Today’s Friday Guest Post is by Naomi Jamison. Naomi is one of my lovely nieces.
BIO: I am Naomi Jamison. I am a stay-at-home wife and mother. I’ve been Charlie’s wife for 32 years. We have 2 daughters, and 3 sons all of whom were homeschooled. We started when our 3rd child was beginning Kindergarten. When our 4th graduated from high school, I had put in 18 years. Our youngest, Riley, is 11 years old. He is a bright, loving child, and the joy of our lives. Riley has Down Syndrome and he is deaf. So…now I am teaching special education,and sign language. I love music. I play the piano and know a few chords on the guitar. Mostly, I love to sing. I also love to paint-watercolors. My husband is a minister and I am active in church, teaching Sunday School, and doing anything else that I can to help. Charlie, our sons, Corey and Riley, and I live in the beautiful Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, in a lovely, secluded valley.
STAYING IN LOVE
If I were to give advice, I would first have to say that what works for one, does not necessarily work for all. Deep, I know. Truth be told, no one is qualified to raise children, or give marital advice. I do have some years of experience under my belt. I’ve been married to the same man for 32 years. It helps that he is an exceptional man. He tries to live that scriptural admonition, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it;” and he does a pretty good job of it. Since marriage involves two people, it is certain to have its problems. I do more than my share of contributing to, and, at times, creating these conflicts. However, we are still in love! Yes! Contrary to a common misconception, there can be love after sickness, poverty, and (you guessed it!) children! I do have a few techniques, so to speak, that I believe have aided the ember of our new love to thrive and grow through the years.
As a girl, I loved my daddy. I even planned on marrying him one day…when I grew up. I’m not sure that I had a plan for Mama…didn’t think that through. However, I loved tagging along after him. I wanted to be where he was…watch him working, “help” him in whatever he was doing. He was my hero. Of course, those are the musings of a child, and my teen years gave me, if nothing else, the realization that Daddy was not a possibility for marriage material. But, I learned to apply this little girl attitude to my sweetheart. When we were dating, my Charlie became the object of my desire. It was he with whom I wanted to tag along. Once I accompanied him to cut firewood. I got up really early on a day that I did not have to work, and put on my old clothes. I did my 95 lb-weakling-best to “help” him load firewood in his pick-up. We were at it all day. It was certainly not my thing…but I was with him, and he was my thing! I have tried to continue with that strategy. It is not always possible. I have my own duties. But I still have a desire to be with Charlie–help him, if I am able. So, encouraging myself in that child-like behavior, instead of squelching it, because I am an adult, is a way to show my Charlie that he is still my favorite person to hang out with. The result? He likes to hang out with me, too!
I was determined from our beginning that we would have a lifetime of romance. Romance is the spice in a relationship between a couple. Little things make for nice bits of spice…that’s the thing about spice…a little goes a long way! But one must use spice on purpose. (If you leave the cinnamon out of the recipe when you make cinnamon rolls, it will not be the same, obviously.) We say, “I love you!” often, and we mean it. Reassurance is a wonderful way to love someone. Letting your spouse know that he is loved for all that he does is important to him, as a man. Appreciation feeds the heart…we all need to know that we’re appreciated. Once in a while it is a good practice to be specific and list his attributes…thank him for the things he does.
Little surprises can be romantic. They don’t have to cost dollars and cents. One thing I like to do for Charlie is bake the pies or cookies that he enjoys. He knows how to reward me with rolling of his eyes, “mmm, mmm!” as he tastes my wares, and kisses on my neck as I’m working. Physical contact is high on the priority list for young loves, but it should not be abandoned! Touching hands, hugs and kisses should be daily practiced! Oh, and greeting one another with hugs and kisses is still advised when “good morning” is said, or after a separation of any length of time(even a few hours).
I also believe that I should look my best and I try to do so. I am a stay-at-home wife and mama, but I never spend a day in my pajamas or bathrobe unless I’m ill. I shower every morning, fix my hair, apply make-up, and wear clean, attractive clothing. If I have been working at some task which alters my neat appearance, I make sure I try to improve on that before he returns home. It is important to make myself look nice for him, as I did when we first met. It is my Charlie who should matter more than anyone else. Some will scoff and even laugh at this, I’ve heard it before, but we, Ladies, like our fella to look clean and neat. We should make sure that he feels we want to impress him, as we once did. If the one he comes home to is attractive then he will be less inclined to be distracted! I read many years ago that a woman should look beautiful in bed. In other words, no curlers, cold cream or the like. This is another sound piece of wisdom. Looking your best is always a good idea.
Long ago, as I listened to women talk about their husbands, I decided that I would not talk to others about my husband negatively. If I have an aggravation, I talk to him about it. If I say something to someone else about him, my aim is to shine light on his good qualities. It has been a good decision; a wise decision. Venting to someone else only compounds the problem. It also can possibly bring him down in the estimation of whomever I might choose to complain. Since my husband is a minister, this certainly would be a bad move, but it is the same for anyone. If we train ourselves to build up one another, we will have their best interest at heart. The interesting thing is that when I shared my decision to only speak positive words about my Charlie to others, he told me that he had made the same decision.
The single most important part of our relationship is that we make Christ the center of our lives and our home. When we have difficulties, it is He Who brings us through. It takes three: a man, a woman, and most importantly, God. Without God we don’t know love, for “God is love!”
What’s your take on How to Stay in Love? We welcome your comments.