesome & diverse children. Her favourite time of day is dinner time, her family is a loud and funny crew and they make many great memories from being in each other’s company around the table in that short time. Heather and Her Husband Jamie, pastored for 13 years and planted an inner city church, The Sanctuary in London Ontario 5 years ago. Heather has a heart for youth, Rwanda, the Arctic. Her heart passionately beats for the lost and outcasts of society. She loves to teach, preach and disciple women who desire to see God radically change their lives. Heather is intense yet gentle….. And desires women everywhere to be ALL God has created them to BE!! YOU CAN DO IT!!