You know, after more than 10 years of marriage, I have accepted my relationship with CM to be such – holding firmly to our vows and being committed to one another and the children. Then something happened…
One morning, after the children’s netball practice, we took lunch out. That meant the previous day’s leftover porridge would be our dinner. That would give us time to bathe, rest and then go for classes in the evening. While cooking porridge was logistically easier for me to manage, CM was not a big fan of it, and he would dread it if he had to take it for two dinners in a row. As we were near an NTUC, I decided to see if I could get some fish to make fish soup for him – ONLY for him. I have NEVER done that. Of course you can say ‘there’s always a first time’ – but that was a BIG step out of my routine (my extremely comfortable zone). Even as I was cooking, I was wondering and asking myself, ‘Why am I doing this? I am tired. Shouldn’t I be resting? It’ll be such a rush. Perhaps it’s easier to ask him to eat out.’ My preference is always for us to eat home cooked food, and even more so since CM was unwell then. The amazing thing was – God helped me to finish cooking, got all of us ready and then left for class…although we were a little late.
CM, expecting to have porridge, was prepared to resign to his ‘fate’ that evening. He was pleasantly surprised when I told him his dinner was fish soup with rice. He asked, ‘What about the porridge?’ I told him that was our dinner, not his. I must say he really enjoyed his hot soup and rice that evening. I was happy too.
It was then that I realised that I’ve loved CM more and wanted to please him. Not that I don’t love CM. It’s like falling in love again. I sensed it’s the same for CM too. On one occasion when we were to dine at my parent’s place, CM bought a bouquet of flowers for my mom, thanking her for cooking for us. That was so sweet of him. I was overjoyed coz usually I am the one getting flowers for my parents. We may be on cloud nine for a while but our feet were certainly firmly on the ground. And we found ourselves agreeing to disagree and seeing eye to eye more about issues and concerns, especially in spiritual matters. I marvelled at this and talked to God. Upon reflection, a number of factors helped us to grow in love…
* ‘Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.’ Ephesians 5.22 I struggled with this a lot last year. I believe God wanted me to work on that. As I willed to submit to CM, I felt my burdens lightened (coz I’m not the head) and I wasn’t as grouchy. I sense that we are better this year and we smoothen out our hiccups much faster too.
* Be united as one. I always pray for us to be one, as a couple and as a family. That way, we can serve the Lord more efficiently and effectively. Where parenting is concerned, the children will have little opportunities to play one parent against the other.
* Praying for one another before CM goes to work. I want to be there to send CM off every morning, entrusting his safety and well-being to the Lord. If that day happens to be the last time I see him, I want to have no regrets. CM prays for the children and I before he leaves for work too.
* Weekly couple devotion. We were blessed with Wayne Mack’s book ‘A Homework Manual for Biblical Living’. It’s a wonderful book and really brings us to the Word of God. It has helped us discover many more things about ourselves, one another and our relationship. Most importantly, it has opened our eyes to what God has originally designed marriage to be, including the roles of husband and wife. It is very enlightening. I spotted many instances where both of us agree on what is important to ensure the ‘connectedness’ in our marriage. I can see us moving closer to each another and towards God, who is at the apex. See picture below