I was so amazed at the amount of response I received regarding the blog on marriage! People were private messaging, emailing, and texting asking for prayer, help, more encouragement etc. People so want to believe in real love! It is so inbuilt in our hearts to be with that special someone in a long lasting, beautiful way! We were made for true love!!
So, I wanted to offer a few more words, and some random comments that I ended up giving to some peeps in response! YOU CAN HAVE AN AMAZING HEALTHY HAPPY MARRIAGE, YES, EVEN YOU!
My wife and I are coming up on 10 years of marriage!! And, we have been through some real challenges!!! But, let me show off her love just a little bit, blush blush, she just posted this on my facebook wall this week:
“I’m With you! I’ll stand with you. I believe in you. You’re amazing. I’m beyond blessed to be gifted a person like you in my life. To call you my own is mind boggling. So thankful matt to have the privilege of knowing you. I’ve always felt this way. I love you forever. I love everything about you matt. I’m undone and overwhelmed with deep appreciation of YOU. You surprise me with such facets of beauty I didn’t even know existed. Christ manifesting before my eyes. I’m so thankful to have a leader believing in the gospel. My heart is moved beyond words!!!” – My Incredible Wife, Katie Rose Spinks
God has so blessed and sustained our marriage, by no efforts or genius of our own! So, from that place let me write a bit more, mostly excepts from conversations I’ve been having. I love you, friends!!
Here’s a couple of random tips, I’ve been thinking of:
1. Remember that your spouse is a child of God, meaning that they are infinitely deep, and mysterious, and amazing! THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING NEW TO FALL IN LOVE WITH ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE! Many marriages become stuck due to over-familiarity! But, your spouse is an endless ocean of beauty. You may have been married for 80 years, but there are new facets of your spouse to fall in love with!
2. Listen, listen, listen! Hear them. Stop talking. Stop your agenda, and imagine that they have Christ in them!!! Cause it’s true! Even if they have hurt you a thousand times, they still have valuable things to say! If they feel listened to and heard, it opens up so many good things in marriage! When someone feels cared about and known, they will open like a flower. Stop trying to teach or change your spouse. Just listen, learn, and love. This does not mean that you don’t get to talk or share your heart. But, the whole two ears one mouth thing is a big deal!
3. Here’s some stuff I recently wrote to some folks, it may be super random, and I don’t feel like editing it all. But, take a quick read, it may bless you!
One convo with a beautiful bro on marriage and purity:
It’s going to be important for you to find some mature Glory friends to see on a regular basis. People who believe the Gospel and are walking in what you want to walk in. This is important. It’s important to not be isolated.
If you think that purity and innocence is not the real world, think again!! I’ve seen tons of hurting, and therefore jaded and negative, folks! BUT, I dont accept their reality as normal. In order for you to be able to receive, you will need to throw that thinking out. Also, the idea of becoming sin, and entering into damaging behaviors in order to “be grace” is sketchy at best. You are totally free in Christ! But, i think some wisdom in those areas would make the both of you feel better. A woman actually begins to feel better about herself and her man when there are boundaries. This improves self respect and confidence in a person. It really does. I love how you have loved and cared for her, bro!! Thats amazing!! But, you don’t need to accept her harmful mindsets as normal. You also do not need to engage in the hurtful behaviors in order to be grace. Grace loves, and understands, but does not reinforce negativity or adopt the behaviors of the self-harming.
And, bro, self harming is what it is! You probably already know this, but sex outside of marriage IS self harming. I know what the fricken’ culture of the day is, LOL! The culture of the day has almost no understanding or value on marriage at all!!! Sex within covenant relationship is the only way to be sexually active and still encourage unconditional love. That rubs many people the wrong way, but most of those people are hurting and aren’t happy. Bro, I went through tons of stuff and strangeness too, man! But, when I just entered in to committed love with my wife, with revelation of the Glory, our happiness and health skyrocketed! It is so much better bro! You would never regret it! You will never regret it!
So, what would I say at this point? Hey man, it is totally up to you if you want to stay with this girl. There’s nothing wrong with loving her and staying with her. But, if you want to really love her, start making plans together for marriage. Set real boundaries regarding sex. Remind each other how much happier you will be when you know that you are in a relationship of unconditional love, not just using each others bodies. It’s not old fashioned bro. It’s the HAPPY WAY TO LIVE!! It brings bliss!! Now, marriage without a foundation of the Gospel and the Glory will only bring misery, so you need to build together on that foundation, with an atmosphere around you that encourages this. And, you may have to make baby steps toward a lifestyle that looks like this. But, determinedly move in that direction and I guarantee you both will be happier than you could ever imagine!!!
