What Your Wedding Ring Means To You

As I reflect back on the years of affairs and how many times I looked down at my wedding ring wondering what it “really meant” to me.  As we went through one of the last affairs, I thought I wanted another wedding ring as that defined what my marriage was.  In my mind E had defied everything it was suppose to mean. It wasn’t the ring that defined my marriage, it was the love I have for E that made the ring more special and the commitment to stay with him no matter what he was struggling with.

Today my mother and I were talking about my grandmothers wedding ring.  My mother wants to wear it and yet it makes her miss my grandmother. My grandmother would’ve wanted her to wear it. It should remind her if the love that my grandmother had for my grandfather. The love that made her get up at 5:30 every single morning and fix him breakfast before work. The love that supported him through thick and thin.  The faith she had that he was lifting her up in prayer and she would do the same for him. The trust she had in herself to stay by his side not matter what. That is what her purpose in life was, was to display her love for her husband. She loved well.

As I was caught up in the affair, being offended and jumping on the band wagon of “me, me, me” I did not think one time of what my grandparents displayed to me if what love was.

Struggles in marriage then are certainly not what they are now although it was still hard according to the times.  There wasn’t a billboard of a naked woman that distracted men. Affairs were not as displayed then as they are now, pornography was not displayed in your local store and it was not acceptable for a lady to be seen with a man that wasn’t her husband. Values were different and so was the time. One thing that still remains the same is the value that Christ has for His children and the way He wants us to love.

Galatians 5:16-26    New American Standard Bible (NASB)                                         16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh [a]sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you [b]please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: [c]immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry,sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger,disputes, dissensions, [d]factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who [e]belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

He says to walk by the Spirit not by what we desire.  You see, they didn’t have internet, Facebook, social media, cell phones that were easy to hide, erase text messages.  Understand that I am not saying people did not have affairs then, I’m saying it was an easier choice to not have an affair.  The temptations were not as they are today.

The spirit of love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Be understanding and love. It is the choice I made that this is what my wedding ring would mean to me, and it does.

Marriage|What women should know about picking up the pieces

Women With Gifts International

Pick It Up

Have you ever been at a place in your marriage that you just didn’t know how to pray? Are difficult times making it too hard to pray? Maybe sometimes you really just don’t want to pray for him…been there!  I know all too well what this is like.  Sometimes when you get to that place is it like you start losing momentum in your everyday prayer life?

I was trying to get my morning walk in yesterday before bible study. As I was walking, with my arms swinging, I looked down and saw a penny. I heard a gentle voice say, “go back and pick it up”. Unfortunately He had to tell me twice. I turned around walked back to the penny and as I picked it up I noticed there were two pennies….and they were heads up. Beautiful, shiny, bright pennies.  I began thanking the Lord…

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Back it up Buddy!

As I have been afraid would happen as I blog, my fingers have moved faster than my mind.  I would be leaving too much out if I failed to go back and add a few things that in retrospect had a HUGE impact in my adult life.

I am returning back to my adolescent years.  I did as most young boys did at this age, I played sports, I fished, I hunted, I camped and trapped along the river I grew up on.  I also had a very deep and dirty secret that I kept hidden from everyone in my life.  I continued to view pornography, terrible, hardcore porn.  Most would think or wonder where I could find such porn in rural Texas, but as I mentioned in my “clubhouse” blog, I had found my stepdads stash, soon I found my grandfathers stash as well, and it was endless.

My grandfather taught me a lot as a kid.  He provided a house for my mom and brother and sister and me when mom divorced my stepdad, but looking back now, I realize that he too was ruled by addictions.  His addiction to porn was uncontrollable.

In my grandfathers closet I could find magazines in the early years and then videos as VHS came around.  One of the heaviest burdens of shamed that I carried after S and mines recovery was the fact that I brought several of these videos into our early homes as we were first married.  If any young husbands are reading this blog please let me cry out to you to NEVER allow this to happen.  Never allow Satan into your home, into the place that should be sacred to you and your bride like I did, and if you have and you expect any hope for your marriage then get it out of your home NOW.  Get it out of your home and you and your wife pray together and close any doors that it opened for the evil one.

