I never thought I would ever broach this subject in writing, because I feel that I am the least qualified candidate to do so. Firstly because by the time I had been baptized in Christ in our church, I had strongly decided that marriage was not for me. I felt that it was enough for me to live for the Lord and serve Him all the days of my life. At that time, I had just passed twenty and gone through a tough period in my life. But ever since I prayed that to God, He impressed upon me in prayer that I was to get married. I humbly yielded and told God that I would marry whom He arranges for me. And that was the beginning of my change of mind, and the gradual forming of my perception of marriage in the Lord which I am about to share here.
“But Ruth said: ‘Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.’” (Ruth 1:16)
The relationship between Naomi and Ruth is a beautiful example of a good family relationship. The key ingredients of good family relationships are love and respect. They consist of mutual commitment with freedom from each other and a relationship in which each person tries to do what is best for the other.
I believed in God when I was a university student. At that time I was not truly seeking for God but came to know God through my university course mate. It has been nearly 20 years since I came to know God and as the years go by I love God more and more and feel very lucky that I have found God. I would like to share with you joys that I have experienced in knowing God.
Shortcut to a Happy Life
One of the joy of being a Christian is finding a shortcut to a happy and content life. There are many teachings in the Bible and after practicing it out, I found that it is the best way to live my life. I came to realize after many years of experience that if I follow the words of God, I can never go wrong.
For example the Bible says husband love your wife and wife be submissive to your husband (1 Peter 3:1, 7). This is one of the basic principles that we follow in our family. 7 years ago, when my husband decided to move back to Japan from Malaysia, he looked for a job that is within commuting distance to our church. He rejected other better paid offers as he knew how important God is to me. When we first moved to Atsugi, the nearest church was in Tokorozawa which was 2.5 hours drive away and my husband would drive us weekly to church no matter how tired he would be. As the decisions that my husband make consider what is best for the family, it is easy to be submissive and support him. With only one head in the family, there are no contentions and arguing in our family. Continue reading
I am often asked in passing how married life is going. I never know how to answer such a loaded question in a brief sentence. I think most of the time I am asked out of courtesy, like how’s it going, or how are you. It would be polite to just reply “fine,” but there is more space here than four characters, so here’s what I have to say:
Kevin and I are opposites in many ways, and that tension brings out the worst and best of us, often resulting in a literal tug of war of blankets, clothes, and chores. And, I think these are the moments that test the marriage–not the fancy sparkly anniversary celebrations planned by Kevin that I admittedly sometimes daydream about.
In Joshua 6, the obedient, mundane, silent marching of the Israelites for six days around Jericho led to a victory delivered by God. This reminded me that keeping up with the mundane and repetitive tasks that make an organized and functional home are the elements of a victorious marriage in the Lord. It’s not easy because little things that are ignored pile up–I know because the last load of laundry is still unfolded, the stack of bills is like a rising tide, and every chair in the living room is occupied by papers, books, and boxes. On top of that, Kevin and I are trying arrange time to pray and read the Bible together every day, the “ark” of our daily march which should be prioritized before any other to-do.
Where Kevin takes me for our next vacation or for a fancy anniversary celebration will be great, but more important are how we handle the routine tasks of cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, ironing, and managing our budget.
So the next time you ask me how married life is going – make sure you’ve also got time to hear out my reply.
My single years have so far been the most productive in my faith. Prior to falling in love with Kevin, I fell in love with Jesus Christ. I had time to serve God with greater flexibility when I only had one schedule to consider – mine. I found him. Remember the Creator in the days of your youth. I enjoyed that time in singlehood and I enjoyed praying to God to find me spouse and to bless my future marriage. I can’t say that one part of my life is better than the other because both were given by God and through both, God walked by my side. Married life is wonderful, but don’t waste away single life fantasizing about married life. Single life is also a blessing, so use it to be productive for Christ. I had crushes and I dated other guys briefly, and I thank God that none of those experiences led to sin. Those experiences are things I want to share with my younger sisters and brothers in Christ to let them know the dangers of college dorms and even “casual” relationships and how God protected me.
Now I really look forward to serving God with my new partner, but this might take some time as even the Israelite army in the Old Testament excused soldiers from active duty for one year from their wedding.