It’s my 5 year anniversary today, whoo hoo!
I’m so blessed. Today I will celebrate my king, the love of my life, and my forever friend—Preston.
I say that with joy and confidence now because it was not always that way. In fact, my husband does not even know this (until now,) but shortly after getting married, I called Focus on the Family, a Christian family support ministry, desperate to talk to a counselor. I told her that I made a terrible mistake getting married and I did not know what to do. She lovingly assured me that I was not the first woman to make this call and I probably would not be the last.
I wish I could say that things got better after that, but that would be a lie. Our egos, strong wills, fears and insecurities continued to get in the way of our love for each other.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when the fighting decreased and the prayers increased, but we are experiencing the fruits of a God-centered marriage. Even though it’s only been 5 years and I feel very unqualified to give marriage advice, I thought it would be appropriate to share the lessons I’ve learned in marriage so far. Why? Because they are the same lessons I’ve learned and applied from my health journey.
Health and Marriage Principles
1. If God called you to a journey, trust that he will see you through it. I felt that Preston was an unlikely match for me since I rarely dated outside of my race, but I could not deny that this was a ‘God-thing’. During the difficult times, I reminded myself that it was God that brought us together and His plans and purposes are much bigger than mine.
Now look at your health and weight loss journey. If you know that it’s God’s desire for you to get healthier, why do you keep taking matters back into your own hands? Trust that God has called you to better health so continually seek Him in prayer to be strengthened on the journey. The battle is His, not yours.
2. Practice compromise. Someone once told me that, ‘you can be right or you can be happy’, but you can’t have both. My, or Preston’s, need to be right often got in the way of our happiness. We wasted so much time fighting about who’s right and who’s wrong. It made us feel very self-righteous but it was at the expense of our happiness. Love means putting your marriage before your need to prove your point or be right.
Now look at your health and let’s change the question around a bit. Do you want results or do you want to have your own away? You’ve got to choose—you can’t have it both ways. If you really want results, then give up your need to have it your way. Success at anything comes with compromise and work. Your way is safe and familiar, but it will never bring you the results you desire. It’s time step out of your comfort zone to get the results you desire.
• Wake up a bit earlier
• Refuse to go back for seconds
• Make time in your schedule to exercise
• Spend money on a gym membership or healthier food
3. Take responsibility. If Preston had a dime for every time I blamed him over the last 5 years, he would have a lot of money: “You’re making me mad.” “You’re making me feel this way.” “If you didn’t do ‘x’, then I would not have responded as I did.”
Truth is, no one can make you feel anything unless you choose to feel it. You choose how to respond whenever someone says something to you. The language of blaming keeps you stuck. In Breakthrough, we talk about the law of responsibility (Philippians 2:12-13).
Blaming keeps you problem-focused. Taking responsibility changes your focus to the solution. Every time I want to blame Preston, I’m learning to stop and ask myself what MY role is in the situation. This changes my position from blaming to taking responsibility.
How many times have you said, “I would exercise but …”, or “It’s my husband’s or my children’s fault why I ate or could not exercise”. What about, “I don’t have the time”— this, in itself, is an excuse. Anytime you have a reason why you did not do what you committed to do, you’ve failed to take responsibility.
So what about legitimate reasons? Let’s face it, life will get in the way. But if it’s a daily occurrence, it’s no longer a legitimate reason, it’s an excuse.
4. Focus on God, not your problems. How often do you complain about your husband? Or your weight? Turn your complaints into prayers. I don’t mean the ‘Lord, fix him’ kind of prayers. Pray for God to teach YOU, strengthen YOU, and equip YOU with the tools you need. This is not about your husband. It’s about you—your expectations, your limiting beliefs, and your control.
Same with your health. Do you think this journey is about losing 20 pounds? Your health and weight loss journey is about trusting God and drawing closer to Him.
Focusing on your problems magnifies them while minimizing God. Flip the script and magnify God. He is more than able to handle any problems we face.
It’s been an exciting time with Preston. I’m learning (slowly) to change how I see my marriage. It’s no longer how or why Preston is, or is not, making me happy. My focus is on this question, “Lord what can I do to make this the best marriage possible that will bring You glory?”
I challenge you to apply this to your health. Instead of being frustrated with your weight, your lack of progress, or your body, ask God, “What are you teaching me?” and “How can I glorify you in my body? ” When you focus on God, you will learn to ask God better questions which will always yield a better response.
My marriage is a ministry just as my health is a ministry. I will continue to use them both to bring glory to God.
Please share a lesson that marriage has taught you. I would love to hear more!