My husband and I are celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary this month! I cannot believe how quickly time flies.
I just traveled to a dear friend’s wedding. What a beautiful celebration of love. I forgot how much work goes in to planning weddings, so so SO many details! I wrote a post a few months back for new brides. Here is a link to it, please read if you are a bride preparing for your upcoming wedding!
In honor of our anniversary month, I want to offer 3 words of encouragement to married couples that I have observed to help sustain your marriage. I have NOT done this perfectly in my marriage by any means, but we all need goals. 😊 (Also all of my advice is for average marriages, I am not by any means attempting to address abusive marriages. If you are in an abusive marriage, I really urge you to immediately seek helpful, professional counsel.)
- Consider your spouse above yourself.
Philippians 2:3-4 says ‘Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.’
I often hear this verse among believers, but not often regarding marriage. If you make this an anchor verse in your marriage, your marriage will grow deeper and deeper in love and intimacy. Marriage and having kids are 2 monumental stages in life that are unrivaled opportunities to die to yourself. What a beautiful picture of Jesus when we are seeking our spouses interests above our own.
- Don’t give up on each other.
James 1: 12~ Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Seasons come and seasons go. We have had some crazy seasons. For example, we had 3 kids in 2.5 years. I gave birth to my 3rd son unexpectedly in a different state when we were traveling with our 2 year old and 1 year old! He was 10 days in the NICU and we had no family or close friends around. THAT was a crazy season. Just don’t give up on each other. In the small things and the big things, forgive and move on. Choose to love each other ABOVE being right all the time. I write more about that in a previous blog, here is the link.
- Build intimacy together. Talk and LISTEN to your spouse and choose to work on your sex life, PLEASE do not ignore it one more day.
Genesis 2: 24-25~For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
I am just going to be honest. I am Asian, I do not naturally like openly talking about stuff like people’s sex lives. But something that has grieved me over the years is my observation of how couples were once the BEST OF FRIENDS, SO IN LOVE, THE GREATEST OF LOVERS (once married)…and then life kicks in and they no longer have time for each other. Kids and work become the priority and completely consume any time and energy the parents have for connection and intimacy. I see marriages where 2 people are just co-parents and barely acquaintances. What fun is that? Talk with your spouse again. Choose to care about one another’s day! Once your kids are out of the house and your focus is gone, what will remain of your marriage? And if you need some good marriage books about sex and connection here is another link to a past post I wrote.
I can honestly say that my husband and I are closer today than we were 16 years ago. Please do NOT think it is just because marriage comes naturally to us. We have fought to be where we are today. We have fought for each other’s hearts, we have fought to understand one another, we have made lots of mistakes along the way, but we have chosen to forgive each other and move on.
Please I urge you, make a choice to do something proactive to bless your spouse today! If you still have no idea where to begin, please try and listen to marriage testimonies online like this or read one of those books I suggest! It will be so worth it!