5 Things We’ve Learned in 5 Years of Marriage

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.

Me:

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.

Me:

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.

Daniel:

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.

Me:

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.

Daniel:

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.

Me:

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.

Daniel:

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.

Me:

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?”

Daniel:

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

How Daniel and I Met

Hey, everyone! I hope you’re doing well!

Mine and Daniel’s 5th anniversary is on Saturday (November 7), so I thought it’d be fun to tell how we met. I asked Daniel to contribute to the story, so you could get his perspective, too.

This is our very first picture together.

Here’s my version of what lead to our meeting:

I didn’t date much in high school and always imagined that college would be where I met “Mr. Right.” However, while my friends were all in serious relationships while we were at the University of Tennessee at Martin, I remained painfully single. After a long time of me trying to force relationships to happen, the Lord brought me to a low, lonely place and told me that if I kept trying to create relationships, then who would get the credit? I finally got to the point where I gave everything to God and told Him that He’d have to be the one to bring a man into my life, so He’d get the glory. That was around March or April of 2014.

Fast forward to May when I came home from college. My family and I were in search of a church, and at that time, the church Daniel was pastoring was a few miles from my parents’ house, so one Sunday, Dad and I went, and as we pulled into the parking lot, a black truck whipped in behind us, almost hitting us.

You probably know where this is going, but low and behold, Daniel was the one in the truck, ha ha!

Dad introduced us, we exchanged a few pleasantries, then it was time for church.

That afternoon, Daniel sent me a friend request on Facebook and messaged me saying how nice it was to have Dad and me at church.

I found the original message on Facebook Messenger:

Daniel’s version of what was going on behind the scenes:

When I was younger, my momma taught me the principle that if something is worth worrying about, then, it’s worth praying about for 30 days. In the spring of 2014, I began a 30 day prayer for a wife. I believe it was on day 14 of this prayer that I met Sarah. 

The story goes something like this. I was running late for church that morning (which was not unusual at that time in my life), and when I whipped in the parking lot, I about ran over this car backing into a parking space. I thought, “That’s Steve Killingsworth…and his daughter.” I have known Steven and some of his family through playing music for years, but I had never met his daughter. 

I had recently invited Steven to come to church with me sometime, but I wasn’t expecting to see them as I pulled in that morning. I was introduced to Sarah, and we all talked for a few minutes before going in for worship.

When I stood to preach that morning, I looked out and Sarah began taking notes during the sermon. I was impressed! I still remember going home that day after church and saying, “Steve Killingsworth and his daughter came to church today, and she took notes as I preached.”

I wanted to ask Sarah out, but I wanted to be faithful to fulfill the 30 day prayer that I had committed to, so once I finished the 30 day prayer, I asked her out, and she said, “Yes.” 

Remember friends, if something is worth worrying about, it’s worth praying about.  I’m sure thankful that the Lord sent Sarah as an answer to my prayers.

These are our first Facebook profile pictures as a couple. If you’re an OG Facebooker, you know changed profile pictures made a couple “Facebook Official.”

I can’t get over how young we look!

I hope you enjoyed today’s “behind the scenes” take on the beginning of mine and Daniel’s relationship.

Sarah [and Daniel]