Today is the 19th anniversary of the most special day in the history of my life with my husband. On April 18, 1992, in the chapel of the then Canadian Bible College in Regina, we said our vows and pledged our love forever and ever amen in front of 200 of our closest family and friends. We looked upon that day as a covenant between us and God~ and it still is. When God makes a promise, He keeps it.
The past 19 years have been full of adventure, discovery, heartaches, sadness, laughter and pure joy. It hasn’t been easy and it still isn’t. But I can honestly say, it gets better. I guess maybe you just learn to take the bad with the good. You learn to let stuff go. You learn to button up and put up. Everything is not a battle worth waging. These are tough lessons sometimes…especially for the bull-headed and obstinant(like me).
Here’s a few things we’ve learned:
1. Learn to laugh at everything. I don’t know of any marriage that has made it to 10 years or more by being serious about every situation . Even in the face of death, we’ve learned how to laugh. And especially…laugh at each other and with each other~ we humans are a funny bunch so you just gotta laugh.
2. Keep your private life private. There is nothing more disturbing to me than young marrieds complaining about their spouses all over Facebook and to their friends. If you have a problem with your spouse, talk to your spouse or go to counseling. You will only undermine your relationship with your spouse if you talk(or type) about them behind their back or in a public forum.
3. Respect each other. Hey, we all have an opinion. Sometimes we’re right and sometimes we’re not. But regardless of the opinions, your spouse deserves your respect. Go out of your way to honour him/her in public…you’ll be amazed at how much that does for your marriage.
4. Pray for your spouse. Men, you have no idea what your wife goes through being housebound with kids all day or trying to manage work/home and school schedules. Women, you have no idea how important it is for your husband to know you hear him and get him…he has the weight of your whole world on his shoulders.
5. Make sure your spouse FEELS loved. I can’t tell you how many times the touch of my husband’s hand on mine or his hand on my back has meant the world to me~ just because I know he’s there.
6. Extend grace MORE than criticism. Probably the hardest thing to do is refraining from complaining or pointing out faults. But you gain more ground, and you’ll feel better if you just show kindness in spite of the circumstances and quietly clean up or fix up the issue on your own.
7. “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” is NOT in the Bible. Be careful that your legalism and expectations don’t do more harm than good. If your wife is messy before you get married, don’t expect her to change overnight for you.
8. If you want to talk, do it before 10 p.m. I am guilty of trying to start too many “conversations” after 9 p.m. and getting myself all offended because my husband wasn’t in the mood to engage. The fact is, that fatigue from the day is a really good reason to postpone serious discussions till another day.
9. Intimacy is as important as eating. Close the bedroom door, turn up the music and give your spouse your full attention. Don’t worry about how tired you are or what you have on your to-do list~ your marriage and the bond between you and your spouse trumps all other activities. Period.
10. Make out in front of your kids. Every kid should know that mom and dad value their relationship above all others. It’s also a great way to get them running away and leaving you two alone! 🙂