I have one of the best marriages. Not because we figured out the communication dance, or are super perfect, but we constantly work on ourselves, serving each other, and deciding we are going to fix what needs being repaired. I wrote this blog two years ago on our anniversary. Although, I have made some revisions, the message is still the same.
Tomorrow is my anniversary. 15 years in the making and I am still pretty sure that God had a sense of humor putting us together. We could not be more opposite and yet so in love. My love and I have known each other for almost 20 years and have had lots of time growing up together. Two young crazy kids making a life with each other. Of course, it hasn’t been a bed a roses all the time, we have our share of “intense fellowship” and obstacles to overcome, but in the end I believe there are 5 main reasons we are still in love and still pursuing one another daily.
1) Purposed- We have purposed in our hearts to choose each other, over and over again. We were 18 and 20 when we got married, but even then, we knew the commitment we were making to ourselves and to God. We purposed in our hearts that no matter what happened, we would stick it out. We would face anything together and we both remember that we are on the same team. We are purposed to hold on to each other, instead of pushing each other away has kept us always coming back to one another in the midst of opportunities or disagreements. Its easy when you marry so young to be selfish and want your own way. Many young couples don’t make it, in fear that they missed out on something. My love and I decided a long time ago, that we do belong to each other. A shared life has bigger responsibility to their partner. I belong to him, and he belongs to me. I have someone to be accountable to. I have someone to help me be accountable. Song of Solomon 2:16 says, “My beloved is mine and I am his.” We truly agree. Knowing that our covenant with each other is strong, we can fully have a sense of belonging. I have no doubt, that I belong to my beloved.
2) Grace– Since Jesus paid the ultimate price for us to have grace, then we should always extend that grace to others. Grace is unmerited favor; it says that despite your failures or your success, I am willing to love you for who you are and not what you do for me…or to me. So as married couples, we need to have grace with each other when we fall short and fail in an area in our marriage. Communication, trust, finances, parenting, jobs, you name it, whatever the button push is for you, the more grace you need for your spouse in that area. I sure didn’t know what it looked like earlier in our marriage, but I am finding out that the more grace I need given to me, I need to extend that grace to my spouse.
3)Forgiveness– We learned to forgive quickly. I admit in the beginning I had a hard time with this. My husband was way better at this tool than me. We would disagree or argue and I would butt heads to prove that I was right. I had no idea that I was hurting our connection. The only thing I did know was that I needed to forgive, and I don’t think at that time I really knew what that looked like either. Its ok to disagree, and its ok that sometimes they are bigger disagreements, however it not ok to leave the issue unresolved. It may take some time and you realize it wasn’t worth fighting for in the first place. Decide to fully hear your spouse and their perspective, and then fully forgive the offense. After all, if you two are “one”, then why fight against yourself? Forgiveness says that I fully restore you to the place of where we were before the offense took place, and I choose not to remember or bring it up again later. I must say that my love is better at this than me, and I know He has really shown me what forgiveness looks like, therefore its easier for me to want to be this for him, when he needs it.
4)Dynamic Duo – “There is a bigger plan for us, it’s bigger than just you or just me.” I like to call us, “The Dynamic Duo”. Pretty cliché, huh? But its true. We know how well we work together when we both are committed to the task. We balance each other’s strength and weaknesses. Which a good marriage should. Therefore, we say that God has a purpose for our union. We are better together than apart. We also have always rested in the belief that we are also connected with a third strand, God (Ecclesiastes 4:12). He binds us together and can not be separated. He is what keeps us connected. Our relationship with Him and our growing with Him (both together and separate) is a vital organ to our union. He not only gives us purpose as individuals, but together we can change the world around us.
5) Priorities. One of our biggest mistakes in thinking we didn’t need our time together. After all, we are together all the time. In our earlier years we had three small kids and always broke (that is no excuse). We hardly ever did date nights and we never went anywhere together on a “getaway.” We heard that people did this, but sure seemed like not an option for us. Since we were young and broke, we didn’t even go on a Honeymoon. So in 2012, we went on our first trip together. Alone. We decided to go on a cruise, with a group of other people. We fought the whole time. The worst arguments we ever had. And why? There are several reasons, but we both chalked it up to, we did not know how to be together and enjoy each other company without the intrusion of kids or people. We realized that making time together had to be a priority. So I set a goal that we get away at least once a year, but try for more. You make priority for what you value most. Finances are not always available to travel the world, but there are ways for you to be a success at making time together efficient. (I will post another blog soon on ideas.)
There are many more tools my love and I highly value, but for time sake, I decided these are some of our most important ones. The question is, if you are married, what is yours? I want to encourage you to write down at least 5 things you and your spouse believe is a priority in your relationship. It could be some of these, but some others are trust, honesty, selflessness, providing, etc. Find out, with your spouse what things draw you closer. What things make you the unique couple that you are. There are so many ways for you both to thrive in your union together.
I absolutely love writing about my spouse. He is amazing and I am so thankful that we are together. I know not everyone experiences this in their marriage, but I truly believe it is possible.
Its been 17 years (almost 18) with the man of my dreams. 17 years we have grown together, learned from each other, and loved each other diligently. I am amazed at the blessing of sharing my life with my best friend in the whole world.