‘Tis the season to talk about Marriage
My husband and I just celebrated 9 years last week, so I thought it would be fun to share with all of yall some things we have learned after 9 years together that may help you to build a more promising marriage. We are not marriage experts by any means. But we are a couple of people who have dug in deep, shared good times and bad, grown up together, been stretched, been blessed, and have thrived where we are, together.
If you enjoyed Praying for Your Husband, then I think you will really enjoy today’s message. My husband is making a special appearance today with his contribution, 9 things he has learned over the years. I was completely blown away by what he had to say and I hope you will be too.
Get to know us a little
We met at a hole-in-the-wall country bar in a little bitty country town 10 years ago. Our eyes met from across the room and we were instantly hooked on each other. Literally from that second on we spent every moment possible together. I was attending the University in that little town, he was just in town visiting friends for the weekend. As it turned out, he was a Soldier, based in another state, getting ready to deploy to Iraq. I remember about a week later telling a friend that if he thought I was going to wait on him while he was deployed he was crazy, lol.
Apparently, he wasn’t so crazy though, because that’s exactly what I did. Our early relationship was a whirlwind of insanely intense emotions. We were together for 41 days (mostly long distance, since we lived in different states) and then, one of the worst days of my life happened. I stood on a military airfield surrounded by strangers and watched this man I was head over heels for step onto a plane headed for a war zone, terrified that I would never see him again. It was a heart-wrenching, gut twisting, awful day, as was the year that followed as I clung to letters and dropped everything and everyone in my life every single time my phone rang.
He was deployed for 11 months and 16 days. We got married the day he came home at the closest JP we could find. I suddenly went from care free college girl, to military wife, in a strange town, with only him that I knew.
The years after that were a barrage of craziness.
We have been through extreme highs and even more extreme lows, but we found God somewhere in the middle,thank goodness. We have since been blessed with four beautiful children, and one angel baby whom we will meet on the other side of eternity. We have moved 8 times in 9 years. And we have grown up in ways that we never thought possible.
So, now that you know a little about us. Let’s get on with today’s post!
Meet my husband
I asked him to share 9 things that he has learned over the last 9 years of our marriage, and his answers were incredible. I hope you are as blessed by them as I am.
- COMMUNICATION – No matter how hard a day I might have had, I make it a point to listen to my wife and how her day went. I have learned by doing this that my wife feels more connected to me, and I get to catch up on every little detail I missed that day.
- EMOTIONS VS FEELINGS – Sometimes my emotions get in the way of my feelings of love I have for my wife. One key-note to always pay close attention to is the fact that my emotions do not make or express my true feelings of love that my wife craves. I have learned to look at the reasons why I am so emotional and then turn those into affectionate feelings of love to my wife.
- BEING THE ENGINE RATHER THAN THE CABOOSE – As the husband, father, and head of my family I have the biblical responsibility to lead from the front, not from the rear. I have learned how to take on the responsibility of being the leader of my family as God has intended, and my marriage has been strengthened because of that fact.
- DISLIKE VS HATE – For the first 3 years of marriage I used the “hate” word quite often, which brought extreme turmoil between my wife and me. I have learned with “hate” in your vocabulary, then “love” does not exist. I might not like all of the things my wife does or even says, but I make it a point to pray for a change in her where I am seeing or feeling discord, rather than speaking or thinking negative words into my marriage.
- ONE VS TWO – When I first married my wife I had a hard time with her knowing everything about me, crazy right! I have learned God brought her and I together and once we said our vows we were no longer two separate people, we were one, a team. This has been a really fun concept once we both realized how our lives have changed and the things we gave up to become one!
- THE “M” WORD – I remember getting phone calls while at work from my unhappy wife to discuss where all of the money went. I would immediately put up my guard and start snapping and yelling at her. Not a cool way to handle a huge problem. remember earlier when I mentioned me taking the responsibilities of a leader? Well, I was spending every penny and not telling my wife where it was going, and just doing it because I felt like I needed it at the time. This brought out many heated yelling matches, where neither of us won, we just left the situation in a bad way and tried for a long time to cover it up. By doing this and not getting to the root of the problem (ie: my spending being out of control), these situations left a big black hole in our marriage. I have learned the best way to kick the bad habit of spending every last penny on me and my selfish needs, was to take over the finances. Once I did this and was able to spend the money paying bills, my fix was satisfied. I was able to see where all of the money was going and the feeling was great. I fully 100% believe the financial budget should be organized and developed as a team, but the execution of that budget and the maintenance of the money should rest on the husband. I have been able to earn my wife’s trust in the area of money, by simply over coming my selfish spending and ensuring we are financially sound.
- STAY AND LISTEN VS WALKING AWAY – This has to be the hardest lesson of them all; respecting your spouse by staying and listening to their frustration, rather than walking away to pick up the conversation later. Let’s face it, later is never a fix or a long-term solution. I have learned to walk into that tunnel of chaos with my wife and come to a resolution, not just a quick fix like walking away. When I walked away, things never got better, they got worse until eventually walls were built up and feelings were hurt. Never let your emotions trap you into a situation that was never meant to be. Talk it out, forgive, and forget. [bctt tweet=”Never let your emotions trap you into a situation that was never meant to be. #TalkItOut #ForgiveAndForget”]
- SAME VISION – This is a key ingredient in any marriage. By having the same vision as a team it keeps the devil out. My wife and I have a vision for our children to be raised unlike either of us were raised. We want to raise them to honor God, love Jesus, and to trust in the Holy Spirit by showing them, not just telling them. I have learned that one of my tasks as the husband and father of my family is that it is my responsibility to carry the vision of reaching people for Christ to further build God’s heavenly kingdom, with my children watching. This is an extremely important task and a great honor.
