This Thursday Steve and I celebrate 15 years marriage. It means we have been best friends for over 17 years. So in a tribute to marriage in general I thought I would simply highlight some of the things that have helped us enjoy eachother.
Anything I write here is simply a reflection of my own marriage and the things that have made it an easy path to walk. This is not so much a reflection on what Steve and I have done right or wrong but rather on the stuff that helps keep us grounded.
1. ‘Seek first the kingdom’. Both of us have a passion for God and for his church and that common thread is something that drew us together and helps keeps us together on several levels.
2. Marriage requires builders not a demolition experts: Proverbs 14:1 says a wise woman build her house but with her own hands a foolish one tears hers down. I don’t want anything about my life or marriage to be described as demolition.
3. Being cheerful and joyful is more often a choice than a consequence of great circumstances. A cheerful heart does good like medicine.
4.I get to choose the tone of my home. The choice is easy to be moody, whiney, whingey, and critical but to be positive, thankful and praise filled is a more difficult choice and requires discipline.
5.As a wife, I have a huge responsibility to believe in my husband and his potential and future. Praying or him and encouraging him is one of my greatest responsibilities. I have more power over his emotions than any other person in his life.
6. Submission to Steve has been more about trusting God than it is about trusting Steve.
7. Praying together at the end of the day, however short and simple, keeps us close and on the same page. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
8. Rituals are vital and require diligence and intentional planning: dinner at the table, bed time routines, how we spend days off, family celebrations, how we do holidays, what we don’t watch on TV takes intentional planning to create the family and marriage we want.
9. We read a lot and we ask a lot of questions. We know that wisdom does not come by being a know it all but rather in being teachable. We both ask each other questions, we study each other and we choose to be teachable however confronting the answers might be. We refuse to believe that what we already know and have experienced is enough to get us by.I have made it my business to study my husband. For 15 years I have sought to understand his personality, his family background, what makes him tick and what makes him laugh, what gets him upset and what helps him feel secure. I have also sought to help him understand me.
10. Favour comes where there is unity. We are not about being individuals who sleep in the same house. We are family and family unit is singular. We expect a culture where we have a family unit that has vision of being one not many. That takes a lot of effort not just in our marriage but as a family. Where there is unity God commands a blessing!
11. We seek intimacy and to identify what blocks it because it is vital a thriving marriage. The WE in that statement has helped make it work better for both of us.
12. Being tired is no excuse for bad behavior but does impact on the ability to behave well.
13. We have a lot of fun. Heaven on earth means there should be a lot of fun and a lot to enjoy about today not just eternity.
14. We choose to do conflict with passion. We are peace makers not peace keepers. We have the freedom to express our opinion. This is a toughie because our backgrounds and personalities are and approaches are so different. Humility on my part helps me think before I speak and and helps me shut my mouth more often. Humility on Steve’s part requires him to speak not shut down. ‘Sorry’ and ‘I forgive you’ are standard in our home.
15. We keep each other accountable for our health: physically, spiritually and emotionally.
There are many other things but those are my first 15 off the top of my head….Thankful for the journey so far and God’s favour in my struggle to navigate the part I play.