It’s been 20 years since we committed to spend the rest of our lives together.
What were we thinking?
There was quite a bit of opposition to us getting married, he was just barely 18(and now we have a child that’s almost 18)and I had been pretty fickle and around the block a time or two(or too many to count) when we had my fairy tale wedding(that was way too long and had way too much pink and too many flowers). I apologize to all of my attendants who had to endure those dresses. I would do so many things differently if I was getting married today, but I would marry the same guy, over and over again!
I’ve been thinking a lot about marriages lately. We get to do some marriage counseling and I hear lots of stories of failed, miserable marriages and also beautiful stories of how God is redeeming broken marriages and healing relationships.
People often ask us how we make ours work so well, so here are some of thoughts about having a great marriage. Many of these we implemented early on and others of these, and others of
them I’ve realized you have to keep doing year after year. It’s never too late to make little changes today that will greatly impact our tomorrows.
1. Talk to each other as much as you possibly can. Set aside time in the morning and evening to connect.
2. Start a hobby together early. The time will come way too quickly that your children start to leave home and you are going to need something fun to do together.
3. Get over his dirty socks being left on the floor. The sooner that you just start picking them up and putting them in the basket with a joyful heart the quicker it just won’t upset you anymore….and it’s likely that he will start picking them up too when it doesn’t always turn in to an argument between the two of you.
4. Don’t EVER get in the habit of saying hurtful things to each other.
5. Don’t expect him to know what you are thinking. Tell him kindly, gently, and thoughtfully; not harshly, loudly, or carelessly.
6. You think making love to him in your 20’s is amazing, just wait till your 40’s!
7. Listen to him! He is a man after God’s heart and he lives his life to bring God glory. He is full of wisdom and you can trust him and the two of you together can trust God!
8. Pray together about the big things and the little things.
9. Read and learn together. It will help you be on the same page about things and be able to move forward in unity. It will give you opportunities to discuss your differences.
10. If you need him to do something, let him know, remind him once or twice without getting upset, and let it go if he chooses not to do it. Don’t nag, it isn’t attractive, neither is whining, or being a brat!
11. Be willing to do things just because he likes to do them or they are important to him. You may never come to like those things but the investment in your relationship will be worth it.
12. Getting a bigger diamond on your 20th anniversary won’t mean nearly as much when you get there as you think it does now.
13. Sometimes you might think that you’re living a pretty boring, uneventful, tedious, even monotonous life but a life lived fully every day choosing to stay in love with the same man is a monumental accomplishment.
14. Having kids is GREAT and exciting, terrifying, exhilarating, and, hard, and fun all at the same time.
15. You are so in love now with a person you truly barely know, but one day you will know all of his quirks, bad habits, shortcomings and if you will be true to the vows you made, you will love him so much more despite all of those things.
16. You will need to trust the Lord to carry you through hard times, they will come!
17. He is easily satisfied, so the fact that he doesn’t complain may also mean that he doesn’t compliment much. You can be confident in his love for you.
18. When your sons are teenagers, he may have some different ideas of how to talk to them about things…It’s probably because his primary goal is to raise great men, trust him!
19. There are some things he just doesn’t think about, he will need you to tell him or remind him…don’t get mad about it.(Like when he forgot his drivers license when you left on your honeymoon and instead of going to Jamaica you got to spend an extra night in a sketchy hotel in Atlanta.)
20. Let him know over and over that you love him more with each passing day, that you would choose him again, that you look forward to your tomorrows and that you are grateful for all of your yesterdays.