What does it take for a marriage to work? Besides love, patience and effort, one of the most important ingredients to make a marriage work is time. It is important to take time.
As a couple we need to spend quality time together: going for a walk, having a candlelit dinner, visiting places, spending time alone with each other and being romantic. True, it isn't always easy to do because our schedules are already filled with working hours, chores, fitness, hobbies and more. But it is important that we will take the time to build and nurture our marriage. Keep the marital bond healthy.
Divorce never happens over night. There must have been issues with the marriage before. Maybe they had been ignored again and again? Perhaps the couple has not taken the time to probe the causes of the problems? Unresolved issues and arguments are dangers that can sneak into any marriage. Beware of them. Be on your guard! So, another important ingredient to make a marriage work is communication. It is important to make the time to listen and to talk.
The best anchor of a working marriage is, of course, the LORD Jesus. We might face some similar issues and hardships in our married life than non-believers do. However, having Jesus at the helm of our marriage-boat will make things so much more worth it.
I have ordered a few books on marriage over the last two weeks. There will be some book reviews coming up shortly. Stay tuned for there will be some book reviews coming up in the near future.
When taking advice from other homemakers we have to discern between principles and methods.
The following is not an exhaustive but a list of some of the principles for homemaking:
The methods of fulfilling the principles of homemaking may vary from homemaker to homemaker. While one woman accomplishes her tasks in a total different way than another woman would do them, she still fulfills her duty by doing what is required of her.
One homemaker cleans her house from front to back every day. Another cleans the family home on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The first one could do so because she has little children and two dogs at home. The other could do so because her children are grown ups and moved out already. Principle: keep the home clean. Method: depending on the individual family.
One homemaker cooks pasta with sauce and vegetables every weekday. Another brings fancy meals to the table each day of the week. The first one could do so because she has only a small family budget available. The other could do so because money is not an issue in her home. Principle: feed the family. Method: depending on the individual family.
One homemaker's eighty-year-old mother-in-law has fallen ill and is in need of special care so she is living with the family now. The homemaker lets her children watch a DVD after they have finished homework together. Another takes her children to the park or to a movie twice a week after their homework is done. Principle: look after your children. Method: depending on the individual family.
These are general examples. Using your own life experience, I'm sure you can think of more. It's so easy to impose one or the other of our methods on other women. But they may not have the tools, the upbringing or the financial resources that we have. I've caught myself judging other women for doing some things another way... Later on I've read a book by Nancy Wilson called The Fruit Of Her Hands in which she explains the difference between principles and methods quite well.
In giving advice to others let us remember that just because a method of doing something seems best for us and our family doesn't mean that another woman and her family have to use the exact same method. We need to be gentle and understanding when teaching younger women. We have to avoid the trap of calling a method a principle. Let them find their best way of accomplishing tasks at home.
It takes time to cook a meal from scratch.
It's great when we can skip cooking now and then, isn't it? Maybe we are invited by friends or family, or we'll pick up fast food, or we'll go out to eat in a restaurant. One great advantage of eating at a restaurant is that we don't have to wash the dishes and clean up the kitchen afterwards.
To ease some of our workload at home, we could also buy food that has been prepared. Yes, it helps to start off with ingredients that have been washed, cut and precooked. It will save some time compared to having to prepare it all at home. Today I want to draw your attention to processed food, though.
Buying processed food is convenient, yes, but in the end we will have to ask ourselves: Is it really worth it? What do we gain out of this? We surely are paying for already prepared food, prepacked food does cost more. (BTW, from the youngest to the oldest, children should be involved in rinsing, cutting and cooking ingredients. They usually love to help and it is quality time we should spend together.) Sad thing is, that much of the processed food can actually be cheaper - or at least it seems to be - than fresh, healthy, organic and unrefined ingredients.
What's In It?
When we are cooking a meal from scratch, we will know exactly what's in it. Just take the time to read labels of processed food and you'll find out that there are many "ingredients" in them that can cause quite a bit of health problems. Generally speaking, these food items are artificial-laden by added colors, flavor enhancers, sweeteners and preservatives. Not only that, many of them are refined products that have been robbed of their natural and healthy ingredients.
A few years ago I came across a book by Rex Russell called What the Bible Says About Healthy Living. I highly recommend it. I will do a book review in the near future.
Homemade Meals Taste Better
Yes, it does take more time to cook meals from scratch. On the other side, that way you will know exactly what's in them, you can adjust them according to your family's taste and you will rest assure that your family is eating better and healthier than many others who are left to eat processed or fast food.
Memories Of Mom's Food
I've been invited to a lovely German dinner last week. It has been such a treat and brought back a lot of memories. On stepping into the kitchen, my nose immediately picked up many familiar smells (I love the smell of Sauerkraut cooking in a pot) which triggered some childhood memories. While taking the first bite of the dessert called Käsekuchen (German Cheesecake) I had to hold my tears back. That cheesecake tasted so, so good - just like my mom used to make it (she died in 2011).
My point is, that shared meals in the family home are something very special, a treasure of memories to keep. Cooking a meal for your family, seasoned with love and precious time you are putting into it, is a priceless legacy you will leave behind for your children and children's children.