{Guest Post} Choosing A Spouse

 

Today I'm sharing a guest post from Lauren over at The Unlikely Runners, as she talks about her relationship with her fiancé (congratulations again Lauren!), and choosing a spouse.  Thanks for guest posting for me, Lauren!

 

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Hi! I’m Lauren and I blog over at The Unlikely Runners. Most of the time you can find me talking about running, working out, healthy eating, fitness and marathon training, but I just recently got engaged so now you will often find posts that document my adventures with my fiancé, Alex.  When Callie first asked for people to volunteer as guest posters I was a little hesitant; I am not married {yet} and I don’t have kids {yet}, so I really didn’t fall into the category of her main readers. However, I feel like God has blessed me in so many ways over the last 2 years of my life and I just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to share with you how He has worked in me. 


Columbus half


You see, a little over 2 years ago I was living in a place that I knew God was not happy with; I had made many poor choices in my life through college and I ended up in a marriage that was detrimental to me and my family as well as living a life with no real career path and no focus or motivation. I grew up attending church and I was surrounded by Christian morals my whole life, but during this time in my life I lost many friends and hurt many family members and I hurt myself in a lot of ways too. But God is faithful in all ways. 

My then husband made some very, very poor choices and it eventually led to our divorce; a divorce that was painful at the time but a true blessing in disguise from God. It was at this point that I was able to experience true, unending love from my Heavenly Father. He gave me family, He gave me new friends and a new church and He gave me the therapy of running, all of this leading to a healing process that I am still in awe of.

Fast forward to one year after my divorce and God brings a wonderful, Godly man to the single’s group at my church. His name was Alex. After several months of hanging out with Alex within the boundaries of our single’s ministry and after much persuasion from a friend I agreed to meet him for coffee, just to talk! I had no intentions of dating anyone, I was very happily single, I was enjoying my job and my friends and running races was my passion. But God clearly had other plans for me, and I’m so glad that He did.


Engaged3 edit


One year and 15 days after we officially started dating Alex asked me to marry him! We are planning a Memorial Day weekend wedding in Texas and I have never been happier in my life. 

But why do I tell you all of this? While I am no expert at relationships and while I clearly don’t have all the answers I did want to share with you some things that God has taught me about relationships, specifically in how to chose a proper spouse, in hopes that you might take on some new insight, whether that be for your future spouse or current spouse.

Be Like Minded

This sounds so easy but it can truly be a challenge. Just because you seem to enjoy the same things or meet doing something you like or think is important, it doesn’t always mean that you are like minded. For us there were several things on this list (we each had separate lists we had made prior to even meeting each other) that we both knew neither one of us were going to compromise on. For example, it was important to both of us that Church and our beliefs be the same, it was also important for us that things like jobs and financial security/budgeting were important to us as well as what we wanted out of our futures. Being like minded for us meant finding someone that you were compatible with in the deep root issues but someone who could still push you and grow you in new areas of your life. Alex and I take our faith seriously, we both desire strong careers, we both agree on children and the timing of them, and we both think our families are very important to us, just to name a few things.

Be Humble

One of the things I love most about Alex is his willingness to put my needs and desires way above his own, he does this not only because he loves me but because Christ called him to. I try every day not to take this for granted and to imitate his behavior and consider his needs and desires above my own. This is hard, I have to constantly be in prayer about my own selfishness, but I love and more importantly respect Alex and I realize that our happiness as a couple is dependent upon each of our needs being met. In planning for our future we make sure that we listen to each other first and respect that we will sometimes have differences of opinions or we may want different things but if we honor each other through the process we will be better for it.


LAE 69


Respect

This one is huge for me because coming from my last relationship I realized just how little respect there was for me and my family. I wanted to make sure that I found a man who not only respected himself enough to take care of himself and his friends and family but also one who respected me and my life and my family. God has shown me so many things about His love for me in the way that Alex respects me and my family, each day is another blessing. For Alex and I, respect can be as simple as me allowing him time to do the things that he loves (like play tennis with his friends 2 nights a week, goodness knows he respects me enough to let me train for a marathon) to something as big as us making the decision early on that we wanted to respect each other by not having sex before marriage. Respect is something that is so minuscule, but it speaks volumes.

Share

I love to run; I think that’s pretty obvious. I haven’t always loved to run but it is something that has become very significant in my life and it gives me confidence and joy, so I run, a lot. Alex on the other hand doesn’t really like running, most Saturday mornings I’m up and running 10+ miles before he even thinks about waking up and doing anything for the day. I like to spend my weekends traveling to different races, Alex likes to clean and tinker with his “toys” (aka, electronic stuff I know nothing about). But what ultimately makes our relationship work is for each of us to take interest in what the other person loves to do. It took us a while to find a balance in sharing our passions with each other; initially I had visions of he and I training for Ironmans together on the weekends while he had visions of sitting on the couch and getting his robot working. We have had to slowly learn that some things can be shared but only to a certain extent. He does a much better job at this than I do because quite often he will come with me to races whether he’s running or not. And while I may not be able to help him with his robots I can most definitely ask him about them and listen while he shares his passions with me.


LAE 81


Laugh together

Alex and I both tend to be your more serious, type-A kinds of people; we like plans, schedules, maps, details, information, etc. At times we both have our ideas of “the right way” to accomplish certain things or we both have the “right answer” for a certain problem but underneath all of that we can laugh at each other and make fun of our high maintenance ways. Just the other day we were arguing {discussing, mind you} about our guest list (oh heaven help us, did anyone else have guest list issues?) and it got to the point where I was nearly in tears over the matter. But low and behold Alex makes a light-hearted comment and we are both laughing at the matter. And now we joke about it. Although our guest list does still bring lots of discussion we are now more light-hearted about it and generally laugh and make jokes about our disagreement. At the end of the day we will probably always be serious people but we do know how to make each other laugh and I think that’s so important.

Before I leave I want to give you a passage that has really spoken to me as we have been preparing for our engagement and our wedding and that is Philippians 2:1-18.

Thank you for letting me share and I hope you get a chance to stop on by and say HI!

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The Unlikely Runner said...

Thank you so much for letting me stop by and share my heart with you!

Melanie said...

Great story! Just goes to show you that we never know what God has in store for us! Glad you found each other..y'all sound like a great 'fit'!

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