Last year my oldest daughter married the man of her dreams and whom I believe God handpicked for her. Even as they dated and became engaged, I could already see God in the middle of their relationship. As someone who is spiritually mismatched (my husband doesn’t share my faith) and as a mom who prayed for years for her daughters’ future spouses, this was a true testimony of God’s faithfulness.
Yet even what we call ideal circumstances, I so wanted my daughter to understand a few things that I didn’t as a young bride. As the wedding plans progressed, I found some opportunities to share my heart with her. This is what I told her:
1. Don’t worry about everything being perfect. So often those details we let tie us up in
knots wind up holding no value at all.
We can get so caught up in the “doing” that we miss “being” in the moments. And
those moments can be so precious and full of love. They are what we hold close
to our hearts and remember years down the road.
|One of Dineen's non fiction titles|
for the spiritually mis-matched marriage
2. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Sometimes the best results come from either learning how to do something wrong first, like ruining a meal. (Next time you know not to leave the temperature set on high for an hour or a doubling the amount of salt the recipe calls for does not make it tastier!) And sometimes “happy mistakes,” as I call them, wind up giving you a better outcome than you originally hoped. It’s all about giving grace and lots of it. The Bible is all about God’s relationship with His people and His love for them. Guess what? Marriage is all about relationship and love for each other. Give lots of grace.
3. Don’t be a control freak. I realized years down the road that my desire to be perfect
(see number one) and not make mistakes (see
number 2) had cheated my husband out of some great hands-on experiences, like
cleaning a bathroom, doing laundry, and changing diapers. Feel free to laugh,
but the thing is, when we are shooting for perfection, we set the bar so high
that our spouse may not want to even try to reach for such unrealistic
expectations, which only opens the door for misunderstandings. Maybe he really
does want to help out but is too afraid he won’t do it the way you want it. And
in the long run, who remembers how well you folded the laundry or kept the
house dust free?
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Dineen's second non fiction title
Maybe these aren’t areas that would tie you in knots on the proverbial clothesline. The most important “skill” in marriage is open and honest communication without hidden agendas and reading between the lines. Learn from each other and most importantly, enjoy each other. Nothing is ever perfect and thank goodness it doesn't have to be. Our greatest example of love is Jesus—how He loved people right where they were, flaws and all. Love each other that way, and you’ll have a marriage that will turn into a life long journey full of love and surprises.
|Love getting to know this beautiful lady,|
inside and out!
Dineen Miller is passionate about God’s Word and truth. She’s been featured on the Moody Radio Network, Focus on the Family, Dr. James Dobson’s FamilyTalk and FamilyLife Today. Dineen lives in the Bay Area with her family and is the coauthor of the award winning book, Winning Him Without Words and Not Alone: Trusting God to Raise Godly Kids in a Spiritually Mismatched Home. She is also the author of the ACFW Carol Award winning book, The Soul Saver. Visit Dineen online at SpirituallyUnequalMarriage.com.