How I Found Purpose in My Young Marriage

How I Found Purpose in My Young Marriage

*My husband and I were a little older when we got married (read our Uncommon Love story). So Jami of YoungWifesGuide is sharing her beautiful perspective as a younger bride. ~ Lisa 

I wasn’t looking for Mr. Right.

I wasn’t hoping for a ring by spring. I wasn’t day dreaming about my big day or pinning wedding dresses on Pinterest. Marriage wasn’t even on my radar.

In fact, I thought anyone who got married before college graduation was probably making a mistake. It was too young. I thought you needed to live your life a bit more. Get established in your career first.

Find out who you are for crying out loud.

And then I met him.

At the ripe old age of 16, I first laid eyes on my husband near the checkout stands at a grocery store. Nine months later we started dating and a little over 2 years after that we tied the knot. I was 19 and he was 21.

In the space of just a few short years, my perspective and world view on life and marriage completed shifted. Instead of focusing on getting an internship or applying to graduate school, I was focusing on how to juggle all the responsibilities of my home.

I was learning how to be a godly wife, homemaker, and future mother without any training.

My Perspective Began to Change

It wasn’t just falling in love with my husband that changed my viewpoint on marriage. Now that we’ve been married five years I can tell you that not everyday is a fairy tale. There have been times as a young wife that we failed at communication, times when we’ve each felt lonely. Then add the stress of having twins, and our marriage hasn’t been perfect and doesn’t fulfill our every need.

But the beautiful thing is, throughout all of this: being married in college, having babies young, not having two pennies to rub together…is that God’s true design for marriage has been able to shine throughout it all.

Our relationships should be bathed in love so that they melt together

When people are shocked that I was married at 19 and had two babies at 22 and ask what we were thinking to not “live our life first.” I’m able to happily share with them, that while not everyday is perfect and our marriage is far from a romance movie, God certainly knew what he was doing when he designed marriage.

“Now, more than ever before, is the time for Christians to declare and put on display what the Bible declares: God’s standard for marriage and the family is the only standard that can produce meaning, happiness, and fulfillment”. – John MacArthur, Marriage as it was Meant to Be

I am so thankful today for blogs such as this one that address Biblical marriage. Solid, Biblical blogs that tackle the hard issues in our marriages such as communication, affairs, finances, and more. We need to always be saturating our mind with Scripture so that on those hard days, we can remember that marriage was created by God and is given as a gift to us.

“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything”. (vv. 22-24).

Finding Joy & Purpose in Your Marriage

And so, whether you were married at 19 or 39, whether you’ve been married 6 months or 60 years, whether you have 0 kids or 8…remember the divine design for marriage.

Remember that marriage is the ultimate picture of Christ and the church.

Marriage is our witness field to a hurting world filled with divorce, broken families, and pain.

Marriage can be a picture that unconditional love exists and can be ultimately found in the Savior.

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church”. – Ephesians 5:32

Here I am now at the ripe old age of 24. I’ve been married for just over 5 years, we have two amazing little toddler boys, we’ve had our ups and our downs, and more negativity towards our young marriage than I could have thought possible.

You might be a young couple who has heard some of these myths about getting married young, or perhaps you were married older (or are unmarried) and believe those myths about young marriage. In either case, I encourage you to sit down with your Bible, turn to Ephesians 5, and really meditate on what God’s Word has to say about marriage.

Marriage, at any age, is a joy and something that we should cherish and encourage the young people in our church to be chasing after. Please quit telling those “ball and chain” jokes, stop putting your husband down in front of your girlfriends, and focus on the fact that marriage is a gift from God and start treating it as such.

“God’s plan for marriage is marked by a holy reciprocity in which the husband’s loving headship awakens in his wife a responsive submission just as a wife’s submissive cooperation draws from her husband servant leadership. With a loving spirit, equal person hood in the image of God, and complementary roles within marriage, a husband and wife can glorify God and reveal him in unique ways by the metaphor he himself designed. Nowhere is the image of God more poignantly reflected. Fortunately, God’s plan does not depend on perfect people or perfect circumstances because it is a perfect plan. Truths recorded in holy Scripture will stand forever as the standard by which men and women created by God in his image are to live. In studying how best to make a marriage work, the closer you come to following the instructions of the Creator, the more successful you will be.” – Pat Ennis, The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook, page 73.

