Lesson #1: Having to love myself before my husband can

There is a reason this is number one. There is a reason this came to my mind before anything else when making my list. There is a reason it is so important to me.

It’s because it is the hardest lesson and the choice I need the most conscious effort for. It is also the latest lesson I have learned.

People always say that you have to love yourself before you can truly love anyone else. I believe that to a point, but not as much as I believe you have to love yourself before your spouse can. Let me explain. A few months after Jacob and I got married, I slipped in to a sort of depression. All I wanted to do was sleep, I wondered if I had married a man who didn’t love me. I love my husband more than I could ever explain, but I have had a hard time believing that he truly loved me. I began to really dissect why I didn’t always believe that the man I married and who would do anything to see my smile, didn’t love me. I had one conclusion. I didn’t love myself enough. I always felt like he didn’t truly forgive me when I wronged him and more importantly, I was not quick to forgive. I had a bad day and I would take it out on him, even when he did nothing wrong. I blamed him for me not waking up to my alarm, but how is that his  fault? Why did I do this?

The answer is simple:
sometimes, I forget that I have to love myself to truly love my husband and to truly allow him to love me. 

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Jake loves me fiercely, every single day. Not a day goes by without him showing me the love he has for me in some way or another – whether I choose to see it or not. 

I knew something, anything and everything had to change. I figured if I couldn’t change him, I would have to change myself. It’s funny how quickly I realized there was no need for him to change, so it was a good thing I had already decided to change myself.

Realizing I didn’t love myself enough, changed everything. I realized how badly I talked about myself, how upset I got when I burnt the chicken (seriously, crying hysterically) and how I hated looking at myself in the mirror.

I began trying to recall the moments when Jesus told me He loved me. When he showed me He loved me. This is when it all changed. I didn’t randomly lose 20 lbs, wake up prettier or learn to not burn the chicken… But, if the Creator of the world -and me-  can love me, then I can love myself. This was a huge breakthrough I had about 6 years ago, but for some reason, I let it slip. It was much easier to get back to learning to love myself since I had done it once before, but it was still difficult. I have to remind myself e v e r y  d a y that it is OKAY to not be perfect.

Since then, the love I have for myself and my husband has dramatically changed. Not because I loved him less before, but because I am actually able to believe Jake when he tells me he loves me. And when I tell him i love him, it’s not out of habit. I mean it. It is honest, bitter-less, pure love. I am confident because I am the daughter of Christ.

Ladies, do yourself and your husband a favor. Treat yourself, feel good about your self. You are beautiful, intelligent and Jesus made YOU and loves you no matter what.. who are you to deny yourself your own love?

 

A Full Year of Lessons

Just a month ago, Jake and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary! YAY! I have learned to much in this past year, it is actually kind of sad. I never would guessed that I knew so little about myself, my husband and marriage in general. This journey has been incredibly difficult, but incredibly beautiful all in the same breath.

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Daily, I challenge myself to see the little lessons I can learn from my own marriage, other’s marriages and from the Lord. One of the greatest desires of my heart – for as long as I can remember – is to be a Godly, god-fearing and loving wife to a man that my future children would call Daddy. My heart consistently yearns to grow closer to the Lord and to love the Lord so that I am able to love my husband as I was created to and will forever desire to do.

My heart is to challenge men and women, who recently got married, who are about to embark on this beautiful journey or those who just want to learn for future reference, to keep pushing through. The burning flame inside of you quickly begins to dim and sometimes you can’t feel it at all. Why? Because love is a choice – an action. I choose to love Jake every morning when I wake up or even when I trip over the laundry he left in the floor. Actually, that never (just) happened! Reminding myself of some of the lessons I have learned over the past year, has given me the ability to choose love daily.

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I have listed a few of the many lessons I have learned in the past year. Most lessons were from trial and error, but some were subtle whispers from my Abba Father. Over the next couple weeks, I will post an explanation, logic behind my madness and some fun stories to share with you.

1. I have to love myself before I can truly allow my husband to love me.

2. What’s mine is his and what’s his is mine.

3. Living with a boy is gross

4. Even though I know my husband always thinks I am beautiful, I should never let myself slack

5. Our relationships with the Lord always look different and that is just fine

6. Fighting only the battles that are worth fighting

7. Speaking life into my husband, daily

8. Creating closeness with my husband is not always about deep, heart-filled or emotional conversations

9. ALWAYS HAVE AS MUCH FUN AS POSSIBLE

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If there are any questions or anything you would like further explanation of, please don’t hesitate to comment below! Also, if there are some more lessons I could learn, let me know! I am constantly working to be the best wife I possibly can!

As always, thank you so much for stopping by, let me know you did and say hello!

With Love,
Erin Vandiver