14 years ago today I walked an aisle and changed my name and embarked on a life time journey I would have never imagined. I’ll be honest with you – the first year was awful, and there were some times I didn’t think we’d make it to our fifth anniversary, let alone this far and further. As I sit here, fourteen years later, and way outside of my plans for marriage (but not outside God’s plans) the Lord has taught me a lot about Him, me and other people. So here are 14 things I’ve learned in 14 years of marriage:
- God is always faithful.
- Belief that God is who He claims to be, and will do what He promises to do and that our hope is found in Christ’s sacrifice alone make the great days. Forgetting those things makes the bad things.
- It is God’s faithfulness alone that can make two sinful people produce a successful marriage.
- Love is a decision. Every morning I decide to keep loving my husband, and every morning that decision gets easier.
- Wedding vows mean something. If you can’t stand by someone in the worse, the poorer, and the sicker, don’t get married. On the other hand, if you keep deciding to love each other, the better just keeps getting better, and the worse becomes something that happened years ago.
- Love and Marriage are messy things. Two sinful people bringing the baggage of two different upbringings into one household has explosive potential. That’s why points 3 and 4 are so important.
- My dad says that the key to a successful marriage is both partners believing the other got the raw deal. The longer I’m married, the more I think he’s right.
- The longer I’m married, the more I marvel that my husband chooses to love me.
- Intimacy begins in the kitchen and the garage. I don’t mean that in a “too much information” way, I mean that physical intimacy is built on a foundation of servanthood and mutual respect. When we serve each other in the mundane things of life, like loading the dishwasher, mopping the floors, mowing the lawn, or taking the car for an oil change, the physical intimacy grows.
- God created me to be my husband’s helper. If everything is going wrong and all manner of sewage is encountering rotary devices, it never helps to take over. The magic words in marriage aren’t “yes, dear,” they are “how can I help you?”
- I’m not the Holy Spirit, and His job isn’t up for re-election.
- Wherever my husband is, is home. When I married him we became one family, and while I love my parents and sister and aunt, my first priority and first loyalty is to my husband first.
- God’s plans are always better, even when those plans are hard.
- I have learned a lifetime of lessons, and there are a lifetime of lessons still to go.
I wonder what the next 71 years of marriage (or so) will hold for me.