Learning Self-Control Through My Marriage

Over the years, almost 9 to be exact I have discovered why God had me marry my wonderful husband. I would say, he and I could both agree, that we were not too sure what we were thinking shortly after the honeymoon. We were and still are soooo opposite in so many areas.

For instance, we were engaged to be married, (and this should have clued us in, but it didn't) and filling out a bridal registry at Wal Mart. We were trying to decide what kind of shower curtain we wanted. A simple task that would normally require just a few minutes to think through. We only had one bathroom to decorate so this was it-no kind of your bath, my bath situation. We had to make a decision. Now most men, I have come to discover, are either not interested in decorating bathrooms or they are wise beyond their years and say "whatever you think, honey." But no, this is not something that John Mark would do. He was not taught to say whatever you think nor is that his natural bent. He, by the way, was a philosophy/honors major in college at the time and likes a good debate. Now me on the other hand am a quiet, shy sort! Not! I am a very stubborn girl-one could call that tenacious if he were speaking positively about it. So it was either the BROWN shower curtain or the nice ivy one with beautiful purple flowers wrapped around trellis! hmmm. . .which one would you pick? Ok, now I would probably pick the brown one, but at the time purple and green were my favorite colors when they were together.

By the way, you know how they have those fun scanners now that you walk around with and point and click, then shazaam it is in your registry. Well, we were registering for our items the old-fashioned way. We had to handwrite a "special" 20 digit code on a piece of paper for each item that we registered for. We were nearing the end of this registry experience when we hit the shower curtain aisle. We argued and argued about that shower curtain until I finally had had enough and just walked out of the store with an unfinished bridal registry. I am not too sure what he was planning to do, but I was leaving. I drove so he followed after me to make sure he had a way home. I was in a huff to say the least and so was he. He just could not understand what I saw in that green and purple shower curtain. We started in again about it on the way back to his apartment. I was so sick of this mess that I rolled down the window while we were going down the road and threw the registry out of the window. He was totally shocked and could not believe that we just spent all that time filling out each box and I threw it out the window. My thinking was I am sick of this debate and will end the debate by getting rid of the object that was causing the strife. I did not regret it one bit. I was mad and this would show him just that!

That instance was just one very teeny tiny indicator that we were going to disagree in this marriage, not to mention have differences of opinion. He is sensible, logical and careful with his money. I am complicated, irrational and not so eager to save a penny. He analyzes options, I just close my eyes and pick one!!

What I have discovered, through trial and error, arguing endlessly about shower curtain type things is that what attracted us to one another are the things we get most irritated about. I love that he thinks well. I love that he does not spend money lavishly. I love that he analyzes His Faith and takes it to a deeper level. He is an amazing person, dad and pastor. Believe it or not, this post was originally just going to talk about the Envelope System that we started in January and here I go on and on about how cool my husband is. hmmm. . .

Well, I guess we know who suggested the envelope system don't we. Well, you guessed wrong probably. I suggested that we start the envelope system with our money. That is how much he has worn off on me. Nine years ago, I would buy $50 jeans and not think twice about it but now I won't buy a shirt unless it is on clearance! This is how the envelope system works just in case you were wondering.

We all have areas of weakness. . .for me I have about 6 areas of weakness when it comes to money. My worst two weaknesses being gifts and eating out. Ok, all of the rest of them come in a close second. . .entertainment, clothes, babysitting, and home decor. John Mark's weakness is projects so he has one envelope! We made a budget based on our income and a great website that helped us allocate the right percentages to the right areas. We used crown.org as our basis to make these decisions. At the beginning of each month, John Mark goes to the bank and withdraws a certain amount of money and we divy it up among the envelopes. When the envelope is out of money we are out of money in that category. Oh my, we have done this for the past two months and it is so hard! We ran out of "eating out" money about the 15th of the month in February and I was thanking God for 28 days in the month! Next year is a leap year, but hopefully I learned my lesson! It is a very cool technique to keep finances under control. Instead of letting your money control your circumstances and things you do, you control your money and bring it under the Lordship of Christ! Neat things I am learning through my hubby. Hope this was a fun blog entry for you to read. It was fun for me to reflect upon.


Momma said...

Your registry story is hilarious! I have to say that our registry story is very similar! I was bitter for YEARS about the non-feminine china someone insisted on. Sigh. We are on the envelope system too--Ryan attended the Crown class at church and now we're both small group leaders for Financial Peace University. It IS hard! I commend you for sticking with it though. Miss you!


John Mark said...

You failed to point out that you had just picked out froo froo flowery clates and cups as well. I felt like my masculinity was being attacked with that flowery curtain! I mean - a man has to put his foot down somewhere!!!

John Mark said...

er... "plates and cups" not "clates." That's what I do when I get worked up about something....