Today is a very special day: it’s mine and Daniel’s 5th anniversary! With that being said, I have a guest contributor for today’s blog post: Daniel, himself. I talked to him about this post a few months ago and told him I wanted it to be about five things we’ve learned during the past five years. He wrote his list, and I wrote mine, and it was interesting to see how similar our responses were.
I’ve specified who wrote each lesson.
1. Swallow your pride, and say you’re sorry first.
During our first year of marriage, we had “disagreements” with some regularity. We were both at fault at various times, and one of the toughest things we learned to say was, “I’m sorry.” However, over the past five years, we’ve discovered that by getting the apology out, the healing process of that moment can begin sooner.
2. Know your spouse’s love language and speak it.
If you haven’t read The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, we highly recommend it! The premise behind it is that we all have a “love language” (words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch), and when it is “spoken” to us, our “love tank” becomes full.
This book really speaks some great truth. My love language is words of encouragement. As a pastor, I can shake hands with everyone in the church and receive encouragement, but the most important encouragement that I receive comes from my wife. Sarah has grown into a great encourager, and I would rather have encouraging words from her than a million dollars!
At the same time, I am to be Sarah’s biggest encourager. Someone said, “The smartest thing a husband can do is really turn their wife loose to be all God wants her to be.” It’s a beautiful thing to see a person blossom under the encouragement of their spouse. Friend, if you’re not encouraging your spouse, you’re missing a chance to bless them.
My love language is acts of service. When Daniel does things around the house, such as picks up toys, makes the bed, does laundry, vacuums, cooks, or gives Isaac a bath, it fills my heart with so much love, not to mention, it takes a load off of me!
When we first got married, I’d get really frustrated because I felt like I did “everything” (In hindsight, I realize that this totally wasn’t the case.) The problem was, Daniel didn’t know that I needed help because I never asked. Make sure that if something is bothering you, you talk to your spouse about it! Staying silent builds resentment, and resentment kills marriages.
3. Trust one another.
Proverbs 31:11 says, “The heart of her husband safely trusts her, so he will have no lack of gain.” I have known couples who didn’t have any trust whatsoever for their spouse, but I trust Sarah more than I do myself. I know she has Jesus as her Savior, the Holy Spirit as her guide in her soul, and she is in the Word of God daily. I trust her.
However, before someone can trust their spouse, they must know their spouse and really understand them. 1 Peter 3:7 says, “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.” 5 years into marriage, I know my wife better than ever. Study your wife, know what makes her tick, learn what she loves, what she can’t stand, what her gifts are, and what her dreams are. I am to understand her. I am to honor her. She is a co-heir of grace with me in Christ.
4. Bad moments don’t make bad marriages.
When two people get married, there will be tough times, no matter how “prepared” you thought you were. The important thing is to work through those issues and difficult moments. Just because there are times you argue, doesn’t mean you chose the wrong person to marry. Dwell on all of the good times rather than the few bad ones.
In music, it takes multiple notes to make a chord. Played apart, these notes sound okay, but when the right notes are played together in harmony, you’ll have a good sounding chord. I believe early in marriage, we found out that we were very different in several ways. When we focused on these differences, it made us mad and sad.
By the Lord’s grace, He showed us to focus on each other’s strengths and not the differences. I am very laid back and can procrastinate most anything. I say, “I work well under pressure,” but that’s just a cover for being a procrastinator. Sarah is very task-oriented, very time-conscious, and has most everything in order. As a result, she has “made me” (in a good way) become more on time and just all around more in order in life. I think I have helped her to relax a little more in some situations and encourage her that everything’s going to be okay. Instead of playing different musical notes separately, we are learning how to play a beautiful chord in marriage.
5. Keep Christ at the center.
This is by far the most important thing we’ve learned over the past five years. When we neglect our individual relationships with God, our marriage shows it. Satan worms his way between us, and tension arises over silly things.
However, by reading the Bible and praying, and by founding our marriage on these concepts, we’ve grown immensely over the last 5 years. We’ve gone from, “Did I make a mistake in marrying this person?” to, “How can I live life without him/her?”
Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her.”
If you’ve made it this far, you’re a champion and we thank you for reading today’s post!
If you’re married, what’s an important concept you’ve learned?
Daniel and Sarah