Seven years ago today I married my best friend.
It’s been an adventure. We’ve moved 6 times in those seven years (and we’re gearing up for our 7th move). We’ve had ups and downs and periods of stagnancy, too. But I can honestly say it’s an adventure worth taking. Through our adventure, we’ve learned a lot – about each other, about relationships, about communication, and about God. I thought I’d go a little cheesy here and talk about 7 things I’ve learned over the last seven years:
- Honesty – Even after seven years, it’s not always easy to be completely vulnerable, transparent, and honest with my husband. There’s a great risk in bearing it all, and telling all. But there is also the greatest freedom when I am honest, and I receive forgiveness, understanding, and grace. My husband and I have learned a great deal about honesty and forgiveness throughout our marriage – and it’s been hard, but it’s been the best lesson we’ve learned.
- Spontaneity – Before we were married, we had dreams and plans (and a lot have come true), but I think what I wasn’t good at picturing was that a lot of marriage is about everyday life. “Who’s cooking dinner?” “Did you pay the bills?” “What’s your schedule this week?” And the list goes on. I’m a very focused and organized person, and I can get bogged down in the details of life, bringing my hubby with me. I’m so glad I married someone who is less of a planner, who doesn’t need to check off every checklist box before resting. I’ve learned that spontaneity, a break from the ordinary, a last minute concert or dinner with friends on a weeknight (gasp) is really good for our marriage because it gets me out of my head, and is fulfilling for my husband (and for me).
- Prayer – My husband and I love Jesus a lot, but we have really struggled about how to pursue Christ together. Several months ago, we set aside 40 days to specifically pray together about our life. We got more comfortable praying together, it began to feel like less and less of a chore and more and more like a critical part of our marriage. I know we’ve all heard it, but praying together is so critical for couples. It’s a habit we’re hoping to keep.
- Mentoring – We’ve learned that it’s really important to have other couples in our lives – who have been married a little longer, and have more wisdom. It’s important to have other couples who we can respect, be vulnerable with, and who we know are praying for us. We also love having younger couples in our lives who we can share our story with and support.
- Stagnancy – We’ve gone through periods of stagnancy in our marriage. It wasn’t a season where something was wrong, but rather, it was just a season when everything was just ok. But what we’ve learned is that those seasons of stagnancy breed seasons to follow that are not good seasons. Relationships must be constantly growing and changing.
- Romance – It took us awhile (maybe longer than the average couple), but my husband and I have become really good roommates. We don’t bicker much anymore about laundry, chores… We have our rhythm down. But somewhere along the way of becoming good roommates, we’ve had to work hard at keeping up the romance. It’s little things (that were so easy while we were dating), like bringing home flowers, doing a chore that your spouse normally does, planning date nights, wearing something attractive rather than sweatpants every night (Don’t judge me, I’m wearing sweatpants right now)… The benefits are worth the effort.
- Fun – I’m more of a serious, focused person. Marriage can be serious and focused. But marriage is also a lot of fun! It’s so fun to get to live life with your best friend, to celebrate their accomplishments, to grow to appreciate all their strengths. I love being married (it might be because I have an amazing husband, though!)
“Find a good spouse and you find a good life – and even more, the favor of God.” – Proverbs 18:22