{Brownies & Questions from North Carolina}

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hey Homies! This weekend we received a letter and package from Rachel in North Carolina who asked us some great questions about marriage / dating that we thought we'd share with you. She also sent us brownie mix from Great Harvest Bread Co. which didn't take long for Tim and I to make and devour. (Insert chocolatey goodness rrrrigh hurrr!). Btw, if you live near Oakland, CA be sure and try Great Harvest's Rockridge Crunch . It's now our favorite bread thanks to Twinner!


Rachel asked ...

1) How does what you know about marriage affect how you view dating? Would this have changed anything about how you dated?


EM: I think realizing now how much work it takes to have a healthy and thriving marriage, I'd encourage people to avoid dating those who have had everything handed to them. If people don't know how to work hard they'll quit in your marriage as soon as things get tough. Knowing this makes me grateful to have a Husband who understands the importance of intentionality and pushing through seasons of difficulty.

TIM: Dating can easily dance on the boundary lines of "pretend marriage." Looking back I realize this is both dangerous and deceptive. Marriage is the place for total intimacy (spiritual, emotional, and physical). If a dating couple attempts to enter one of those three intimate realms too soon, they will either be deeply wounded or have marital angst down the road. Dating is the time to court one another. Learning about one another has its place but but must be done with utmost care. Dating is also a preliminary period where friends and family will either confirm or deny a compatible marriage. Overall, dating and marriage are two different ball games, and there is much that we don't learn about until we're actually in it. Some things have to be experienced head on. Understanding these ideas would have drastically improved my dating life with Em.



2) What do you think are the 4 most important qualities or values you share in your relationship?

EM: 1) Faith 2) Communication 3) Forgiveness 4) Playfulness / Creativity

TIM:
1) Communication 2) Vulnerability 3) Loyalty 4) Selflessness

How would you have answered these questions? Thanks again Rachel, for the Pony Express delivery. Fist pumps to you and everyone else in Charlotte!

Happy Tuesday!
Em & Tim

12 comments:

Not Hip Enough To Blog said...

1) I would say that for Mr. Beard and I, we lived in a bit of a fantasy world as we dated for 3 years, until things came crashing down in our first year of marriage. We dealt head on with issues of deceit and disappointment - stuff that I never thought would happen to us. After much hard work, counselling, supportive community who were cheering for us, and many hours of working hard at confession and reconciliation, we came out stronger on the other side. Marriage is not a fantasy. Dating could be, but it's not reality. Just a warning!

2) Mr. Beard and I value a lot of things about our relationship, but I'll try to narrow it down to four things: 1. communication - without it ya got nothing, 2. love/respect - often the same thing expressed differently - we try our hardest to always love and respect each other as individuals, and while with other people. You will never, ever, ever hear me talk smack about my husband. Sure - we have issues, and I process things with my girlfriends, but I will never ever disrespect my husband throughout the processing of feelings/issues with other people. 3. Loyalty - we do as much as we can together. Mr. Beard is my bff and I am his. Sure, we have best girlfriends and guyfriends too, but we want to be the old cute couple holding hands 50 years from now who still have so much spunk and zest for life, and each other. This is not just something that happens - you grow it. 4. Mission - Mr. Beard and I are committed to being examples of Christ to others, and living out an authentic, intentional life following the irreligious Jesus who hung out with the fringes of society, and who gave of everything he had so that others could be free from their screw-ups and material attachments.

Hope you had a great weekend, Em!
Thanks for encouraging others to have great marriages - we're right with ya!

a.
nothipenoughtoblog.blogspot.com

Erin @ In Between Laundry said...

This is great stuff! I appreciate your candidness and honesty so much!

KatieKate said...

I love your point about possibly crossing the "pretend marriage" boundary. Very true.

Anonymous said...

Hi there! Is there an way you guys could elaborate on the idea of courting? I'm single, in my late twenties, and have been really turned off to the whole dating game as of late after a few painful encounters. I guess this might me a stupid question, but what does courting mean?
I love your blog and your willingness to share,
Another Em

Kim said...

