This August my wife and I celebrate 16 years of this journey called marriage. Four kids and many adventures later we are still together. By God’s grace our relationship has grown deeper with time, but so has our understanding of what marriage is really about. I would like to share with you some lessons learned that have not only helped our marriage survive, but thrive over time.
#1: Marriage is a WORK IN PROGRESS. Never can you say we’ve arrived or our marriage is perfect. This is not possible when two imperfect people come together as one. With hard work and dedication things can improve, but you can never afford to grow complacent in your relationship. If you give Satan an inch he will take a mile. Just check out the divorce rate if you don’t believe me.
#2: Marriage is a PROCESS OF UNDERSTANDING. Many times couples communicate to one another, but not with one another. That’s because most communicate to be understood, rather than to understand. Until you really take time to listen to what your partner is saying, you can’t really get to know their heart. We are all different and we think different. You don’t have to agree with everything your spouse says, but understanding what makes their heart tick builds a bridge from your heart to their heart.
#3: Marriage is a ROLLER COASTER. It is very common to feel so close in body and soul one moment, but then to wake up the next day feeling miles apart. Especially as you add stress, bills, kids, and throw in a few pets. Life is a roller coaster and can easily spill into your marriage. You have to watch closely your life processes because you can easily choke your relationship. Many people think their marriage is awful when many times they are just transferring the overall life frustrations onto their partner. No spouse can fix all your problems or give you total peace.
#4: Marriage is a NEVER ENDING LOVE AFFAIR. I know we like to act like love is just for young people. The marriages that thrive consist of two people who continue to pursue one another for better or for worse. Special dates should always be on the calendar and you should daily express your love to one another. After all these years, I still can’t wait for our next date night or weekend getaway. Honestly, I still look forward to coming home each day. The moment you quit investing in your marriage is the moment you can expect things to start going downhill.
#5: Marriage is a GOD THING. God meant it when he said “It’s not good for man to be alone.” When two people take seriously their wedding vows, continue to grow in their love and understanding, and allow God to lead their marriage a thing of beauty is created. Having someone to share life with is priceless. Sharing life with someone who knows you inside and out, but still loves you anyway is a God thing. Marriage done God’s way and on God’s terms beats living single any day of the week.
Well, I could share with you many other lessons learned, but these are my top five for now. I pray God blesses your marriage and that you might take to heart the things I’ve shared. God wants your marriage to not only survive, but to thrive. And with God’s help your marriage will last the test of time.