It’s been 17 years since the day we said I do to each other. Let me see if I can share with you 17 things we’ve learned in our 17 years together.
1. Marriage is not the goal. It is just a tool. >Christ is still the goal.<
2. Listen first. We can respond correctly when we listen first.
3. Respond. Acknowledge. This reassures me that he cares, and vice versa.
4. Words must be backed by action. A promise must be kept. A yes must be a yes, a no must be a no. An apology is not enough if there is no attempt at change.
5. >Action should be accompanied by words.< I love yous are highly valued. Apologies are sweet when they are given without prompting. Explanations and clarifications are very much appreciated. Trust is built this way.
6. >High appreciation, low expectation.< Be generous with thank yous! Be grateful for the littlest things! Express appreciation often.
7. We have different love languages. Be mindful of our spouse’s love language so that we can love them the way they are wired to receive love.
8. Sacrificial love. We must be willing to be inconvenienced for the sake of those we love. Out of our comfort zone, beyond what we are used to.
9. Serve with joy. Joy is key! We can serve mindlessly and joylessly. We must remember that we serve the Lord as we serve our spouse and our family. Let the Lord’s delight be our motivation to serve.
10. Never be >complacent.< Being comfortable in our relationship as husband and wife is a blessing, but we remain vigilant. Pray for each other. Protect each other, and protect the marriage. We are not immune to sin and temptation. Forgive right away. We are not immune to bitterness and resentment.
11. God’s design for husband and wife is best. Husband leads, wife helps. Both humbly serve one another. I am called to submit to the leadership of my husband, and we are both called to submit to the Lordship of Christ.
12. He leads, I help. But there are situations where I have to lead, and he helps. That is well and good, as long as it is situational and temporary. I would still not want to be the leader. I help my husband be the best leader he can be. >He must be first into battle.<
12. Submission is not silence. As a watchman for my husband and my family, I need to speak up when I see something that is not right. Wisdom calls for me to do so. Out of love, and with gentleness.
13. Parenting is hard when we are not on the same page. Unity and teamwork are key. Also, a Christ-centered marriage, not a child-centered one, is best for our children.
14. Overlook the things that don’t really matter. Many things will irk us, but nitpicking will only add to the stress. Let go. Breathe and release.
15. Go on dates, on adventures, and laugh often! What a joy to have a constant friend, a best friend in our spouse! In seriousness and in silliness, till death do we part.
16. Talking is healing. Build a relationship where communication lines are always open. Make it conducive, comfortable for unloading. Listen. Understand. Empathize. Speak life. Pray.
17. Walk with other couples. For learning and growth, for accountability and balance, for friendship. Also because marriage is missional. The Lord uses marriage (not just ours) to draw others to Himself.
So much learned, and so much more to learn! May our marriage honor the Lord and bring glory to Him always. ❤️
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:12
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:9-10