On this day four years ago, we said “I do.” We were only 24, a couple of kids, just finished university and ready to tackle the world together. In our four years of marriage we have had many ups and downs, we have learned a lot, and we are continually choosing to say “I do” to each other every single day. Today I am sharing the most important four lessons I have learned in four years of marriage and I have also asked the elusive “hubs” to chime in and share his own top four tips for surviving four years of being married to me!
Four tips from the wifey:
- Put your husband second. Wait, what? Hear me out… Your husband should be the second most important relationship in your life, but ONLY after your relationship with God. In seasons where I am not walking closely with the Lord I rely on my husband to meet needs that he cannot meet. That is because I have a deep need to be loved and seen by God and to find my identity in Him. My identity cannot be found in my marriage or in what my husband says or does (or doesn’t say or do). My identity needs to be firmly grounded in my relationship with the Lord and in the fact that I am a daughter of the King of Kings. From this place, I can love and receive my husband’s love without needing him to fulfill places that he can’t.
- Learn to laugh. Laugh with your spouse and try not to take everything too seriously. Save room for fun and dates and just good times. Laugh at yourselves when you fight about dumb things (like sandwiches…true story).
- Don’t expect him to read your mind. K, so I definitely don’t have this one down pat. There have been so many times when I get unreasonably upset about something only to realize that I never communicated my expectations (or worse, I thought I told him something but only did so in my head. Those conversations in my head get real sometimes… tell me I’m not alone in this?!). Communication is seriously so important but it only works if both people are communicating! News flash, I know.
- Choose love, everyday. Say “I love you” and mean it, everyday. Remember the person that you first fell in love with and all of the reasons why. Choose love in every circumstance, not just when you feel like it. When he leaves his socks on the floor or doesn’t close the cupboard door, breathe deeply and remember that these small things are just that… small things. And if you’re snapping about these small things, have a snack. It’s called HANGRY and it’s a real thing.
Four tips from the hubs:
- Choose her everyday. Choose to make her priority. Make her breakfast in the morning (And coffee of course.. but you married men already know that). Turn off the TV and put down the phone and talk to her. Hold her hand when you are driving (but don’t ask her to help with directions… that never ends well). Take her on a spontaneous dinner date or go see a rom com instead of the latest Bourne movie (Ok, so I actually loved Safe Haven but don’t tell her that).
- Forgive and forget. Your wife isn’t perfect and neither are you. Don’t expect perfection. Be quick to forgive and even quicker to forget. Don’t EVER go to bed angry at each other. Always be the first to say sorry.
- Listen… really listen. One of the best things you can do as a husband is listen. Give her your full attention and don’t interrupt her. I am guilty of sometimes going into preacher mode and not giving her a chance to respond or communicate her opinion. She’s not really a fan of these epic sermons.
- Seek God. More than anything, my wife needs a man of God. She needs a man who will seek God to know and abide in Him. She needs a man who prays and whose faith is founded on the rock that is Christ. She needs a man who pursues godliness, holiness and gentleness and who loves her like Christ loved the church. She needs a man who encourages her in her walk with God and who can lead his family well.
There you have it… our four tips after four years! We’re certainly not pros at this whole marriage thing but we are committed to learning, growing, and loving for the rest of our lives. If you have any other tips, we’d love to hear about them in the comment section below!
PS – want to read more about our story? Check out the Proposal Story!