 

You Are Enough

This is not my (S) normal blog. As I set here tonight thinking about what to start with. I’m listening to Billy Graham….
I don’t know who I’m speaking to tonight…your marriage does not define who you are!!! God defines you. You are loved by Jesus. He is your husband and your father. You do not need man’s approval to be justified. God wants you to get down on your knees and let Him hold you. Do not believe the lies of the enemy.  You are who God says you are. He says you are blessed and highly favored by Him. He is your Prince Charming Touch His garment tonight. He knows.
Do not believe the lies of the enemy.

So many of us let our husband’s affair partner define who we are. If the devil sees he cannot destroy your marriage from the affair he will try to destroy you. Many women who cannot get off of a rotating wheel of pursuing married men to raise their self-esteem often operate in what some would have a word for, we will call it speaking things over the wife.  Do not entertain the thought of not being good enough, pretty enough or skinny enough. She cannot stand between you and God unless your thinking about her more than you are God. You are chosen by your Savior and He CAN restore your marriage.

Without repentance there is no forgiveness.  You choose a relationship with our Father and He has the final say.

Pretending is Easier Than Living the Truth

I don’t remember a lot from this very long week or so. After E not coming home after his first rotation I started suspecting things. It was pouring down rain and I was driving down a road to a small town I had never been to. After finding the hospital and asking for protection I kept driving and also had a fear of him seeing me. His truck was at an unfamiliar house. It was still pouring down rain as I drove back home.

Lots of things going through my mind. Many tears had rolled down my cheeks.

He completed shift rotations for his class, went to the fire department the next day and to another fire department the next…

I was the junior department manager at Bealls Department Store, the teen board director for Bealls and the mall. I had just started directing the mall fashion shows. This kept me busy.

I decided he needed something to relieve his stress so I bought him an inexpensive fishing boat. You see, it was much easier to say it was stress, and I needed to build my credit up than
It was to say, I wasn’t a good wife.

We were blessed to be a part of a fire department with families that were so close. We all fished together, spent a few holidays together and helped when we could. Of course at this time we had been there a little over a year. One of the couples called to check on me and of course I asked questions. I found out E had talked about a woman that was in his class, much older than him giving him shoulder rubs. He would pridefully talk about how nice this was.

I didn’t understand what I had done for him to not have called or come home for days. Of course I didn’t ask lots of questions but made it out to be nothing. We pretended everything was okay. It was as if we had gotten in an argument before his rotation and he was working after that.

Honesty…I was desperate and thought he hadn’t come home to me but knowing how much he loved to fish, he would come home to a boat.

He did.

Saving lives while throwing one away

ambulance

Meanwhile, back at the firehouse, life was grand.  I had settled into my crew I was learning more and more everyday and was turning into a legend in my own mind.  I was married to my kindergarten sweetheart who was a gorgeous woman, I was enrolled in an EMS class, furthering my medical training, and had great brothers at the firehouse that I spent a third of my days with.

As my medical training continued, I was required to spend a certain amount of hours doing rotations as a student at hospitals in various departments.  It was during one of these rotations that another female student I was in class with asked me to go home with her.

S and I were young, and as I have wrote in the past, both came from broken homes.  She didn’t know how to be a wife and I certainly didn’t know how to be a husband, as nobody had ever taught us. Things were rocky around our home from time to time, as I’m sure they are with any new marriage. We would fight and argue over petty, simple things.  Things that didn’t matter. Unfortunately all I knew was pornography and how those women looked and acted and the things they did.  This is what I thought a wife was supposed to do, this is how I thought I should be treated because I was so prideful and selfish that I thought I deserved these things.  I accepted the invitation from this woman, 20 plus years older than me, diving into the first of many affairs just over a year into our marriage.

This was a very short lived relationship, as S became suspicious, and class came to an end, but the damage had been done, the path to darkness had been taken, and a road that took over twenty years to get off of was being traveled.