Before we cross the threshold of our little nest, where the rubber meets the road and we begin our adventures as man and wife, I’ll summarize my ramblings thus far:
- Our love had ignited while battling a wildland fire
- My Man and I had hastily dated and married without truly seeking Godly counsel
- Had we just finished our honeymoon or was it hunting boot camp?
- My mellow nature irritated My Man
- His “General” personality seemed insensitive
- We weren’t understanding or practicing the love/respect mandate in the Bible
- Were we committed enough to see this through?
Crossing the threshold and a clueless homemaker
Did anyone else feel clueless as a young, new wife? You are not alone! In fact, this William Nicholson quote sums up the whole reason I am writing this blog:
“We read to know we are not alone.”
Maybe a young wife is feeling that same shock I was feeling eighteen years ago? As she reads this she will hopefully feel a sense of community. I pray that this candid monologue of our early marriage will help someone. I am still helped by countless candid stories of others in books, in church, on the radio and one-on-one. I am a sponge!
A budget, a meal plan, a shopping list?
I really don’t remember giving one thought to what I would cook My Man even the first night, let alone the many days that stretched out ahead of us.
My mom is a fabulous homemaker, so I certainly can’t place any blame. I simply was just lazy and selfish. I hadn’t made up my mind to care for my new husband—to be his helpmeet or to be a “serviceable wife”. I was still looking out for myself as number one.
Did we eat grilled cheese sandwiches every day?
My Man was surprisingly patient with the amount of grilled cheese sandwiches we ate. But he finally had to take things into his own hands, into “survivor mode”, and he shot a wild pig. This was another shock to my “system”—butchering and preparing our own meat. A lot. Just when things get calm around here My Man brings home another animal to butcher. He is such a responsible, skillful hunter and butcher. I am thankful now, but it took me a while to get used to it.
But back to my musings and the beginning when I was still whiny, lazy and clueless…
Bed springs in the desert
I showed My Man this bed springs photo and graphic yesterday. He looked at me weird and said, “what is that supposed to mean?” I laughed. It is pretty dramatic, isn’t it? Those early days were dramatic for me.
But My Man didn’t internalize our early marriage the same way I did. Remember, I was the one not used to conflict—I had rarely witnessed a marriage in action. I was also the one on an emotional roller coaster, the one with dark thoughts—of certain doom and failure. His storms blew over quickly while I chose to wallow in the drama.
I recently found those bed springs out in the desert. Who is to say how old they are or how long they have been there? I imagine the desert elements can age things quickly. The sand may have just buried them in a moment or the destruction could have taken years.
My Man and I were facing our own elements in our rented trailer after our honeymoon. We both had it in our power to either build a solid marriage, destroy it immediately or fall into destructive patterns that could continue for years.
Women have a lot of power!
I deeply feel that so much of that power is in the woman’s hands. In Genesis, after Adam and Eve disobeyed God, God laid out how the curse would affect individuals.
“Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Genesis 3:16
“Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.” Genesis 3:17
My simple interpretation is that Eve’s hardship would be relational while Adam’s would be in his labor. For women there would be a constant struggle in how to relate to their husbands, in how to set the “tone” for their marriages, in their attitudes…
Have hope, there are blessings in the curse!
The endurance in those troubles builds Godly character in both men and women. Drawing near to God in the struggle always brings rewards. “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and, despite our mistakes, He still has our best in mind.
In His love He provided His own Son to have victory over the hardships, the curse, and over death itself! Jesus has become everything to us, but may not have without the trials.
The peace found in drawing near to Jesus is worth any suffering we have endured.
As women and believers we need to stay in constant prayer—appealing to God for the strength and wisdom to correctly respect, love and care for our men. Men will struggle in their labors and, upon returning home, they usually only ask for a few simple comforts.
During our honeymoon, and for long after, I lacked enthusiasm about providing those simple comforts for My Man.
Which Proverbs 14:1 woman?
“The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1
So far in our backstory I wasn’t “building” the house very well, nor was I making a nice “marriage bed”. How long would I continue to be a destructive force?
Suggestion: find another Hiller wife and learn from her
In my next post we will take another winter trip and you will meet my amazing sister-in-law.