Jami Balmet of YoungWifesGuideJami is passionate about Biblical Homemaking and striving to be a woman of God. Jami and her loving husband Jason have toddler twin boys and are busy learning what it means to raise little boys! She has a heart for homemaking and making her home an inviting place that reflects Christ. She blogs about this passion at Young Wife’s Guide. Jami is also the creator of the Christian Homemaking Community and would love to connect with you there!

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson
*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).

An Uncommon Love: If He Was the Last Man on Earth

An Uncommon Love - If He Was the Last Man on Earth

Chapter 1

If He Was the Last Man on Earth

He is tall, dark, and, believe me, handsome.

And that’s how it began.

With this very letter.

I read her description of him and knew—just knew.

He is tall, dark (little gray) and believe me handsome. He loves the Lord in such a beautiful way. He is full of life and you and he will hit it off immediately . . . I just know you will.

So there he was. The man I’d been waiting for, looking for, and hoping for and now the time had finally come.

I had found him.

Or, to be more accurate, she had found him.  And now he only needed to find me.

My kind friend from seminary days had written to tell me about her new boss.  He was perfect for me she said and I couldn’t help wanting it to be true.

Because I was 25.

Very single.

And very lonely.

Not that I was exactly miserable.  I was enjoying a pretty good life—worked at a great job, was involved in ministry down in Little Saigon, and lived with dear friends close to the sunny beaches of Southern California.

Hardly qualifies as suffering.

But my true heart’s desire? Was to find my soul-mate – wherever he might be – and marry. To raise a family and enjoy the rest of our days together.

A little happily-ever-after.

And here was a letter describing just the kind of guy I’d always imagined I’d marry. The kind of man I had asked God to bring me. The man I’d been praying for.

Just waiting for me up in Portland, Oregon.

An Uncommon Love - The letter that began it all

Always the Bridesmaid, Never the Bride

Now all we had to do is meet one another. 

My friend wondered if I was going to be coming up there any time soon? So I could meet her boss?

As a matter of fact, I was flying up in a few weeks’ time to be in a friend’s wedding.  A bridesmaid. For the 12th time.

Seriously.  Twelve times.

You know, Always the bridesmaid . . . never the bride?

That was me.

Practically a professional.  I’d considered including it on my resume: Expert, Experienced Bridesmaid (there’s such a demand for those).

An even dozen taffeta gowns hung all in a row in my closet.  In a beautiful  array of rainbow colors. With carefully dyed heels to match.  It was a little overwhelming.

But no white gowns.  No, not one.

So you see how it was.

Lonely.

Very lonely.

An Uncommon Love - Always the Bridesmaid but Never the Bride

The Blue-Eyed Man in the Suit

It was to be a lunch.

The plan was for me to show up at his office and go out from there. He worked for (what was then) Multnomah Publishing in Portland—a place I was familiar with and easy to find.  His administrative assistant – my friend –  had arranged for it all.

All I had to do was show up.

I took great care in preparing myself for this lunch. I’d like to say that this meant devoting myself to prayer, and maybe even fasting, but mostly what this meant is that I spent more time on my hair and make-up than usual.  Agonized over my outfit . Painted my nails. That kind of stuff.

I arrived on time (a miracle in itself) and waited outside his door for his assistant to notify him I’d arrived.

Waited.

And waited.

Finally, Linda emerged from his office with this somewhat ashen look on her face. As if something terribly wrong had occurred. A natural disaster or some sort of tragedy.  Possibly a death in the family.

But before I got the chance to ask her what was up, he came out the door.

Him.

Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome.

He strode directly toward me, introduced himself, and shook my hand.

Shook my hand, people!

What in the world…?  I thought this was supposed to be a date, not a business meeting.

A handsome man in a dark suit.

But all I could see were his blue eyes. Why hadn’t she thought to mention those blue eyes??

Then….(you’re with me on this, aren’t you?) he glanced at his watch and mumbled something about how busy he was, how he had to rush to a meeting, how nice it had been to meet me, etc. etc.

And he was gone.

I stood there in my freshly-pressed blouse, carefully curled hair, manicured nails and lipstick to match and watched the back of his suit walk away.

It took a few sobering seconds for me to figure it out what had just happened . . .

Stood up.

That’s what had happened. I’d just been stood up by Mr. Blue Eyes himself.

And can you guess my response?

Cry? Scream? Laugh?

Nope. I got mad.

Icy. Cold. Anger.

Who did he think he was anyway? Did he actually think this was my idea?? That I was chasing him? That I was desperate?

