I have to admit, when I first got married I had this false idea that we were going to be in marital bliss for the rest of our lives. I believed that all of our problems would just fade away and that I would finally live the life I’ve always wanted. This was not always the case.
Six years later, this is what I’ve learned.
1. Put God first
There have been times where I’ve literally wanted to pull out my hair out of complete frustration, but then the Lord reminds me that what I’m going through is for a definitive reason. Reasons we may never know and that are at times beyond our control, but there is always a purpose to our pain. I have found that when I go to God in prayer, both in my strongest and weakest moments, He gives me perspective. He shows me where I’ve gone wrong and whispers what I need to do to fix things.
2. You are for your partner, not against them
There have been times, especially in those initial years, when we have fought and have intentionally hit below the line. You know, when you say something that’s going to not just hurt but really hurt the other person. Usually, you throw something intimate in their face or just downright mean, that’s what I mean by hitting below the line. If you are like me, you when you get real heated, that’s where you want to go to alleviate those overwhelming feelings of anger boiling up inside of you. Well, let me be the first to say, don’t do it! Some things you will never be able to take back- so just don’t do it! There is a line we cannot cross because, at the end of the day, you and I are for our partner, not against them. When we choose not to cross the line, we are saying; “I respect you and I still love you.” Importantly, we are saying, “I am mad but I am for you, not against you.” Choose to see and not cross the line.
3. Your marriage is what you make of it
Baby, you have got to own this thing! It’s yours forever. Think of it as a home. When you and your spouse first move into your home, everything is perfect, even if it isn’t. It is perfect in your eyes because it belongs to you. But as days go by, weeks even months, you will have to do things to upkeep the cleanliness and the warmth of the home. I will never forget how warm my small 1 bedroom apartment became when I simply moved some artificial plants in that were donated to me from a friend. It was like my home got a facelift! I learned you’ve got to switch it up; move furniture around or add something new. Our marriage is the same way. At first, everything in our eyes is perfect. As time progresses, imperfections start to surface and complacency starts to settle in. But we must do things to upkeep the warmth of the marriage. Do something different and try something new. Be intentional about up keeping your marriage. It is what you make of it.
Ephesians 4:2-3: “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10: “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”
These few principles continue to guide my marriage and I pray they bless yours. I’ve often heard the common phrase, marriage is hard. I’d rather say, marriage is intentional; what you put in is what you get out.