Wednesday, May 4, 2011

5 Things About Marriage

Today is my 15th wedding anniversary. Though I was 28 when I got married (old by many standards), I feel like I was just a kid. I know I still have a lot to learn, but here are some of the things I have learned. I hope they may help you as they've helped me.

1. The number one cause of conflict is unmet expectations.
How can this knowledge help you? First, your spouse can't meet an expectation they aren't aware of. Rather than sulk about your unmet expectation, share you expectation with your spouse. AND, most importantly, be willing to change your expectation if your spouse can't meet it.

2. Pray for your spouse's relationship with God.
Yes, there are lots of things we'd like to change in our spouses. But it's selfish to pray for God to change something about them, so that we don't have to change, or grow. Instead, pray for their relationship with God. Because a solid relationship with God WILL produce change in the sinful areas of your spouse's life. And the other areas? That's where you have to pray you will change, and be more accepting.

3. Marriage is work, expect it.
If you work outside the home, you know that if you ignored things at work, you might lose your job. As a parent, you know that if you don't spend time with your kids, they won't be raised properly. Why do you think your marriage is different? Work at your marriage. You won't get anything out of it, if you don't put anything into it. Date nights, or quiet time together after the kids go to sleep - to talk together (not watch TV) are important.

4. Don't dishonor your spouse.
I remember when my husband and I were attending a party. One of the guys started a conversation about what celebrity woman he'd found attractive. As various men chimed in, my husband remained silent. And when pressed by the group to respond, he said something to the effective of , "I only have eyes for Kelly." The guys may have boo'ed him, but I was honored, and esteemed. Honor your spouse.

5. Love is not a feeling.
You will wake up some mornings and not "feel" in love. How you act during those times defines you, and your marriage. It defines your character. I love my husband always, even when I don't feel "in love." And because of that we have 15 years together, and with the help of God we will have many more. Amen.

What marriage tips do you have? Share them in the comments section today.



Beth in NC said...

Amen amen amen! I am approaching our 22nd anniversary so I can say with confidence that your advice is right on! The unmet "expectations" is BIG. I thought I'd marry prince charming and it would be me and my husband against the world. Wow, was I naive when I was 22. :o) God has been gracious with us and we are the happiest we have ever been.

I pray God will place your post in front of some newly married folks.


Loree Huebner said...

Happy Anniversary!

D.J. Hughes said...

Love this. It's all so true!