I don’t think so, Buddy.

Rude, arrogant man.

And I decided right there that he really wasn’t quite so handsome after all.

No, definitely not my type.

Except for those eyes . . . .

An Uncommon Love - The Blue-Eyed Man in the Suit

The Matthew L. Jacobson Fan Club

I was ready to go home now.

I had somehow lost my appetite in that recent exchange and wanted nothing more than to go home, slip off my heels, and put my hair up in a ponytail, and be done with men.

Probably for the rest of my life.

But Linda wouldn’t have it (oh, my faithful friend!). She quickly organized a Plan B which apparently included lunch with her and the next best thing – the sister of Matthew L Jacobson.

I’ll never forget that lunch

It will go down in history as the most tortuous event in my lunching life.  You see, what I didn’t know then was that these two ladies were Matthew’s biggest fans. They spent the entire time going on . . . and on . . . and on about how great this guy was and how “lucky” the girl would be that caught him.

Absolutely nauseating.

I couldn’t wait for the whole ordeal to be over.  Oh, I smiled and nodded at all the appropriate moments, but if they only knew what I was really thinking . . . .

I was no fan of Matthew L. Jacobson.

More like his sworn enemy.

So I found myself back home in my comfy sweats at the end of that humiliating, ridiculous day. And when my girlfriend called later to find out how my lunch date went?  My answer was in no way unclear.

“If he was the last man on earth, I wouldn’t go out with him.”

And that was the end of that.

To be continued . . . .

An Uncommon Love - A True Life Love Story by Matthew and Lisa Jacobson

Yes, you’re right, there must be more to the story…..

Matthew shares his side of the story in Chapter 2 HERE.

*But just don’t let him persuade you that he wasn’t rude, even if he’s convinced that he had a reasonable explanation ;)

In His grace,
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(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)
100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).

An Uncommon Love: How We Met and Decided to Marry In 6 Days

An Uncommon Love - How We Met and Decided to Marry in Six Days

His suggestion came as quite a surprise.

But I didn’t really know what to expect.

We were back east visiting our son who was attending a college there.

It was his first year and our first visit.

Our first son.

A number of firsts.

I’m not saying I was nervous – just that I didn’t know what it would be like.  Wasn’t sure what he would think of us now  . . . or what his friends would make of us.  Wasn’t sure how it would all go.

He’d already been at the college for a couple of months, but for me it felt as though the first day of school.

So that’s why his proposed idea came as something of a surprise.

How about if you and dad tell how the two of you met? You know, shared your love story with my friends?

Our son went on to explain that he’d sent out an email to a bunch of his friends around campus inviting them to join us at the lunch table in the cafeteria.

He was gathering his group together because he hoped his parents would tell how they first met.

“Really…? Do you really think they’ll want to hear it?”

Oh, yeah, Mom.  Everyone loves a good love story. 

And I suppose they do.

But I never imagined sharing ours with our college-aged son and his buddies.

That was a surprise.

Our Love Story - How We Met and Decided to Marry in Six Days

*Our son (far right) and some of his friends from college

An Uncommon Love: How We Met and Decided to Marry in Six Days

Matthew and I have shared our story many times over the years. 

Late into the evening with old friends. Over a cup of coffee with new friends.  At a Valentine’s Banquet. With singles who needed encouragement. With couples who could use a good laugh. And with our son’s college friends across the country.

We always tell our story together—him and me.

I think it’s mostly because he doesn’t really tell it right. He gets people to take his side in the story, but that’s just not fair. So I have to get my word in there too (and I’m already counting on you to take my part in this, okay?). I wouldn’t want you to get the wrong impression!

Maybe it’s not all that unusual of a story.

Single girl meets single guy.

Starts with a letter.

Ends with a kiss.

Just another love story.

Except maybe for the part where we decided to marry six days after we met.

And that we’ve been loving each other ever since.

Maybe that’s not quite so typical.

Uncommon. 

An Uncommon Love - A True Life Love Story by Matthew and Lisa Jacobson

NEW Series beginning next week: An Uncommon Love

An Uncommon Love.

Yeah, that’s what he called it. And I always liked the way that sounded.  So that’s what I’ve called it too.

And that’s the story we’re going to be sharing over the next few weeks.  Him and me.

About how we knew we wanted to get married only six days after our first date.

And how before that, I declared that I wouldn’t go out with him “If he was the last man on earth”. Yet somehow ended up in his arms in the end.