- SERVING VS OBLIGATION – Over the years I have learned the difference between obligation and serving. Obligations stem from emotions, they are not grounded in truth and can be easily identified as fake. Serving stems from the heart and has feeling behind it which brings great power. I have learned to serve my wife, not just be there out of obligation. I choose to love her when times are hard, and when times are amazing. By humbling myself and knowing that acts of service go a long way with my wife, I make it a point to do things for her when she asks me to, and when she does not. I do not serve out of obligation, I serve because I want to!
Weren’t those good lessons?
Now on to the 9 things I have learned from 9 years of marriage
- WITHOUT GOD, WE ARE NOTHING – There is no way we would be where we are today with out Him. Our life together is completely and totally dependent on our individual relationships with our Savior. God is the center of us, and that is what gives us the strength and power to thrive together. [bctt tweet=”Our life together is dependent on our individual relationship with our Savior. #PutGodFirst”]
- LOVE IS NOT A FEELING, IT’S AN ATTITUDE – When you share your entire life with another human being, there are bound to be moments when you don’t “feel” very loving. But the Bible doesn’t describe love as a feeling to follow, it describes it as an attitude to choose. Learning to choose an attitude of love despite the present circumstances is a total game changer. When you stop “following your heart” and instead, choose to lead it in truth, you experience victory in your relationship.
- BEING RIGHT IS NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING – Yeah, it may feel good to know you’re right, but it doesn’t really matter if your “victory” comes at your spouse’s expense. What good does it do to insist on being right over trivial matters if it causes division in your relationship? Trust me on this one, I have belligerently insisted on being right so many times and all that did was push us apart. Instead, sometimes it really is better to cordially agree to disagree.
- RESPECT HIM – Let me say that again… Respect him!!! Men are created to be the head of the house and we were created to be their helpmates. This is huge! Men don’t just desire to be respected, they need it. They are hard-wired by God Himself to hold positions of authority and receive the honor that goes with it. I used to believe that respect was something my husband had to earn, but that is so not true ladies! We are commanded to respect our husbands in the Word. It’s like that whole thing about love; respect is not something I just give when I feel like it, it’s something I give to him because of the position he holds in our family, and because it honors God. Show him the respect that he deserves whether you think he has earned it or not. Respect his authority, respect his abilities, respect his relationships, respect his job, respect him as a husband, a father, a disciple, a brother, and a son. Respect him in every unique way that God has created him.
- GRACE IS EVERYTHING – We all make mistakes, and we all desperately need grace. We need God’s grace every day and we also need grace from each other. Be quick to pour out grace on your husband. My husband has always been really good at handing out grace; me, on the other hand… not so much. But once I let God transform my heart, I learned how desperately we all just need grace, un-earned favor. We just need someone in our corner, rooting for us, cheering us on, choosing to love us in all circumstances, and offering forgiveness even when we don’t deserve it.
- SPEAKING OF FORGIVENESS… You will never have a marriage that thrives without forgiveness. Face it, he’s going to mess up, and so are you. Learn to forgive and learn to seek forgiveness. Then, learn to forget it! That’s how God forgives us, He cleanses our transgressions, removes them from us, and forgets them. This is how we should forgive each other; don’t keep bringing up the past; resolve the issue, seek forgiveness, offer forgiveness, and move on!
- SUPPORT HIS IDEAS – This is a hard one for me! I tend to have a very dominating personality and my husband is pretty laid back. I can easily railroad right over his ideas without a second thought. The problem with that is, men are problem solvers and passing off their input makes them feel unimportant and un-needed. Over the years, when I have made an effort to support his ideas instead of shooting them down for one of my own, I have been pleasantly surprised at the outcome. And I usually learn something new about him in the process.
- LET HIM LEAD – Hear me on this one girls… men are not going to lead the way you tell them too! Ha. I laugh now, but seriously, I remember hearing so many women tell me that my husband was the leader of the family and I was the help-mate. And I remember how much I hated that! So much so, that I just denied it altogether. I was convinced that he wasn’t leading the right way so he didn’t deserve to lead, then I just forcibly enlisted myself as head of the family! Crazy, right? But I have to believe I can’t be the only one. Just because he isn’t leading “your way” doesn’t mean its wrong. Trust that God has placed him where he is and trust that God is leading him.
- MAKE TIME TO BE TOGETHER – Life can be busy and its easy to slip into a routine of come and go and go to bed. If you’re not purposeful in carving out time together, before you know it, you become more like roommates than two people joined together to become one. I’m not going to tell you that you must have a regular date night to have a good marriage. Honestly, we don’t do date night regularly, ha, we aren’t really “date night” people. But we do have time that’s just for us very regularly. We put our kids to bed early and then spend almost every evening doing something together. Sometimes we play games, sometimes we watch tv, sometimes we talk, or make plans for the future. The point is, we are spending one on one time together. We also like to drive when we really need to talk. We often load the kids up and just drive until we work through everything. In fact, driving is such a great way for us to connect to one another, that we actually purposefully went from 2 vehicles down to 1 for a year, just to spend more time together. The kids and I would load up and take my husband to work every morning then pick him up every night. It wasn’t always convenient or easy or practical, but it completely changed the way our entire family communicated with each other. And we got to see a lot more of each other during a really busy season.
So there you have it. I hope you have found something valuable here to take away with you.
If you have any valuable marriage lessons please share them in the comments below, I would love to hear them!
Have a blessed week yall!
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
~Ephesians 5: 21-33
Blessings and love,
You may also enjoy The Day I Realized I Was A Bad Wife
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