Tomorrow, Saturday, May 23rd…I’ll celebrate 17 years of marriage to my best friend. So I thought I’d share 1 thought per year we’ve been married.
17 thoughts about marriage that I’ve gathered over 17 years…
1. Be a spouse that admits you fall short of being perfect but excels in love for Jesus. We couldn’t ask for more from each other. We shouldn’t expect more in each other.
2. Laughing is severely under-sold and cannot be indulged in enough. Stop taking life so flipping seriously. Laugh. Laugh some more. Get over your scowl and attitude and get some joy in your marriage.
3. Fun isn’t optional. It’s just thought of as unnecessary. My observation is people “fall out of love” (that’s for another blog) with their spouse because they stopped having fun. When you dated and had fun, you fostered the love. Why is it different now that you’re married.
4. Take care of yourself. I’m not promoting you have to be a certain shape or size. I’m not saying people need to go get a gym membership or get Botox in your lips. Personal care makes a statement of care and concern to your spouse. I remember a conversation at years ago with a recently married friend. “I don’t have to take care of myself any more…I’m married. There’s no one left to impress.” SMH
5. Sex gets better over time. As long as the two of you have a servant’s heart and mutual understanding, sex is like a fine wine (even though I don’t drink), it get’s better over time. (I could have used the metaphor of cheese but cheese tends to stink.)
6. Swedish fish has increased the intimacy of our evenings. (Note: Intimacy doesn’t equate to sex.) Intimacy is conversation and interaction/connection. When one of us brings them into the room, the other sits up and hold out their hand. It’s kind of hilarious. We eat and talk. We snack and watch shows. Find you a common snack in your marriage.
7. Serving together is best… Finding ways to serve together cultivates a humble heart as well as feeds an attitude of team work.
8. …YET, discovering our individual roles in ministry help us complement each other. We are strong in different areas and allow for each other to flourish in them without feeling competitive with each other. Encouraging each other helps us not to feel we need to fit into someone else’s mold but be the person God created us to be
9. Compatibility is overrated. We are opposites born and raised from completely different families. We see our lack of compatibility as a strength, not an excuse to look elsewhere.
10. The annoying things from 17 years ago…yep, they’re still annoying. I love Anne. She loves me. Periodically, we both annoy each other. But hey, life is too short to get hung up on annoyances.
11. Any win that isn’t about the “we” is about “me” and, therefore, isn’t really a win. When I approach anything out of selfishness, no body really wins.
12. What we learn, we gladly pass onto others. If we can save a young couple from ignorant mistakes…if a couple can get some encouragement from feeling like their the only ones who have ever struggled…if we can be a mentor…it’s because others did that for us.
13. Generosity has become the norm. We didn’t start off that way. But when we discovered how amazingly generous God is with us, we want to reflect that type of generosity to others. Tithing is a must. Missions isn’t optional. We love randomly blessing people. If God has been so giving to us, how can we hold back? We take no pride in this. We just think every couple should experience the joy in giving.
14. Parenting is tougher than we thought yet more fun than we imagined. I didn’t realize how different two kids could be and, yet, love them so deeply. Most of our frustration comes when we see ourselves come out in them. Our joy is found in watching them serve Jesus.
15. We love being spiritual parents. Serving the next generation has been one of the greatest privileges of our lives. We have a few hundred students, most of whom are adults now, who we get to watch graduate, get married, and start families. Anne and I love them like they’re our own kids. Frequently, we still get calls and messages from them about wisdom, direction, etc. and we love it. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
16. Saying “I’m sorry” isn’t good enough. We try to never say “I’m sorry.” We feel the proper way to seek forgiveness is saying, “Will you forgive me?” Why? Because it demands a response. The proper response is, “I forgive you.” It’s more than a statement. It needs an action attached.
17. It’s all about the journey. Destinations and milestones are great to arrive at, but they’re not a place to live. Keep growing and learning together.
I love you babe and look forward to learning more and growing old with you.
Thanks for letting me ramble…for 17 years.