I'm sure some of you are thinking - yes, Tammy, you have a tremendous grasp of the obvious. Obviously marriage would be a fairly life changing event.
But, it didn't just change me regarding marriage/relationships, etc. My relationship with Nathan has changed me as a person. I am not the same person now that I was BN (before Nathan).
BN I was a much more timid person. Outgoing yes. But decisive ... not so much.
BN I was more of a people pleaser. Now, there are good sides to being a people pleaser of course! But I was more on the bad side of being a people pleaser - it was at the expense of being true to myself (OK, that sounded much more new-agey than it was supposed to). I was turning into a keep-the-peace-at-any-cost type of person. And frankly, peace at any cost is often too high a price to pay.
Confrontation can be a good thing. Does this mean I like confrontation now? NO WAY! I still don't like it. It makes me absolutely nervous. But is it sometimes necessary? Yes, I believe it is. Nathan has encouraged me to be a stronger person. He has encouraged me to realize that just because my opinion is different than someone else's (even his - gasp!), doesn't mean it's wrong, and it doesn't mean I have to change it to agree with the other person. Quite frankly, if everyone agreed on everything the world would be such a boring place! Being a "yes-man" (or woman in my case!) doesn't help anyone. Yes it can be flattering to people's egos, but it doesn't stretch anyone, it doesn't challenge anyone and it certainly doesn't change anyone. Not that it's my job to change anyone - but I believe that we are to challenge each other - especially as fellow Christians. Saying nothing, to keep the peace, can be the right thing to do, and it can also be the wrong thing to do. The key is knowing where that line is. Often it's much more convenient for us to place the line on the keeping the peace side of the fence. But I think more often than not, the line is on the other side, which means confrontation is inevitable.
And of course, confrontation must be done in love - which is very difficult to do without the other party becoming defensive. However, we are not accountable for their reactions. We are accountable for our actions and inactions!
Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
needs to be balanced with....
Ephesians 4:15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
Luke 6:42 How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
needs to be balanced with
Matthew 18:15 If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.
Nathan also has this wonderful habit of complimenting me on my looks (and other things too of course). After the thick goggle glasses, and brace-face smiles of the past, this was/is music to my ears. Now, I'm not thinking I'm model material or anything. But I know that I am beautiful to Nathan and to the One who created me. I am fearfully and wonderfully made!
I know our marriage has changed me in other ways too, but this is starting to get long, so we'll leave it at that!
I am blessed to be Nathan's wife and I pray that our love continues to grow and mature, and that we continue to change each other for the better, as we celebrate the adventure of life God has given us ..... together .... as one.