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Thursday, January 8, 2015

What I've learned (so far) from 10 years of marriage.

I'm just a regular girl here, sharing my heart about what I've learned in marriage thus far in our 10 years. It hasn't always been fantastic, struggles can be very real, but I am SO THANKFUL for where we are now and how we are still growing and still learning. There is great reward in perseverance. BUT it always makes me nervous to post things like this because extreme circumstances in marriage or a home can call for a whole different solution. There are no absolutes in this earth. Be wise and discerning, and listen for God's voice. He has a different walk for each of us, but this is what I've learned.  All of these points apply to both spouses but I don't want to mess with constantly say him/her, so that's that. Read on, my friends...

1. God is in control, He is faithful, and His ways are good. Even when times are hard, like really hard, get in the Word, and do the right thing anyway and God will see you through. And when you don't do the right thing, God will see you through that too. Because He is faithful and loving, and that's not just a hope, it's a promise

2. Grace. Love anyway, respect anyway, forgive anyway. No one is perfect, period. 

3. Intimacy means so much more than sex. It also means letting your spouse be THE one you turn to, and sharing things with only him. Not your girlfriends, not social media. Let your moments, experiences, and feelings be private sometimes too. In a culture that is so media-driven and wrapped up in communication and  sharing everything at all moments of the day, this is a biggy. It also means being fully present with those you are with, especially with your spouse and family.

4. People change, it's inevitable. Accept who your spouse is now--the good and the not so good. With the flaws, with the sin, with the brokenness--and walk together through life's ebbs and flows. Sure, you can pray for one another in certain areas, but find a contentment in where he is. Be his supporter, not his adversary. Love and accept the way Christ does: HE's not looking for perfection, so neither should I. HE's looking for my heart, and so is my husband.

5. Protect your marriage, always. Be careful what you watch on TV and movies and read in books--it can create false expectations and ideals that are not reality, leaving you to be continually disappointed with real life. Be careful about who you are friends with and where you go for support and advice. Surround yourself with things that inspire you to be a better person and better wife. Be careful about what you are turning to for happiness. Even GOOD things can start coming before your spouse. 

6. Focus on the positive. There are always negative things about a person or circumstance, but there are ALWAYS good things too, and a lot of them if you choose to look for them. Focus on that, cultivate a heart of gratitude. There's a huge power in positive thinking. Let it transform your attitude and way of life. 

7. Marriage is worth it. It's amazing. Not perfect, but amazing. To have a lifelong companion, supporter, lover, and friend. To grow to know someone so well that you know his habits, his routine, his likes and dislikes, his needs, his wants, his dreams, and working together becomes natural and as easy as breathing. Okay, maybe not always but more often than not. It takes work and intentional effort, not because there's "something wrong" but simply because life is always changing, circumstances are always changing, people are always changing, and we are two sinners trying work as one. But the one constant is God. Let Him be your compass, your biggest supporter, and your source of joy and peace that binds all things together. He is faithful.

I believe in marriage. I am in it for the long haul, for all that it is and all that it will be. I am thankful for the good times and sweet memories that no one can steal, and I am thankful for the bumps and valleys that help me grow stronger and wiser. Life itself is not easy, let alone life with another human being. Marriage will refine me and help me to grow more like Jesus through the years. May my heart be always open to His leading. Each day is a fresh start, each moment is a choice. Remember these truths, and press on!


bp said...

Good points! So thankful for blessing of marriage.

Holly Brown said...

I love this and I LOVE YOU!! I'm grateful for the perspective and grace you write about here. Looking forward to celebrating with you on Saturday!