What Wisdom Has Taught Me About Marriage
In a little over a month, I will have been married for 30 years. I often tell people "to the same man." Marriage was instituted by God. He designed it where a man finds a wife (woman), and they live together for their lifetime. "Find a wife, and you find a good thing; it shows that the Lord is good to you." Proverbs 18:22 Now there are a whole lot of things that go on from the day you say "I take thee ... for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part ... I do," and a minister says "... we, therefore, commit this body to the ground; earth to earth ashes to ashes, dust to dust ...: To make it 30 years is a milestone.
Put God First
Your hierarchy has to be correct for your marriage to last. You must put God first. He must be and above everything. Your family hierarchy is 1. God 2. Spouse 3. Family 4. Others - Church activities, Sports, friends, etc. When you have young children, most marriages suffer because most of your energy and time is spent on your children. However, for your marriage to work, you must make time for God.
Make Your Marriage A Priority
Your marriage has to be your priority. There will be lots of activities, people, etc. that want and need your time. You will have to decide what to say yes to and what to say no to. When your marriage is no longer a priority, and you are striving to please others, your marriage will suffer. You must work at your marriage. It will not survive with attention or on auto-pilot. A relationship has to be developed. Time with each other is required. The time spent must be meaningful to both. Spend quality and quantity time with each other.
Respect & Honor Each Other
Your marriage will not be filled with joy and happiness if there is no respect and honor between you. You will end up arguing and fighting frequently. Your home will be chaotic. If both of you show respect and honor towards each other when there are disagreements, they can be worked out in a loving and kind way. You will learn to listen and look at different perspectives. There are times to compromise, and times to agree to disagree. There does not have to be a winner and loser for everything.
Get to Know Your Spouse
What is your spouse's favorite color, food, sports team, etc.? No one should know your spouse better than you. This will take time and asking the right questions. Write the answers down. This shows you care.
Have Fun Together
Laugh together. Do things that both of you like. This will take compromising, but there are benefits. This help with getting to know each other. Don't just rush through it, take time to enjoy it, and cherish it. The fun doesn't have to be expensive. Some of the best fun can be so inexpensive. Learn to love each other's company.
Take Care of Yourself
Don't let yourself go. Yes, your body will change over time. However, you can still take care of yourself. Don't let your hygiene go. Always be the most beautiful or most handsome person to your spouse. Flirt with each other. Take the time to be with each other romantically.
Have Healthy Relationships Outside Your Marriage
This is tricky. However, have you have to have healthy relationships outside your marriage. Not relationships to replace your spouse or secret relationships, but relationships so that you both can have additional friends.Many marriages and relationships have ended because of their friends, so be very careful. Women will become very close to their girlfriends and begin to listen to their advice, or men will listen to the advice of the fellows. Never let your friends come between you and your spouse. The most detrimental friends are when you develop unhealthy relationships with the opposite sex. Never hide any relationship you have with anyone from your spouse. Always be open!
Marriage takes work. You are going to get out of it what you put in it. It is not 50 - 50. It is both of you attempting to give 100% all the time. However, when one falls short, the other makes up the difference. A long-lasting marriage takes the love of God. I Corinthians 13:4-10 GNT4 Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; 5 love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; 6 love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. 7 Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.8 Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge, but it will pass. 9 For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial; 10 but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear.