31 Jan 2013 by Adeline Lum-
Jace and Winson Phuah have been married for five years now. They tied the knot around their mid-twenties after courting for close to a decade. Growing up together in Setapak Lutheran church, they went to Sunday school together and served in youth and worship ministry.
In their early thirties now, they have much to offer about what real life marriage is in the first five years. Read on to find out their perspective on how to pave your way for a good marriage.
1. Be Open to Mentorship
For the first few months, everything was sweet, romantic and smooth. But after that, they found themselves often quarreling due to contrasting personalities. While she was an introvert, he was a total opposite.
One incident that opened the door for mentorship was a quarrel over a close relationship Winson had with another sister-in-Christ who was his best friend then. Jace did not agree with having a close friendship with another female friend, although the friendship had already been forged before the courtship.
“We consulted our youth pastor and I realized that I should consider Jace feelings,” said Winson. “Although it was a difficult decision to make, I kept my distance with the friend and helped her to respect my relationship also.”
Jace was also advised to ‘let go’ of her hurt as well. Although the friendship was strained between Winson and his best friend at that time, praise the Lord because his friend now is the godmother of the couple’s children!
2. Serve and Support Each Other
When the couple graduated from college, Winson was passionate about starting an auto-grooming business. Encouraged by his passion, Jace resigned from her position as a kindergarten administrator cum artist to support him in his business.
“I really appreciate her for sacrificing for me,” he said before she added, “I don’t feel that it’s a sacrifice because I really enjoyed working with him!”
When asked why she made that decision, she said, “When I first decided to start the relationship, I knew I need to support him in everything. And I think being the best partner also means helping him to achieve his dream.”
Winson, on the other hand, also understood and empathized with his wife’s sacrifice in babysitting and working from home at the same time! Now and then, he would encourage her to go out with her friends while he take care of the children at home.
“Every time when she comes back from her outing, you can tell she is much happier and satisfied,” said Winson.
3. Stick Together Thick or Thin
During his auto-grooming business, Winson realized that God was using his failing business as a way to humble him and build his character.
“I used to be prideful and confident. I believed I can do anything. Also, I wanted to prove myself,” said Winson. “Before that, I didn’t know my weaknesses until God put me in a test.”
He sold his faltering business after three years after set-up. During that time also, the couple got married and Winson decided to fulfill his calling as a youth pastor in Setapak Lutheran Church.
“I have always desired to be a youth pastor. I wanted to become one right away after my secondary school but my pastor advised me to complete my college first,” said Winson. “However, after I graduated, I desired to be a successful entrepreneur and I forgot about my first dream.”
And through it all, the couple stick together through thick or thin. Now, Winson works as a youth pastor for the college ministry in B&P or Business and Professionals in UCSI University.
4. Settling Conflicts Respectfully and Openly
Because of his ministry work, Winson would have Christian campus activities in the evenings or late evenings, when students don’t have classes. Although Jace understood, she wanted him to be there especially in times of need. On the other hand, he wanted to come home to a happy wife.
“I felt that submission is especially hard after marriage. And now, with children, sometimes it can be challenging to cope,” said Jace to which Winson added, “I know this is a transition period and we need to persevere.”
When asked how to settle conflict, both of them share a ‘secret diary.’
“I am not an expressive kind of person. Every time, I often keep my anger to myself without telling him straight away. So, I would prefer to write my feelings down and he would reply in the diary,” said Jace, a practice they had since their courtship days.
“It is quite romantic and really practical to look at the old notes,” she added.
What a creative way to settle conflicts! Every couple has a unique way to settle conflicts. Use your creativity. Ask God for wisdom. What is the best way to settle conflict while maintaining respect and allowing both sides to voice their feelings and opinions with openness? Maybe you can try Winson and Jace’s method!
5. Love Without Trying to Change the Person
Being married for five years now, marriage has taught him that loving each other meant accepting the other person for who he or she is without trying to change the person.
“This is what I see from Jace. Actually, I am touched with the things she goes through. I appreciate her for accepting me… keeping quiet, moving on and enduring. I feel accepted and loved,” said Winson. “Though sometimes, I try to change her into becoming a more expressive person like me to show her love.”
His love languages were words of recognition and touch, while her love languages were acts of services and spending quality time. Although both of them complained about each other at times, he now shows his love by doing housework and taking care of the children. And she refrains from complaining, which gives him space.
Advice in dating?
- Selection stage is crucial.
Winson shared that people would often look for good looks and musical talent to name a few. But the most important thing is character because only a person with character is able to love you. And character means being responsible, knowing how to respect other people and being teachable. Jace shared that sincerity matters the most in a character.
“The problem with teenagers today is making a bad selection and overseeing it because of good chemistry,” said Winson.
- Put God first.
God must be invited into the relationship. Put God first.
- Simply love like what the Bible says
Love is not about seeking your own benefit but it is to give.
The first few years of marriage may be rocky but a word of comfort is that you are not alone. Marriage is a wonderful experience, of two souls being united as one! But before you reap the benefit of marriage, both sides need to ‘die’ to themselves and serve each other first. The golden advice is put God first; it always work.
Dear Viewers in Christ, if you find this article edifying to you, please share with your friends or loved ones by using the social media plugs (Share, Email to this article). The Lord will surely bless you as you bless others. May the Lord’s peace and love be with you. Amen.