Monday, August 12, 2013

7 Beautiful Years Ago, Today



We are celebrating seven years of marriage today and I'm so thankful for all the joys, trials, hardships, and beauty that I've experienced married to this man. I don't often write about marriage here on the blog. I don't want to boast, or sound like I know it all - I certainly don't. I am no doubt blessed to be in a union of two people who despite their imperfections, are willing to compromise and to evolve for a harmonious relationship. 

For one thing, I know we are still together because our love was built on Jesus. A young guy and girl, coming back from a missions trip, blessed to have witnessed people's lives changing and knowing their will never be the same after seeing how God works with their very own eyes. 

We weren't madly in love. We did love each other though. That love was tested over the seven years and we know that God is so good, His mercy and forgiveness can renew a marriage over and over, year after year, not letting it become stale in this world full of negativity and plain busyness. 

Sure, I don't have much experience, 7 years and two kids isn't a lot. But I feel like I have a lot to say to those that are unhappy in their marriage and the only thing that qualifies me to give advice is that I'm an imperfect human, just like everyone else. I have character flaws and quirks that only someone living with me would know! So how do we do this? Disagreements, misunderstandings? How do we keep love alive? Here are some things I've learned...

Give

If you go into marriage thinking "What's in it for me?" you will never be happy. Actually this applies to all relationships. If you're thinking "me, me, me, this is what I want" you'll fail. The only way to really be happy is to give of yourself. But there is a caveat, don't expect anything in return. When you give just because you love, unconditionally, it changes those you love. When you constantly demand something for your Self, it pushes people away. I'm not talking about a selfless martyr kind of attitude. I guess when you love someone it just happens, you want to give. 

Forgive

This has always been our 'unwritten rule', we do not go to bed mad at each other. No matter what argument we may have had and no matter who is wrong or right, we forgive and don't let it linger. When you don't, it will snowball to resentment, it will cause tension. Be above your misunderstandings and disagreements, because when life passes by it isn't worth dwelling on those things. 

Trust

There is one thing that I don't understand, that's how spouses can casually talk to people outside of marriage about personal issues, faults, or problems - putting their spouse down in front of others, whether in their presence or not. That's something that was always a big no for us. I try to steer clear of couples who constantly discuss each other's problems with random people. This is a complete absence of trust. When you surround yourself with couples who respect and trust each other, you're more likely to do the same. 

Communicate

This one is tough, we're always working on it. Most couples have communication issues because let's face it, men and women often think differently. Sometimes there just isn't a free minute during the day or evening to actually exchange enough words for good communication. We rush. The best cure for miscommunication is cutting out unnecessary activity. You need to make time for meaningful communication or it will never happen. We make family time at home a priority and I believe it is one of the reasons we have that time to talk to each other and avoid misunderstandings, and of course to feel more connected overall - otherwise you're just co-habitating.

I could say a lot, a lot more about what makes a great marriage. I could start whole other blog about it! But I'm done for today :) I'm sure you have something to share as well...

How long have you been married and what's your word of marriage and relationship advice?




2 comments:

  1. Congratulations! & what a gorgeous pic! I've been married 8 1/2 years now, and my biggest piece of advice is to try to understand your spouse. We both claimed Christ when we married, but almost two years ago my hubby confessed that he didn't believe in God, and he didn't think he ever had. I was devastated. It has taken a lot of talk, compromise,and we've had to really put effort into understanding the other’s point of view in order to maintain a peaceful, loving home for our children. It is difficult, but if you're willing to listen and empathize with your spouse, it can be done.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing your wisdom Holli! That must have been no doubt really hard for you. That is great you were able to work through that and understand him!

      We actually 'met' on a missions trip (even though we went to the same church in the U.S.) and thankfully all the open and honest conversations about God and what we believe happened before marriage. That's not to say we have no daily struggles of being in Christ and just the sheer noise of life blocking out spending time with Him.

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