Marriage, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY

Vow

 

Okay, so we Filipinos seem to have all been affected by the Jollibee valentine ads. I am talking particularly about “Vow.” It’s a brilliant ad, telling us that no matter what happens, Jollibee will always be there for us, to make us feel loved and happy each time we visit their stores. But really, were you affected by the video saying, “awwww Jollibee, thanks so much for the love and sacrifice…”? Haha. No, I think we were affected by the love story. As a friend of mine said, it’s La La Land all over again!

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image from cdn.ibtimes.ph
I tweeted the other day that I don’t believe in guy-girl best friends unless guy and girl are married, with the hashtags #jollibee #onealwayscrossestheline (which I’ve changed to #oneortheothermaycrosstheline) #wrongvow #usewisdom. I know, some agree and some do not. I don’t mean to step on anyone’s toes. I respect everyone’s opinions and life choices, whether I agree with them or not. But let me try to explain. My tweet was prompted by the ad, but I have been subscribing to this belief ever since I learned about boundaries and healthy, mature boy-girl relationships. Of course, this was already when I was an adult hehehe.

Anyway, that said, I believe there is a danger in a man and a woman, a boy and a girl becoming best of friends. There are so many stories of hearts being broken this way. There is always that very thin line that one could cross, maybe at different points of their relationship. One could be oblivious to it, the other could be deeply longing and believing for them to be together in the end. One could be over it, and the other starts developing feelings. Or both feel the same way but are too young (or whatever other reason) to do anything about it. Or both feel the same way, do something about it, and then end up ruining their friendship. The thought will almost always cross one or the other’s mind. Sorry, but not many women or men have the character and maturity to be able to keep that line clear and distinct. So why put yourself in that position? It’s not wise.

Case in point, the Jollibee ad, which is inspired by a true story. The guy invested so much of his time, energy, money and emotions on his best friend, only to lose her to another man. That would have been fine (maybe, minus the emotions) if they were truly, purely just friends, but the guy obviously had deep feelings for the girl. He was so heartbroken. So for me, that kind of investment should really be reserved for your spouse. That kind of best friendship, between husband and wife, is worth that kind of investment. Husband and wife mutually invest in each other and in their marriage.

To be honest, I didn’t expect the ad to have that twist. I’m one of those who wants the best friends in the story, to end up together. I enjoy those kinds of happy endings. Reality Bites and Some Kind of Wonderful come to mind. ❤ And don’t get me wrong. I believe that God is the best author of love stories and each story He writes is unique. He knows all, knows best. His will is good, pleasing and perfect. He can choose to write a love story between guy-girl best friends. Those stories are wonderful too. But sadly, or many times thankfully, not all guy-girl relationships are meant to turn out that way.

And then there’s that vow, those promises the guy made to the girl. Not to his bride, but to his best friend? What?! I mean, it was great for the drama and all, but who does that? (Well apparently one guy did). Be the replacement/the dummy when hubby is not available? Be the crying shoulder when she and hubby have a disagreement? I don’t think so. And when he marries, what then? A part of him will always be with his best friend. How can he cling to and be loyal to his own wife?

It’s cool to shift our loyalty from one fast food chain to another (I myself have no loyalty to any), but we can’t do that between our spouse and our best friend. A wife’s husband and guy best friend should be one and the same person. A husband’s wife and girl best friend should be one and the same person as well. It’s about unity of husband and wife. Being ONE. It’s difficult to achieve that if King had to compete with “my guy best friend” for my time, priorities, loyalty, affection. If I had “him” to run to and I’m sure at times compare King with, it would become easy for me to run away from issues instead of facing them and working on them with King. If I had “him” to give me my boosts, I might eventually learn to cling to him instead of to King. Let’s not fool ourselves in thinking that we are above such kind of behavior, or that our marriages are strong enough. Our own pride will set us up for a fall. We must never be complacent.

I don’t mean we can’t have close friends of the opposite sex when we’re married. Sure we can. That’s something we discuss and agree on with our spouse. Because they are our priority and they have our loyalty, we respect our spouse’s opinion. We respect their position on the matter, or on any matter. We get on the same page. Not always easy, but that’s part of being married. We continually discover and live out what it is to think outside of ourselves, to give of ourselves. To think not only of “me, my rights and what’s rightfully mine,” but to think of “us, what is best for our marriage, and what will honor God.” It will hurt at times because we are all wired to think about our needs and push our agenda first, but by the grace and love of God, we learn to be selfless. By the grace and love of God, we fulfill the vows that we said before God and men the day we got married. To quote the vows said as bride and groom exchange rings, “As you wear this ring, you acknowledge that you are no longer your own, but MINE.”

It’s easy to say “Marry your best friend.” True, that would be ideal. But like I said, it doesn’t always work out that way. I, for one, didn’t marry my best friend. King and I barely knew each other when we got engaged! But we were both sure that it was God’s will and His timing. 🙂 I didn’t have a guy best friend. King, being the popular guy that he is, had many close girl friends. But we chose to be each other’s best friend. We learned to set our priorities straight and to respect the boundaries we mutually (some spoken, some unspoken) set for ourselves. We learned to be deliberate in spending time and doing enjoyable things together. We learned to forgive each other and make the effort to be better. We learned to stand by each other. We learned to be each other’s home.  

