15 years ago (this month), I married my husband and it was literally the best day of my life. 😍
(These pictures were taken during the ceremony when we were reading our vows to each other.)
It was a beautiful, 70 degree day…in New Jersey…in JANUARY! We had a lovely wedding day, but marriage lasts (hopefully) a lifetime and it does actually take some work.
Here are some lessons that I have learned over these past 15 years (in no particular order):
- External processors- after a conflict, give the internal processor of your marriage plenty of space and time to process. 😇
- Internal processors- when you have had enough space and time to process, please let the external processor know as quickly as possible that you are ready to talk! 😉
- Laugh and have fun together. I still laugh at my husband’s jokes. He is a very funny guy and I absolutely love that about him.
- Have regular dates. By “dates” I mean, intentional, undivided-attention, time together. You don’t necessarily have to leave the house for a date (we rarely do), but you do need to connect and talk about life regularly (We TRY to do this once a week, but we don’t always succeed. But when we fail, we try, try again!)
- Being right all the time is not the most important thing, being loving is more important than being right all the time. I wrote about this is a previous post, read here if you would like to hear more thoughts about this.
- Sex is not just a physical act, it is a spiritual act that brings oneness way beyond what our natural minds may understand. Keep your physical intimacy alive, the way God intended. This is crucial in every season of your marriage. “For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)
- Daily try to tell your spouse how much you love and appreciate them. “I love you” and “Thank you” are very important phrases!
- Forgive easily. We all make mistakes. No one is perfect. Extend forgiveness in the way that you would like to be forgiven.
- Be mindful of your words. Try to never say something in the heat of the moment that you will later regret. Of course you can always apologize and ask for forgiveness, but you can’t erase those words from your spouse’s memory and the sting of those words can last for a long time. If you are angry at your spouse and your filter is gone, TAKE TIME TO COOL OFF before continuing on. You will both be thankful for your self-control.
- All marriages take work. Constant communication is necessary. Continual dying to selfishness is essential. Spending intentional time together is crucial. Sexual intimacy, even sometimes when you are tired, is important. All of these things take effort, but they are so worth it!
- Mentoring younger couples and young people has enriched our marriage. People are often looking for mentorship. Look around your fellowship and invite a younger couple or singles over for lunch or coffee. It could bless them that you are making time for them, but it also blesses you and your spouse because young people often ask, “How did you guys get together?” Retelling the story of how your romance blossomed is always a fun reminder of how you came together and what attracted you to each other in the first place.
- Speak well of your husband to others and especially to your children. If you are having problems in your marriage, don’t speak to random people about it. I strongly encourage you to reach out to someone who can actually help…a counselor, a pastor, or a mentor.
- Sometimes, when a conflict arises, emailing each other instead of verbally talking it out, helps us resolve our misunderstanding quicker. I admit, this might be exclusive to my marriage, but sometimes emailing has helped us communicate our feelings more clearly than talking.
- Don’t put your kids needs above your spouse’s needs. I confess, I have NOT done this perfectly in my marriage, but it is something I try to be mindful of. My 5 kids have lots of needs, but so does my husband and I want him to know that he is a top priority in my life.
- Time flies, be thankful for each day the Lord gives you together. It is astonishing how 15 years has flown by in a heartbeat.
To my husband, Happy Anniversary! Thank you for loving me, serving me, and believing in me all these years. I am hoping for many more years with you!