Chelsea Kimbrough’s column will be substituted this edition by Brenda Richards. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in business management with a minor in human resources, and is currently pursuing a nursing degree.
When I first started my nursing degree, I suspected that I would be in the minority. Not only was I over 30 years old. I was also happily married, had already experienced a few different careers, and completed a B.S. in business management. So when I attempted to blend in with this completely new college lifestyle, what surprised me the most were the same questions I would get about the same subject: marriage.
It seems that being happily married for over 12 years strikes curiosity in the hearts of some of my young friends.
“How did you know he was THE ONE?” They would ask. “Tell us what marriage is like.”
Well, if you are one of my closer young friends, or you attended the Spring 2010 Humanities class with Mr. Ornelas, you have already heard a small portion of this speech: focus on your education first.
But to answer the inquisitive minds that ask what it is like to be married, I’ll answer as honestly as I possibly can. First, anyone who’s had the privilege to meet and get to know my husband, Shane, knows that God has been good to me. He’s a one-of-a-kind, genuinely sincere, Godly man. But the bottom line is: marriage is an excellent opportunity to develop the fruit of the Spirit.
Although you often hear people say that marriage is hard work, I would disagree. I think marriage is hard on your flesh. I can count on one hand -- okay, maybe two -- the number of tenuous conversations we have had over the years that left us exasperated with the other. Frankly, being married to Shane has been the easiest thing I have ever done. However, there are times that marriage provides the perfect opportunity to test your selfishness and patience.
I force a smile when I hear about a young couple who’s driven to get engaged and married immediately. I can tell you that the older you are and the more you develop a healthy, Godly self-esteem, the better spouse you will become. Time is your best asset when it comes to preparing for a serious relationship. But the true secret is this: the more you give yourself time to grow in your relationship with Jesus and develop the fruit of the Spirit, the more likely you will have a successful marriage.
So if you want to marry a boy, help yourself. But I would encourage you to wait and marry a man.\
Questions that young people rarely consider are the following: is she going to be the best candidate as the mother of my children? Is he a man who is willing to do whatever it takes to provide for us, even if he has to work long hours and weekends for an ungrateful boss, and with a good attitude? What if one of us has a severe health issue? Do either one of us have the spiritual fortitude to look at the other one and know they have the maturity to pray when the other one can’t?”
These are mature questions, but this is marriage. If you had told me on our wedding day that in the next 12 years my husband and I would face the death of two parents and three grandparents, all while starting a business, completing one college degree and starting another, working full time, and handling the ups and downs of life, I would have said this: we can get through it. It is because we married the right person, chosen by God, who had already lived some life and knew how to get through things like this without falling apart.
My recent clinical experience in a nursing home once again reminds me of what really matters in life. As I assist widows who miss their deceased husbands with heavy hearts, I can rest assured that when I am aged and may have to rely on my husband to make decisions on my behalf, I know he will do what is best for me. And I know that when I draw my last breath, I can look into the eyes of my beloved and know that I mattered, and he too will know that he mattered in my life. That’s the kind of guy you want to marry, girls.