10 LESSONS IN 10 YEARS
It feels just like yesterday. It was 9 am, I was about to take my exam for my MBA program. Total time for the exam was two hours and I had a 12-noon appointment to get married. Yes, I know. Who gets married on the same day as her final exam? Me....lol
Looking back over the past decade I can definitely say that I have grown, and I have learned a lot.
Here are 10 lessons from the past decade that marriage has thought me.
1.PUT JESUS AT THE CENTER: No matter how you want to divide the equation, Jesus should always be the 3rd party in your marriage. As you both seek Jesus; you draw closer to each other.
2. COMMUNICATION: Communication is the currency to any relationship. You can never over communicate. A lot of issues can be resolved by proper communication.
3. LEARN HOW TO FIGHT: There is 100% chance of a breathing human offending you at least once in the course of their lifetime, and if you are married the chance just went up to 1000%.... lol. One thing I have learned is how to fight fairly. If you know your spouse doesn’t like something, when you are in an argument is not the time to say something they told you in confidence just so you can hurt them. Remember you are both on the same team, so it is either you lose or you win together.
4. FORGIVE OFTEN: See lesson #3 about breathing humans. Your spouse is bound to offend you, so learn how to forgive. Find ways to work out any differences. Remember, you and your spouse were raised in two different households. For the ladies, when your husband offends you; don’t say you are “fine” when you know you are not. If you say you are fine, he will assume everything is okay, learn how to have honest and open communication.
5. MUTUAL RESPECT: Having mutual respect is very important. Respect each other boundaries.
6. HAVE FUN: Let laughter be the soundtrack of your marriage. Life is serious, you don’t have to be serious all the time. Learn to have fun in your marriage.
7. NEVER STOP DATING: Never stop flirting with your spouse and never start flirting with someone else. I know life is busy especially when you are joggling marriage, kids, career and what have you; make it a point of duty to create time for date night or date day if you don’t have a sitter for the kids. This is something my husband and I did when our oldest was a baby, we would drop him off at the sitter in the morning and have a date day. This way we had until 6pm to do whatever we wanted kid free. In our current season, we haven't been able to do monthly date night so we opted for quick lunch dates at Chipotle or Chick-fil-A. The goal is to connect.
8. FRIENDSHIPS: Do not abandon your friends because you are married. You still need to have some time with your friends. This can serve as an avenue to relax and unwind whenever it is needed. I remember after I gave birth to my second son, I was feeling overwhelmed on a particular day. I told my friend about it, she offered to come pick me up to go get a pedicure. Let me tell you, that two hours away from the baby was just what I needed (The baby stayed home with grandma in case you are wondering). Till today she doesn’t even remember she did that…lol. Also, make friends with other couples that share the same values as you and your spouse, this will help foster your marriage.
9. SEEK GOOD COUNSEL: One of the best things my former Pastor did for us was to counsel us before we got married. There were many things he shared that has helped us in the journey of our marriage. One of them was “Don’t forget all the good things your partner has done when you are upset with them”. Counselling should be constant in marriage because there will be seasons you will need help navigating. When I say counselling, I don’t mean your pastor (nothing is wrong with seeking counsel from your pastor) I mean a professional that will give you the right tool, there are Christian counselor out there. Find one, it will help a lot.
10. DON’T FORGET WHO YOU ARE: A lot of women have identity crisis in marriage because they have lost themselves in being a wife and a mother ( Please don't misunderstand me, I am not saying you should abandon your duties) . If you liked travelling before you got married, don’t abandon that hobby. It will take a lot planning; you can still travel. Do things that makes you come alive, things that have nothing to do with your husband or kids.
11. LOVE YOUR SPOUSE THE WAY THEY WANT TO BE LOVE: This is too good not to add as a bonus . The issue here is that a lot of people love people the was they themselves want to be loved not the way their spouse wants to be loved. A great book to read is the five love languages by Gary Chapman. There are five types of love languages. Gift, Words of affirmation, Physical touch, Acts of service and Quality time. Some people feel loved when you buy them gift while others feel loved when you spend uninterrupted time with them. So let’s say a wife’s love language is gift and the husband's is acts of service. It doesn’t matter how many gifts she buys her husband he won’t feel loved until she maybe helps him drop off his clothes at the dry cleaners. Love your spouse the way they want to be loved.
Those are some the lessons I have learned.
What are your thoughts? Please add them to the comments below.
Until next time, remember, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.