“Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.” Proverbs 2:11
I was thinking this morning as I sipped my morning coffee (seriously, I have to find a decent tasting decaf brew, because I hate caffeine…) and I thought about how much my views and opinions have changed since I was in high school. Let’s be honest here, I’m still called “kid” by the vast majority of individuals I spend time with. My husband and I drastically lower the average age of our church’s chancel choir. Last night, we were mistaken for high school students by the new pastor. Establishments check our ID’s in every possible circumstance. I’ve only been a high school graduate for 3 years, my husband for 4. My point is, I’m incredibly “young and foolish” so it just downright shocked and awed me when I noticed how much more conservative I am now as compared to when I was in high school because I’m still seen as fairly liberal by my church friends who are in their mid to late 60s.
I wondered then what changed my mind on so many issues… I don’t wear bikinis to the beach, or even go to the beach if my husband isn’t around, I no longer feel a fascination toward body piercing or tattoos, nor do I have any, I don’t now nor have I ever consumed alcohol for the purpose of getting drunk, I don’t wear make-up every day or even every time I go out in public (*GASP*- I know this may seem shocking to my mom and sisters 😉 ) I love wearing cardigan sweaters, and putting my hair in buns. I don’t like wearing high heels over 3 inches tall, and I wake up by 7:30 AM and prefer to go to bed by 10PM. There are those little things, and then a whole host of other more political issues on which my opinions have changed, or slid slightly more to the right.
I came to the conclusion that getting married did something to my brain. Having that one person in my life, to whom I am to give my utmost respect and support changed the way I do the little things. I’ve found I WANT to make those little changes out of respect for my husband. It’s not because I struggle with body image, or self-confidence, or modesty, or anything of the sort, because honestly, I’m in awesome shape and by society’s standards, have what it takes to “show it off.” The point is that I choose not to because before I do anything, I ask myself what my husband would think. I want nothing but to bring him honor, and to remain upright in integrity and discretion. If that means dressing more conservatively, then that’s what I’ll do, without question. If that means being cautious about my actions in public, that’s what I’ll do.
I first discovered I was making the transition to “old lady” sometime in college, when people were talking about their feelings toward porn, erotica, or general “benders” of any sort. I’m not willing to do anything that could compromise the integrity of my relationship with my husband; I’m not willing to sacrifice his trust and respect for doing something “fun” for its own sake. I don’t want to open doors that could lead to potential marital complications in the future; i.e., no porn, no erotica novels, no drinking without my spouse, no emotional/marital sharing with someone of the opposite sex, no revealing clothing (yes- this even applies to my husband and his pair of jeans with the duct taped rear, and proclivity for mooning…) and full disclosure of anything that could potentially be seen as an indiscretion (like the “make her famous” texts, with which I have MAJOR issues.) What is right for us as a couple may not be right for anyone else, but so far, our marriage works, and we don’t have to have the petty arguments because we place each other’s feelings and concerns ahead of our own. We are aware of one another’s struggles and failures, and rather than create stumbling blocks for each other out of pride, we just avoid what we consider “the taboo” altogether. It doesn’t matter that I think the length of my shorts are just fine as compared to that other woman’s shorts, because I’m not that other man’s wife. It doesn’t matter if my husband doesn’t think his caboose hanging out of his jeans that are more hole than pant is a big deal (though I’ve caught men and women alike checking out his rear), because he’s not their husband. We guard each other’s hearts, out of a mutual trust and respect.
He has full confidence in me, because I don’t test the boundaries (except for that time I bought a Cosmo because of a random “how to tone” article, which we’ve already discussed and I just tossed the mag.) He knows that I’m not nagging him when I ask who’s texting him, because he knows (or at least he will after he reads this) that I’m just trying to 1.) legitimately make conversation, because there are times we just sit in the same room, each surfing Facebook, and not say a word to the other, and 2.) guard our marriage. He doesn’t mind my questions, because he has nothing to hide, and he knows he can have full confidence in me when he has to be away.
It’s our system, it works for us. Like I said before, what works for us may not be right for anyone else, but it’s not for us to judge them, nor for them to judge us, because it’s not about that-it’s about honoring God and my husband and if that takes me setting up some boundaries so that I am able to avoid failure or disappointment, I’m cool with that.