Matt & I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary this weekend. Since my parents divorced when I was three, the concept of marriage used to terrify me. I know the statistics. Now, though, I cherish this wonderful gift and thank God for showing me the truth. I’ve learned a lot along the way and continue to grow with each life lesson. Here are seven things I’ve discovered that make for a happy marriage:
1. Commitment. We both love God and are committed to having Jesus as our foundation. When a husband and wife are seeking God with their whole heart always, God will seal their commitment to one another and provide a peaceful stability. On a personal level, trust has always been difficult for me because of my parent’s divorce. But, I’ve learned – when two people are fully committed to God and each other, it really is safe to trust. Commitment isn’t just a declaration you make at the beginning of your marriage, though, I believe commitment is a daily, minute-by-minute choice.
2. Communication. We talk about everything. Sometimes it’s not easy to tell him my true feelings, but I do. Often, I start out my sentence by saying, “I know this is silly, but you’re my best friend and I want to talk about this.” Be vulnerable and honest with your spouse about everything. No exceptions. It is tough, but communicating the difficult things always takes your relationship to the next level.
3. Love. We both have our own faults and love each other with lots of grace. I am talking about those annoying little things — socks on the floor, toothpaste splatter on the mirror, toilet lid up. Do you
notice I only mentioned the things that annoy me? He has his own extensive list of my faults! Ha!
4. Respect. We don’t yell, curse or call each other names. Do we have disagreements? All the time. But, we always maintain respect. Another note about this, we respect each other’s goals and provide encouragement. I always say – Matt believes in me more than I believe in myself!
5. Physical Intimacy. Okay, I wouldn’t be real if I didn’t mention this, but a blog may not be the most appropriate place to have this discussion. I’ll keep it simple – God intended sex for marriage. So, it is a gift to be enjoyed … a lot 🙂
6. Teamwork. Life can sometimes get messy and neither of us know everything. We will always be learning and growing together. With our children, we are a united team. We talk about issues behind closed doors, then we use one set of rules for the kids so there is no confusion. As for our finances, we both work on our budget together. Early on in our marriage, the one in charge of the checkbook seemed to be telling the other one how much to spend. It created tension. With our personalities, we’ve found it’s better to work out a system of doing the family finances together so we’re always on the same page.
7. Fun. No marriage is perfect, but figure out what works best for you and enjoy it! Laugh often and be silly. When someone is in a bad mood in our family, we normally break out in a dance party, with some upbeat music, to get everyone happy again! Marriage is fun 🙂
These work for us! What else would you add to the list? Do you have any tips for a successful marriage?