Twenty-eight years ago today, it really can't be that long ago can it? Twenty-eight years ago, August 22, 1981, I was a young bride. I remember wondering what would lie ahead. What roads would we travel? Looking back I can tell you that although it hasn't always been easy, it has been a good run. It has been a very good run.
From the world's point of view, the odds weren't in our favor. We were two twenty year olds about to start our last year of college. We'd both worked two jobs all summer so we had saved up a bit to live on and we did have the means to pay for our final years of college. He didn't have a job and since I would be student teaching, I was prohibited from working. I could get kicked out of the program if I did.
We didn't have a place to live for certain until two days before our wedding. We'd been on a waiting list for married student housing. Two days after our wedding we packed a little trailer with our few pieces of furniture and rather meager belongings (a lot of people gave us money in lieu of gifts because they knew we were moving) and started the journey from Minnesota to southeast Tennessee.
Oh yeah... there was one other important thing. The most important thing of all. As we stood facing each other, saying our vows, we opened up our hearts, extended our hands and asked God to be a part of our marriage. He's been a part of it ever since and the odds just shifted in our favor.
As we joined hands on that day, we tightened our grip on the hands of the One whose hands we already held. We realized from the very start that we had absolutely no idea how to do this marriage thing... so we went to the One who created marriage and sought His help and guidance. We knew we were going to need it.
Looking back over the years, I can see there are a few things we have learned:
It is important to make God, who is Love, a part of your marriage. This is not an option!
Never forget that you love each other. We all get upset sometimes and say or do things we don't mean. Give each other the benefit of the doubt for the moment and talk about it later.
Never punish your spouse. They are not your child, they are your spouse and need to be respected and treated as such.
Remember how God forgave us. Forgive your spouse before they even ask. If you can't do it, ask God to help you and He will.
Forgiveness means forgiveness. God doesn't drag up "old stuff" He has forgiven us of, we need to do the same thing. When you forgive someone, you bury the grievance and leave it there!
Deal with it! Never trivialize your spouse's concerns. If something bothers your spouse then it is important enough for the two of you to discuss. Have you heard it said not to go to bed angry? Well, it is true!
Do not bad-mouth your spouse. Never say anything about them you wouldn't want them saying about you. Love and respect go hand in hand.
Love is more than a feeling, it is a verb. Remember that.
Remember you are one flesh and treat your spouse accordingly.
Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength...and it will spill down into your marriage.
Always remember: Love never gives up!
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)
Hubby and I just celebrated 28 years in June, although the disadvantage we had was that we were not walking with the Lord. Later, I wondered if I had asked God beforehand, if He would have said I should not marry this man. I don't know, but I do know that as soon as we said "I do" it became God's will that we stay married. I do not believe the excuse some folks say, that it wasn't God's will that I marry this person.
And as ptl so astutely observed -- your description doesn't match Hollywood's. Wonder which one is not accurate?
Excellent observations and points that everyone involved in the marriage relationship needs to ponder and practice. Marriage takes work and absolute openness, honesty and communication in order to breed it's greatest virtue--TRUST. It also takes the conscious application of the qualities found in 1 Corinthians 13 defining the Love of God. If it is good enough for God, it should be for us too!
Thank you and Happy Anniversary.
Amen! And on top of all that my friend we pop a great big dollop of humour!
How could I have ever forgotten that?
Yes, that is another important point. You absolutely MUST cultivate your sense of humor. I cannot tell you how many times in the middle of a ... discussion (usually I'm the one discussing) , my husband will suddenly make me laugh. It is impossible to have a... discussion if you are laughing. Somehow the discussion always seems to get resolved quickly after you have both had a good dose of laughter.