Hey Princesses! I am blessed to be a part of this blogging series about love! Katya has asked me to share a little about what I know about love being protective and not proud; hopeful and not boastful. I am by no means perfect and this is something that I have to remind myself of daily, but I have had some experience!  Before I dive in, let me tell you a bit about the hubby and me.
Examining Love: Shaun & Elia Curls

  • We met playing volleyball (my team won because I am a volleyball beast!)
  • The first day that we actually hung out together we became boyfriend/girlfriend (He asked me to slow dance in an abandoned parking lot to a Justin Bieber song right before, how could I say no?)
  • He proposed to me on his birthday (which was 1.5 weeks after he got into a nasty car accident… he was wearing a neck brace at the time)
  • We had only been dating for 5 months and 8 days before getting engaged (fast I know, but it was God’s timing, not ours.)
  • We got married this past August (I don’t know what we were thinking by having a summer wedding in Las Vegas…it got up to 117 degrees!)

Anyway, the transition from single to married for me was a wonderful experience but it wasn’t without its hardships and being protective and not proud, hopeful and not boastful was proving to be difficult. To better understand where I am going with this, let’s look at the definitions of proud and boastful.

Proud: having or showing a high or excessively high opinion of oneself or one’s importance.

Boastful: showing excessive pride and self-satisfaction in one’s achievements, possessions, or abilities.

To put it in simplified definitions, to be proud and boastful is to be selfish, and sistas, let me tell you that to be selfish and married is to be a complete contradiction to what marriage is about. You see authentic, selfless love in the context of marriage is the greatest gift that we can have because it is the closest thing that represents our relationship with Christ! Living in a protective and hopeful marriage means actively choosing to die to the spirit of “Me” and live in the spirit of “We.”

Examining Love: Shaun & Elia CurlsPrior to getting married, Shaun and I spent so much time in prayer and discussing what our life ought to look like: How we were going to raise our kids and handle our finances, which church we would plant our roots in, what was acceptable behavior within our home, and what we would name our puppy should we choose to get one! And guess what?!  We agreed on all these things!!! But it wasn’t without A LOT of compromise. It was so easy to only think about how I felt and not how my decisions would affect us. Sacrifices had to be made on both sides because we were now one. Now by no means am I saying that once you get married you need to throw all of the things that make you unique out the window. Shaun and I still have personal aspirations, likes, preferences, etc., but they are always developed and implemented with the other person in mind.  There were certain things that I had to let go of and Shaun had to do the same.Examining Love: Shaun & Elia Curls The beauty of this is that God was revealing how sacrificial and strong our love needed to be. When we realized this, our hearts were overwhelmed with joy! Our marriage wasn’t just about saying NO to our selfish desires but it was about saying YES to each other and what God wanted for us! We said YES to our hopes. We said YES to our plans and dreams. We rejoiced in our triumphs and accomplishments, and we even learned from our failuresWhen you consider the other person you protect your marriage from the spirit of pride, and when you free yourself from pride, you open yourself up to hope!

I wrote this from my experience as a married woman. Some of you ladies may still be searing for your prince, to which I say “Keep hope alive girl!” Some of you may be rockin’ the single life, to which I say, “You go girl!” Either way, just remember that true love as Christ has demonstrated is protective and not proud; hopeful and not boastful, so follow His example and Live. In. Love.
Examining Love Series - To All You Princesses