Prepare For War, My Friends : A Love Story
“The enemy wants nothing more than to tear apart a marriage, you need to be ready and not go in blindly. Prepare for the marriage more than you do the actual wedding. Put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6) and prepare for war, my friends!”
Candace, or you may know her as the @coopedupcowboyswife, is a home schooling mom & rancher, wife to her cowboy Kody & a woman of the Word. Her and Kody just celebrated their 13th marriage anniversary yesterday and we love their love! Read below to learn their story and the roll that God plays in their marriage and lives!
It all started at a go-kart track. The four of us went together, me with his best friend, on a sort of after-rodeo date...and him with one of my friends. I had heard stories about this wild bull rider, named Kody, that would do everything he could to get kicked out of these kinds of places, so I was curious to see if it happen this time. Being the competitive little sister of an older brother, I wasn’t about to let him bump into me and get away with it. So it was war on the track between him and I, which turned into all of us getting kicked out. But the spark was lit. How quickly a crush for a 15 year old develops when you meet the guy that not only is cute, but he’s kind and very adventurous.
It would be a few months later, that he’d finally ask me out to Cowboy Prom, which is the equivalent of the traditional prom but for kids that compete in high school rodeos and I guess you would call this our “first date.” I’m not gonna lie, I knew that night, he was the man I was going to marry. We were 16 years old, so young but so sure of us. There was one bump in the road, when he wanted to “concentrate on his bull riding.” (Cue the eye-roll!) With that we broke up for a brief amount of time and to be honest, I dated another guy just to spite him but ultimately he came to his senses and we picked up where we left off and have been together ever since.
It was young love, but it was also something more. Feelings, attraction, adventure and happiness will only take two people so far. Our relationship was all of those things, but more than anything it was rooted in a true faith in Jesus Christ. Kody introduced me to a Jesus that I never knew growing up in a very strict and dry religion. He showed me a Jesus that didn’t compromise when it came to purity and standing alone for what He valued. He taught me about a Jesus that wanted to be my friend, that loved me better than anyone on this earth could and who would fight for my heart over and over again when I tried to run from Him or made bad choices. More than anything, Kody’s and my relationship grew and developed so much at such a young age because, at that time, we were both falling madly in love with Jesus.
Growth. That’s the word I could use to describe my marriage in one word. We met as kids, got married at 20, had babies and are now living the life that I dreamed about as a young girl. Of course, all of this did not happen without life’s ups and downs. Very early on in our marriage I started to demand that Kody be the one to satisfy all of my emotional needs. I had mixed up the roles of my husband and God. Ladies, this is not a good move and will 100% end badly. Your husband was not designed to bear that load, and us women were not created to find complete contentment in ourselves through another human being. Humans are imperfect and will disappoint and not meet every expectation, but God is more than enough. My advice for all who are wanting a spouse, learn that now, don’t let the Hollywood romance movies make you alter your expectations of your spouse. Find someone who pulls you closer to God, who emulates God’s kindness and forgiveness, but don’t worship him or put him before God. Learn to be friends before lovers, share adventures together. Be quick to forgive and bring your wounds to God. Honor one another and serve each other. Be his biggest encourager, cheerleader, and set your stake in the ground that no matter what, you have his back.
“What delight comes to the one who follows God’s ways! He won’t walk in step with the wicked, nor share the sinner’s way, nor be found sitting in the scorner’s seat. His pleasure and passion is remaining true to the Word of “I Am,” meditating day and night in the true revelation of light. He will be standing firm like a flourishing tree planted by God’s design, deeply rooted by the brooks of bliss, bearing fruit in every season of his life. He is never dry, never fainting, ever blessed, ever prosperous.” Psalms 1:1-3 TPT
This verse expresses what God’s heart is for His children and I really believe it’s a standard for every person to navigate their intimate relationships. Putting God’s Word in front of everything you do will allow you to grow and flourish in your dating and marriage relationships.
My husband does not complete me. He’s not my world. He’s not my everything. If I put that much pressure on him, our marriage would be destroyed. Making God all of those things in my life allows our marriage to flourish and grow.
My husband and I compliment each other, he’s my “Help Meet” as the Bible calls it. He’s my lover, but also my best friend. He leads me deeper into my relationship with God and I do the same with him. Marriage really is two people bringing out the best in each other, but also seeing the other at their worst still loving and choosing them daily.
This marriage relationship is not glamorous, perfect or always Instagram worthy but it’s something we pray for, fight for and will never give up on as long as we always draw near to our Papa God.
The enemy wants nothing more than to tear apart a marriage, you need to be ready and not go in blindly. Prepare for the marriage more than you do the actual wedding. Put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6) and prepare for war, my friends! - Written by Candace Lostroh