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The true key to a happy, God-honoring marriage, however, is Jesus. Without Him, even the strongest friendship between a husband and wife can still be broken. Loving, giving, sharing, honoring, supporting, encouraging, waiting, understanding, forgiving, learning, healing is possible only through Jesus. None of us can do this successfully without Him.

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Happy Valentine’s Day! #valentineseveryday #loveeveryday May every reader know and experience the love of Jesus, and choose to never live without Him. 🙂

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:22-33

 

Just My Thoughts, Parenting, YOUTH MINISTRY

Back to B.A.S.I.C.S.

Because it’s the love month, I promised my victory group that we would be talking about relationships. Last Saturday, I taught them about the basics that I believe would equip them to make the right decisions when it comes to relationships.

BOUNDARIES. If you don’t set the boundaries, there is no guarantee that the boys will set them for you. We have the power to draw that line. At Danae’s young age, we are already teaching her this. DRAW THE LINE OF RESPECT. Do not let others cross it. If you do, like letting a boy kiss you or be rough around you, you are allowing them to disrespect you. Teach them to respect you. If you yourself cross it, you are disrespecting that person and yourself. Learn to respect others and most importantly, respect yourself.

“Everything is permissible” — but not everything is beneficial. 1 Cor 10:23. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with chatting for hours. Nothing wrong with spending so much alone time together as “best friends.” If you’re already in a relationship, there’s nothing wrong with holding hands. They are NOT SIN PER SE, but if not done with great care, they CAN lead to sin. Make a decision to live well within those boundaries, not pushing them and hiding behind the technicality that it’s not a sin. Make a decision right now, so that when that time and that situation arrives, you already know what to do or what not to do.

ACCOUNTABILITY. You are accountable to God. No one can make you do anything, therefore you cannot blame anyone else for your own actions. “I had no choice,” “He was so persistent and insistent,” “I couldn’t break it to him” are mere excuses. You always have a CHOICE TO SAY NO. If you don’t like him, tell him. Do not lead him on. If you do like him, think before you act. Nothing “just happens.” Where you end up is a result of choices that you make. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for your own actions.

Be accountable to people you know care about you and want to help you. If you’re struggling with something, seek help. Having accountability partners does not mean you’re giving them permission to lord it over you. You’re giving them permission to check on you, to give you a different perspective, to give you godly counsel, to pray for you. We can’t do everything on our own. We need the help of those who may know better.

STANDARDS. What is your vision? Do you have a vision for your life, your future? Without vision, people cast off restraint. Prov 29:18. If you don’t have a vision of the kind of man you want to be married to, the kind of woman/wife you want to be, the kind of family you want to have, the kind of marriage that you want to have, the kind of life you want to live, then you won’t have serious standards. Whatever looks good, feels good or seems good will be okay with you. Your standards get compromised once the guy is good looking or seems kind. Sometimes, even when it’s clearly a bad idea, because it is presented to you and because it is what’s available, you allow such things or people in your life. Get a vision. RAISE YOUR STANDARDS. Uphold them.

IDENTITY. KNOW WHO YOU ARE in the eyes of God. Not who you think you are, or who others say you are. If you know who you truly are, who God made you to be, it’s easier for you to make decisions. You won’t be easily swayed by the influence of others. You are the daughter of the King of Kings. You are a princess – precious, special, highly esteemed, admired, accepted, respected, loved. So act like it.

CHARACTER. Part of our identity is our personality, which God made different in each of us. Some are meek, gentle, soft-spoken. Some are loud, funny, talkative. I am one with a strong personality and I may rub some people off the wrong way. In the past, I hid behind my personality, using it as an excuse for my behavior. But God has been teaching me that I cannot do that anymore because CHARACTER IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN MY PERSONALITY. Yes, I am still the same person, but now with more wisdom and hopefully grace (haha).

Being exposed to boys and relationships, or even being in a relationship is a time of testing. Times of testing build our character. Being victorious over temptations builds our character. Giving in to them can too (not that I’m encouraging you to learn the hard way, because trust me, it is hard). Such mistakes remain as failures when we don’t learn from them. When we blame others for our mistakes, we get stuck. We’re not able to move forward. But mistakes become lessons when we take responsibility for our decisions, get up, make the necessary changes, and move forward.

SECURITY. Where does your security lie? Is it dependent on the love of a man or of any man? Is it dependent on the acceptance of a certain group of friends, your parents’ approval? Or is it dependent on the love of God for you? This is our prayer for our girls every night, that they will be secure of God’s love for them. No woman/boy/friend/man can complete you. One incomplete man plus one incomplete you, still makes an incomplete him and you. Only God can make you whole. Never enter into a relationship to fill the void. GOD’S LOVE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH to fill it, if you just allow Him to.

Security also means your safety. It’s better to be safe than sorry. It doesn’t matter if others think you’re overreacting or bordering on legalistic, because of your high standards and self-imposed boundaries. What’s more important is that you GUARD YOUR HEART AS IF IT’S A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH, because it is.