It’s a  story about an ordinary guy and an ordinary girl.  A story about falling in love.

About insecurities, miscommunications, self-doubts, wonder and a kiss.

Two people looking for love and waiting on God.

In true life.

An Uncommon Love - Matthew and Lisa Jacobson

An Uncommon Love: A True-Life Love Story by Matthew and Lisa Jacobson.

Starting next week, we’ll both be telling our story. But he said I could go first . . .

Chapter One: If He Was the Last Man On Earth

Chapter Two: Where Is She? Searching for My Forever Girl

Doesn’t sound like it has a very promising beginning, does it? Don’t worry. It gets better.

I’ll tell you all about it . . .!

*Please share this with any friends or family who might enjoy this story too!

**And now for fun –  how did you and your husband meet? Where were you when you first saw each other? Do tell….!

In His grace,
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(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)
100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson *If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).

How My Husband Became My Best Friend

How My Husband Became My Best Friend

He often introduces me as his girlfriend.

Ever-so-slightly embarrassing.

He’ll say it to the barista at Starbucks, or the cashier in the check-out line of the grocery store. Even to the new couple we met at the homeschool picnic.

After 22 years, you’d think I’d get used to it, but it still makes me blush.

And smile.

I always hasten to add that I also happen to be his wife –an important fact to establish when you have 8 children together.

And I’ll flash my wedding ring to prove it if necessary.

I think he gets some kind of odd gratification out of my embarrassment.

Then pretends to protest, “What . . . you are my girlfriend, aren’t you?”

Yes, well . . .

It’s true: I am a girl. And I am his friend.  A close friend.

The best of friends, really.

So I guess that does make me his girl-friend.

And like most good friendships, ours has grown over time. We’ve had to invest in our friendship and look after it.

So many times people think it’s because we somehow just “click”. But while there might be some “clicking” between us, it’s more than that. Far more than that.

It wasn’t as though we instantly became best friends. It’s been a long, purposeful process.

Here is how we became the best of friends….

How My Husband and I Became Best Friends

How Your Husband Can Become Your Best Friend

By spending time together.  I know. You’re going to tell me how busy you are. I understand busy. And yet I figure I manage to get a shower (usually) and several meals a day. That’s because it’s a priority with me. I need these things.

I also need time with my husband, so I can make that happen too.

By being nice to him.  You know how you’re super sweet to your girlfriends?  Smile and cheer them on? Do nice things for them? Yeah, well, it’s kinda the same here. This friendship is no different.

Play nice.

By being interested in his stuff. So I have one friend who is really into gardening. And another who is into goats. I am not particularly keen on either of those things – but since it’s my friends we’re talking about here, I’ve decided to be interested. For their sakes.

Same with my husband.

By having fun together.  Friendships are never all business, are they? Of course not! It’s not like you sit down with your girlfriend and constantly go over the budget, or decide who is going to drive which child where.  No, you sip coffee, go fun places and laugh at each other’s stories!

Hello . . . ?

By praying for him. If you’re a friend of mine, than you already know that I pray for you.  I can’t always get away from the kids, or write long emails, but you can count on my praying for you. It’s one of my “love gifts” to my friends.

And I pray for my husband and he knows it.

Just this past week-end Matthew was out-of-town on a business trip and called to ask me to pray for him about a particular issue.  I started praying as soon as I hung up the phone.

Because that’s what friends do.

{You might also be interested in joining the 31 Days of Prayer for Our Marriages by Time-Warp Wife. Her Prayer Challenge is starting up this week on October 1st!}

So if you ever run into my husband and he introduces me as his girlfriend, just smile and go along with it, will you?

Maybe even tell him that you feel like you already know him . . . . since Lisa talks so much about her boyfriend. ;)

Embracing friendship.

*How do you and your husband invest in your friendship? Or what are some of the things that get in the way? I love hearing from you, friends!

In His grace,

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*I hope you’ve enjoyed our Virtual Marriage Retreat! You can still hop over to any of the links below to catch up on all the articles written for this series. 

Embrace Your Marriage - A Virtual Marriage Retreat

These 5 bloggers and I have joined together to offer a word of wisdom and inspiration to encourage you in your marriage.

On these  5 topics . . . .

  • Embracing Grace 
  • Embracing Change  
  • Embracing Your Differences  
  • Embracing Unity 
  • Embracing Friendship 

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)