First Comes Love, Then Comes Correction

By Charel

If you’ve spent any portion of your childhood on a schoolyard playground you probably have heard your peers singing this tune, “Jim and Susie sittin’ in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love, then comes marriage…..”, and the rest goes on. Maybe not a Jim and a Susie but insert classmates name here and here and you’ll get the picture. From that point on there seemed to be an emphasis on love and marriage. If you were to fall in love with someone, a marriage will soon follow. There is even mention in the school aged song about conceiving children. However, it seems as if correction in a marital relationship is taboo to most folks.

Why do spouses sense the need to correct each other anyway? I wrestled with this question in my mind for months after getting married. Mainly because my husband attempted to correct me on something and I felt like I was being spoken to like a child. My only reference point was when my parents or teachers brought correction when I was in the wrong. I grew up thinking once I get older I won’t have to deal with this feeling of embarrassment or frustration anymore. Wrong! Boy was I extremely wrong! Not only did I become frustrated with my husband when he made attempts to bring correction, when he felt I was out of line, I found myself becoming frustrated with God.

“Wait, how did God get into this?”, you may ask. Well to be quite honest, at the beginning of 2015 I had just solidified the love I had in my heart for God. My relationship with him was growing strong yet my everyday life was seemingly falling apart. Yes, at the time I was a preparing to be a new bride and super excited about building this fabulous life with my soon-to-be husband. Yet, I could see clearly God restructuring my entire livelihood and I did not immediately agree. With my love for God and a brand new marriage on the horizon, I knew it would never be the same for me. I started to confide my frustrations in a close family friend who has become like a big sister to me. At one point, after an hour or so with me going on about my complaints, she calmly says with a smile, “I wish I could tell you when it’ll all be over but life does not pan out that way. All I can say is, it is just your turn, just like at one point it was mine.” Of course it made me even more frustrated with life because it wasn’t something I wanted to hear. I wanted to know that everything will be over tomorrow. That my troubles would simply disappear because God knows my heart and he loves me.

With the closing of another year, there had been a mentally marked anniversary of when I felt trouble was following my every footstep. Even though God has brought me through my then troubles, I still had not acknowledged his reasoning as to why certain situations transpired until a week ago. It was just my turn. Thinking back to my friend’s statement, “it is just your turn”, made me breakout in tears of joy because she was so right. Job 5:17 reads “Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.”  My friend had persevered through troubling times in her early years of marriage. Her story much different than my own, my own story much different than Job’s. But in the same way Job was confronted during his turmoil with some hard truths, I was thankful for my friend’s words of hard truth. Most importantly I was thankful to God for even giving me a turn to experience correction in my life.

God’s love for me superseded my limited ways of doing things, certainly my limited ways of thinking. God wanted to mature me in certain areas. I would like to think that now when my husband brings correction it is for the betterment of my character and I won’t have a child-like response. Even if I was offended by his delivery because of my feelings of embarrassment and frustration. And that my husband had seen something in me that he knows can be better because he knows and loves me.

Further in the book of Job chapter 38 verse 2, the Lord asks Job, “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?”. Like me during my moment of adversity, Job responded out of his frustration regarding his hardships. Yet, the Lord spoke to him out of the storm to bring correction and in turn blessed Job for humbling himself after the encounter. So I want to petition that we rewrite that school-aged song. It may not be extremely catchy but we need to begin putting the truth in somewhere so that we can remember why those who love us will try to bring correction to our lives as well. “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes correction and whatever else God has in his plan for your lives.”  

See isn’t that better?