It was a spring day and there was a forecast for afternoon showers. The wedding was at 3:00 P.M.
At 2:00 it began to rain and I was in a panic as the wedding was outside!
Thankfully it was a short spring shower and by 3:00 the sun was out and it was a beautiful day!
Before I got out of bed this morning I was contemplating the many years my husband and I have navigated the the many different paths our marriage has taken. I thought about some of the unpleasant times, some of our struggles and then I began to think about all the days we have spent together. By my count it’s 10,950 days! Somehow when you look at the days is doesn't seem as long as saying thirty years!
I can honestly say that when I walked down the path to my waiting groom the concept of longevity was the farthest thing from my mind.
I have over the years learned some very valuable lessons. The first ten years of our marriage was a bit on the turbulent side. It was filled with selfish immaturity and a resistance to recognize that we both had to be grownups. Learning how to be responsible adults and learning how to do it together can be a tenuous place. When you toss in tendencies for dysfunction that had been laid for us on both sides of our respective families it was a miracle that we made it past our 10 wedding anniversary.
I can confidently share that the turning point for me was 100% due to the slow and revelatory process of accepting Christ into my life. It did not happen all at once and it was a very difficult process for me. I know that sounds strange to say, however my walk with Christ has been the very definition of the Emmaus experience. There have been a few Damascus Road revelations but with each day Chris was faithful to stand with me with each baby step. Each step brought new commitment, new understanding, new wisdom and renewed love!
After thirty years of marriage what have I learned?
Marriage is never about 50/50, sometime It’s 80/20 other times is 90/10, but the perfect percentage is 100% Jesus first. When I am placing Him, that is Christ first in my marriage then the rest will fall into place. Now I will also share that this was a very long process for both myself and my husband. I will also share that like many other couples I came to this understanding long before my husband did. The power of patient and persistent prayer is a powerful thing. I can absolutely share that praying for a Christ centered husband is NEVER a waste of time. Jesus is always faithful to hear and answers all our prayers.
One of the other important things about marriage for me is to really try to learn and understand what is important to your spouse. Some of the worst arguments we had at the very beginning of our marriage weren't about money, they were about housekeeping. Coming from a military background my husbands mother kept a tidy household, she had to living on base housing. Myself, not so much. My mother was never June Clever, keeping a clean house was just not a priority. I had to go through a very painful process of putting my selfishness and laziness aside (after thirty years I still struggle with laziness but I also realize that sometime ya just have to do stuff that you do not want to do, wa wa cry me a river and just get up and vacuum already!!!!) in favor of doing things that were important to my husband. Thankfully we have come to a place of balance and mutual understanding about keeping things in order. I am leaps and bound from where I began and I am thankful that he has mellowed a good deal over the years as well! I still try to make sure the kitchen sink is not full of dishes when the Hubs gets home from work and I do try to give the house a once over and pick up a bit before he gets home. Fifteen to thirty minutes of my time is not to much to ask at the end of a long day at the office!
Another important things that a lot of couple struggle with is balance between being parents and being a couple. It can be very difficult in the early years when the children are little and demand almost all of your attention. However you must always try to remember that you were a couple first. Children will understand that they do not always come first! The reality is that if you are placing your children ahead of your marriage then you are sending the wrong message to your children for what a healthy marriage looks like! Remember that they learn how to be married from what they see you and your husband do! If you do not nurture the bonds that cemented your relationship as a couple then your marriage will suffer. Those children will be flying from the nest in a blink of an eye and then it will be just the two of you again. Keep making the depots in the couple trust fund and you won’t find yourself staring at a stranger when you are back to being just a couple again!
Lastly, never underestimate the importance of words of affirmation. It may not seem like an important thing, but remember recognition of the small things (and the big things too!) is very important. I try very had to recognize and thank the hubs for all the things he does around the house. I think when time is taken to acknowledged hard work with appreciation it goes a long way! If you have not thanked you husband for mowing the yard or for whatever it is that he does then start right now! It will make a difference I promise!
Thirty years is a long time! I pray for wisdom for another thirty years!
I am thankful beyond words for the man that I have in my life, it hasn't all been a bed of roses, don't forget that roses have some very sharp painful thorns. He still can send me over the edge quicker than any human being on the planet.
Remember this morning when I told you about my early morning reminiscing of our early years. I was laying in bed pondering some of our more turbulent times and finding myself being a bit miffed at him. I am laughing at myself right now at how young and stupid we were back then. It really is a wonder that we made it out of our first ten years…suffice to say that God really does protect fools before they even know who he is! The Hubs still at times re-cleans things that I have just cleaned. He still can make me nuts but y’all he still bring me flowers, holds my hand when we walk down the street, remembers the things that make me happy and he still opens the door for me!
I got me a good one y’all!