Communication. Trust. Loyalty. Forgiveness.

Sister Lynn said...

Well, I am not married but I remember the advice my dad gave me when I was approaching the age where marriage was an option

He said:

There are three things that will radically change your life. Birth, death and marriage. He said you have no control over the first two. But marriage you do...so when looking for your prospective life partner - keep both eyes open - really look at this person and discern if this is the one God has willed for you. He then added - and after you get married "Keep one eye shut!"

Serene said...

Agreed! In our youth group as a young Christian we had been taught to look at any boyfriend/ girlfriend as a potential spouse. While this may be part truth it holds that dangerous place of pretending you are married. Unless you are heading down the marriage path, and maybe even then...well...same as what Tim said. Lol.

leslie a. knight said...

I think what Tim said about not having total intimacy is very true. This is something my husband and I have struggled and fought through (and continue to fight through). We would have made many changes in our relationship early on if we knew then what we know now. I also agree with Em that knowing just how hard marriage can be would have changed a lot.

That all being said, I also believe that the only reason I am married right now is because we moved so quickly. There wasn't time to break up or back out. It's made many things more difficult, but we have also fought through a lot to remain together.

For us, I think the things that keep us together are: 1) faith 2) communication 3) loyalyty and 4) our families.

Kimbojamma said...

I really love what Tim said about friends and family confirming or denying compatability. I think too many people want to rely on their own opinion about their dating partner and not give any credence to parents or friends. Parents are usually the people who know you best along with siblings..they know your flaws and your strengths. I would REALLY find out what kind of family a dating partner has and what his friends are like. If they are saying he's a really great person and always has been, he probably is...and that says a lot!!!

Carrie said...

I think it's also super important not to judge or assume your potential spouse will follow in his or her parent's footsteps. My husband came from a broken family who never attended church or invited God into their daily living. It would have been easy for me to dismiss his potential as a fantastic husband and a spiritual leader in our home. He is the MOST dedicated husband and the most faithful, spiritual seeking man I know.

Lots of couples get caught up in the fairy-tale wedding....dreaming of the picture-perfect details of just one day of their lives. And, certainly, if you are fortunate to have an elaborate wedding there is nothing WRONG with it. But, I've seen far too often that the details of a day overshadow the details of your LIFE together. While life experiences and maturity will potentially change your view, opinions and how you would react to certain situations over time....talk about the "forbidden" things before you say "I DO!" What happens if one of you loses a job? Infertility? There is no guarantee that you're going to get the 2 kids and a dog family that you dreamed of. Other health issues/injuries as a result of a deployment or a car accident? How do you feel about fiscal responsibility? Car Loans and the usage of credit cards? How do you deal with death/grieving process? Household chores? Are you both clean freaks or slobs? Trust me, if you aren't on the same page -- be it one or the other -- it will drive a wedge in your relationship!! I have seen it countless times!! If you're of different religions, how will you raise the babies? I'm just throwing out things that my husband and I (or close friends) have had to deal with. Seeing eye-to-eye on these types of issues is WAYYY more important than your choice of dress, flowers, music, food, etc.

Healthy forms of communication is absolutely, without a doubt, at the top of our list. People say that men don't share feelings? While it may be more difficult for them, to just accept that as an excuse is futile. Vulnerability on every level of your relationship is key, too!

I'll step down from my soap box now!! :)

Mariah said...

How has being a twinner positively and negatively affected your marriage? I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend (also a identical twin) for 5 ½ years and it has definitely been challenging at times. Any advice for being in a relationship with a twin would be super helpful!

Today's Letters said...

mariah, i really haven't had any negative experiences with my twin while dating / being married to tim. he understands our bond and she is respectful of our marriage. thankfully, both my wombmate and my husband have a great relationship and operate out of a heart of maturity and love!

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