Meet Tammy Franklin! (... and last week's "Wife Wednesday" give-a-way winner announced!)

Welcome to the final installment of "Wife Wednesday"! I hope you've had as much fun as I have. We've been encouraged and challenged as wives to be exactly who God has called us to be in our role. I'm grateful that the Lord has put several women in my life who are a great example of what a godly wife looks like. I thought that there was no better way to culminate our "Wife Wednesday" blog series than by introducing one of them to you and allowing her to share some insight into her marriage.

So, meet Tammy Franklin!

She is the wife of Gospel music superstar Kirk Franklin.

       

Together, she and her husband Kirk, have reared 4 children and managed to keep their romance alive and flourishing. I've long admired their zest for life and for each other. Despite the many demands placed on them because of Kirk's thriving career, it's very clear that they prioritize each other and are intent on keeping their romance burning. Neither of them will say that their marriage has been perfect (they even took to Oprah's couch a couple of years ago and shared that) but as the years roll by, Tammy, now in her early forties, is looking better than ever and is more in love with Kirk then she has ever been. So sit back, relax and enjoy getting acquainted with this sweet, woman of God who loves her man.

How long have you been married Tammy?

16 1/2 years

What has surprised you the most about what it really means to be a wife? In other words, are there any aspects of marriage that took you by surprise?

Husbands want the wife they married, but they also want the girlfriend in you that they dated prior to marriage. The fear that we will become the nagging, roller wearing, flannel pajama wearing wife on tv is a real fear for them. My Husband needs me to compliment him sometimes (they actual have insecurities about their looks too:)) and be that same girl that use to surprise him with cute little notes and a pretty dress instead of my Mama uniform of sweats and a baseball cap.

Just the other day, I surprised him and told him to get dressed because I was taking him to dinner and a movie (a guy movie that he would like) and he got the biggest grin on his face!

What lesson has taken you the longest to learn about being a wife?

What it truly means to help my husband! We were created by the Lord to be a "help mate"! I read a particular translation that said I am to be adaptable. I didn't realize that I could also hinder him by not doing this properly! By nature most women are very Motherly, but our Husbands don't need us to be their Mothers; they need us to be a wife, adaptable to them, their personalities, their needs. Quite often, we have more of a "takeover" spirit and we put the label of "helping" on it. In fact, we take over a situation and handle it the way we want it to be handled, or the way we think he should do it. I've learned for me that truly being a wife is listening to my Husband's needs, dreams, and even at times, his need to vent and for me to simply listen and not try to fix it. And above all say a lil' prayer.

Your husband has a larger than life career and persona. What have you done in marriage to maintain a healthy independence and self image?

I really have to credit my Mom for teaching me before I got married that it was important to have an identity outside of my marriage. I don't think she realized then that I'd be marrying Kirk because I was just a teenager when she would say things like "when you get married someday you will have to take care of your family, but you need to have your own goals and desires too." Now 16 1/2 years later it helped to have that foundation. I work out regularly for myself now more than anyone else to look good for me :) I take time to volunteer or have occasional lunch dates with my girlfriends. I've even learned to take quiet moments to read and just think by myself and be refreshed when I need it. I'm the oldest of 7 children, and my Mom took a nightly bubble bath! That amazes me! Maybe one day I'll get there!

What have you had to personally surrender for the benefit of your "oneness" with Kirk?

Not always giving my opinion on a matter!!!!!! Sometimes my Husband just needs me to listen, even when I think the idea doesn't make sense.

What do you think all single women should know BEFORE they get married?

DO NOT settle just because you want to get married! What you see is typically what you're going to get! Pre-marrital counseling is a must BEFORE you get engaged.  Discuss everything from finances to rearing of children to sex. The wedding takes about 45 min to an hour and then the life together begins! Put just as much priority in preparing for that life together as you do the wedding!

How do you keep friendship, passion and intimacy stirred in your relationship?

I don't sweat the small stuff any more. Silly bickering robs you of precious time. Take weekly date nights, kiss passionately often, and put on something cute for bed once in a while. Also remember intimacy starts long before the bedroom, keeping the lines of communication open through out the day with cute little text gets foreplay going long before bed time. Surprise him and don't always limit intimacy to bed time or the bedroom :)

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"Don't sweat the small stuff."

Shoot! I could have sworn she was talking directly to me! Special thanks to Tammy for giving us some insight into her life and thank YOU for stopping by today. I hope that your marriage from this point forward is better than it's ever been!

See you tomorrow,

Priscilla

PS. . . .Grateful to all of you who participated to win last week's "smell good" give-a-way! Congratulations to the winner L. Thompson. We can't wait to send you the gift! Please email us at info@goingbeyond.com so that we can connect with you!

PSS. . . You still have a chance to enter our Sizzling Sassy Summer Grand Prize Give-A-Way”; DO NOT MISS IT!