Well, that’s what I got for now. There’s some rich stuff in there, bro…you are a wise and powerful dude…i know you can go for it!!!
Do you have any hope that things can change? I want to encourage you to trust in God for some changes. I often get people messaging me about issues in their life. But, many times they are asking me more out of frustration than hope. If you are convinced that you are stuck, then you will be stuck. But, dude, I know that you can get out of these habits! I know you guys could have a great relationship!! But, do you think it could be possible?
True, marriage will not solve any problems. But, marriage is the only way to be able to actually proclaim to her heart and to the world that you believe in unconditional love. If you are serious about loving her, you need to begin to make a plan to pop that question! Otherwise, for her sake, and the sake of your own heart, and for the sake of the hurting world, bro, you got to let her go. It’s time to either admit the mistake and do damage control, i.e. don’t make it worse by dragging it out. OR, make some plans toward marriage.
Love hurts, yes, sometimes, BUT it really only hurts when one or both parties remains UNHEALED. This is why growing together in Christ is so key! You both are filled with God, and can begin to realize your wholeness. But, ask yourself, how can we begin to grow together in the Glory? Let God sweetly whisper some new easy ways that you could allow your hearts to be healed. This way you don’t torture each other for the next several decades!! Hurting people hurt people!! But, there is healing in the Glory! Sometimes its as easy as remembering who you truly are in Christ. You both have the power to begin to live like Jesus Christ in every way. A healthy marriage must be immersed in this reality somehow. Otherwise you aren’t even being loving, you will just be signing up for mutual torture for a long, long time!
I’m not saying to give her an ultimatum! That’s the old law based way of doing things! But, what I am saying is…bro, you can stand up for Love! You can stand up for what you believe! You can, deep down, receive the power from God to just tell her, hey, we are not doing this anymore! You don’t have to threaten her with break up. Just tell her firmly and lovingly that you respect her enough to no longer have sex until you are fully committed to real unconditonal love with one another. This will lay a foundation of respect and true love for your life together. One of you has to start the domino effect of wise choices somewhere. God will give you unlimited chances. But, at some point in order to be healthy, the healthy choices have to begin!! You are big enough dude! You are a Son of God!!
Her trauma and addictions will not be helped by more unhealthy behavior. Her trauma and addictions will be helped by you, lovingly, and sweetly, and kindly being firm in helping to establish new healthy habits and patterns! A person does not get healed by unhealthy behavior. A person gets healed by love, Glory, kindness, and new patterns of living.
I’m gonna be praying for you. I can’t truly imagine all of what you must feel like. I’m gonna be agreeing with waves of love in your life. Waves of real Glory. Let me know how it progresses. I’ve seen so many cool miracles, man! But, even in the midst of it that you would feel the supernatural Glory no matter what! Yes, LORD!!!!
Another convo with a bro about marriage and community:
To write just a few words here… Firstly, we really feel a deep friendship with our house mates and community. So, we’d just miss them too much if we weren’t close! But, also, we have seen how indispensable community is, and we feel genuine Glory passion for it. I think that many people are doing community because they are lonely, or to fill a need emotionally. That is ok at first, because we all need to recover from past hurts and life. But, if you are in community to fill your lonely heart only, or because you just look at community as friends of convenience, then once you find a spouse, you may then feel like you can just get your emotional needs met by your spouse and therefore abandon community life. Community has to be a revelation, something you see in God as the normal life of heaven. In a sense, you need to see that close community is just the true and highest way to live. When you have been convinced of the numerous benefits and joys of community then you don’t toss it out easily.
As far as maintaining our own relationship in the midst of community, yeah, you obviously do need your own space, and to set aside time. Go on dates, hang out one on one with your spouse. Keep healthy boundaries of certain things you only share with your spouse, sexuality obviously, but other things as well. Keep the relationship special and intimate. The bedroom is the holy of holies!
I think marriage fortifies community by being an example to everyone of what love can look like. You get to be a daily reminder of Christ and the church. You get to be a daily display in a smaller way of what the community can be like in a bigger way (bigger in the sense of more people in this love). But, it’s kind of like concentric circle, the marriage, the kids, the natural family, the immediate spiritual family, the global spiritual family, and the cosmic family of all creation! It’s so key to operate at each level and see them domino into one another!!