We’ve been married for 144 months.
Another way to say it is 4380 days.
It equals out to 105120 hours of marriage.
A lot can happen in 12 years. We’ve lived in four houses, two cities and worked at five different jobs (combined). We’ve had three children, two dogs, numerous fish, one bird, one mouse, one turtle and a hermit crab. We’ve had eight different cars. I’ve had two different dirt bikes.
I’ve never talked with someone about marriage and heard them say, “Well I hope this one works out.” or “If this marriage doesn’t work out, I’ll try again.” When we went into marriage we knew this was a “to death do us part commitment.”
In our time of marriage we’ve had the privilege of helping other couples prepare for marriage. When I look back on the last twelve years here are twelve thoughts on marriage that I want to pass on to others:
1. Communicate well
I remember one time while Charity and I were doing premarital counseling with a couple. During our conversation one of the people said: "you must fight well." In a healthy marriage you need to know how to communicate well. Think about timing, tone and what you're going to say.
2. Celebrate often
Charity and I celebrate often. Celebrate your anniversary every year. Celebrate birthdays and be joyful together.
3. Travel with each other
We love to adventure together! Traveling can be stressful but it’s a great way to make memories with your spouse!
4. Go on a regular date
This has been huge for us. When we were first married it was date day; we would take Monday as a whole day with each other. When we had Sophie we moved to date night. Now, we do date morning. It doesn’t matter when you go on a date, the goal is to keep dating your spouse.
5. Serve your spouse
Think of things that would make your spouse excited! Serve them and help him/her out in a special way.
6. Don’t hide your love
Write notes, send text messages and say “I love you” often!
7. Buy your wife flowers
More than just on special occasions. Charity loves flowers! I enjoy getting her flowers, as a surprise, and seeing her face.
8. Let your spouse go on trips that fill them up
Plan ahead, say yes and help them out. Let him/her go on trips that with friends or just a trip that you know will encourage them.
9. Eat dinner together (preferably at the kitchen table)
We do our best to never eat on the couch. And make sure the TV is off.
10. Do life with others
Have other married couples in your life who speak truth to you. Think about how much fun it is when others help you become the best spouse you can be!
11. Have a recreation you enjoy
This is a place we lack. We keep trying to find something to do together and lately it’s been hiking.
12. Surprise your spouse every now and then
Surprise him/her in a good way. Bring them treat home, write a cute note or plan a fun date.
What would you add to this list?
- Understand forgiveness.
Instead of writing out "forgive quickly and often" - which I was going to write, I decided that understanding how much God has forgiven you of would be better. The more I understand the forgiveness of God for my own sin, the quicker I am to forgive my wife.
- Pray for them.
Specifically about the things you think they need to improve or work on or repent of. Before ever talking to them about it, pray for them about it. If they ask you to pray for them for something, stop what you are doing and pray for them then and there.
- Get to know them.
Our interest and desires are constantly changing, and so are our spouses. When you are dating you are (unofficially) committed to getting to know this person. Keep it up. Don't assume you've figured them out. Continue to try to get to know them, there passions and what makes them tick.
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