Preface: My heart is not boastful in writing this. This is our experience shared with full vulnerability and truth. We have learned so many wonderful things over the years from mentors and wise men and women, they have become key values in our marriage. I am simply sharing these things out of love.
10 years sounds like an eternity, but as we all know, time sure does fly by. Like how have I been married for 10 years?! How do I have 3 kids already?! Ugh and how am I already 30?! These are the questions I ponder over while I’m trying to fall asleep.
Like other couples, we laugh, we cry, we fight, we make up. I’m no expert at this, but I do believe we have a successful marriage. One with mutual respect, lots of love, and such an important one, lust for one another. Here are my top 8 reasons why I think our marriage is thriving and fruitful.
1. God. Ecclesiastes 4:12 (ESV) “…a cord of three strands in not easily broken.” I 100% believe we have success in our marriage because God is at the center of it. When we are following His model, we thrive. This doesn’t mean we don’t fight or disagree. It means the core of us longs to please God and in turn, please each other. Who doesnt want to feel pleased?!
2. Sex. Don’t be afraid of that word. I think as believers or just as women we sometimes shy away from this “activity” and this word. Did you know that God designed sex for us? He created man and women to join together as husband and wife, to pleasure one another. Have sex. Get flirty, get frisky, get crazy! He is your man, you should be the most vulnerable with him. For us in our marriage it works full circle…When he feels loved physically, I feel loved. It also has made sex more pleasurable. I want to engage more and I feel attracted to him… Which of course makes him more attracted to me. (And round and round we go.)
3. Let it go. We sing this song enough in our house, but those three little words really are key. Let things go. Forgive. When he says he is sorry… I forgive it. Then I Forget it. Don’t hold on to things and bring it up again. Bitterness and an unforgiving heart is ugly and unattractive. A gracious heart is something I work towards, ask God to allow you the grace to let things go.
4. Laugh. This is supposed to be your best friend. Have fun with one another, laugh with one another and most importantly, stay light hearted enough so you can both laugh at yourselves…and laugh it off.
5. Don’t go to bed angry. Ephesians 4:26 (ESV) “…do not let the sun go down on your anger.” For myself, this is a hard one. This takes heaps of humility because I don’t like to be wrong. And when I’m holding my ground on something, I want him to come to me. But thats not always the case and its definitely not the best solution. Pray and ask God for humility, for both of you. In the end, go to him with a soft voice and a gentle heart. Proverbs 15:1 (ESV) “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
6. Mom and Dad first. When you’re in the childrearing years, its hard to not let the kids be the center of… well everything. I know the kids are super cute and need lots of attention. However; that doesn’t mean you neglect one another. This is especially for us mamas. We tend to put the kids first in this season and to be honest, its just not smart. If mom and dad aren’t right, the whole family is gonna be off. So make sure with all the busyness that life throws at you, to put each other first. For us, we did not let the kids sleep in our bed. This may not be for everyone, some people don’t have a choice, we did have a choice and decided it was important to us. Our bed is our sanctuary, our time. It was our intimate place and we wanted it to stay that way even after we had kids. Remember #2?? You can’t do the sex if your kids are in bed with you people!! Whatever works in your relationship to stay connected, make time for it.
7. Date each other. We have three kids under the age of 7. Its not always the easiest thing to escape them and head out on a date. If you can grab a sitter, awesome. We try and plan a date at least once a week. It keeps us both sane and reconnects us. While you’re out, get flirty with him please! Reach for his hand, kiss his neck, rub feet under the table, heck if he wants to get a hand full of your cute butt… let him. I mean he is your hot date, treat him like it! If we can’t get a sitter, there are still no excuses. We find some time just for ourselves. Whether it be during naps or after the kids go down, or playing hide and seek with kids and we both hide in the same spot for a little make out sesh. However you do it… Doesn’t matter. Just make it a priority!
8. JOY. Jesus. Others. Yourself. In other words, serving. When Dino and I are serving one another… the whole house functions better. Again its that full circle. Dino says he is actually at his happiest when he is serving me. And when he serves me, I of course feel loved and in turn want to serve him. So why don’t we do that in our marriages more? Because its really really hard! Its not easy to lay down your life for someone else. We are selfish people…but God says serve. When we do serve it seems easier to do it in our community, or for our church and even our friends. Our spouse should be no different. Galatians 5:13 (ESV) “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Joy comes, when we put others before us. Your spouse should be on the top of that list.
I am so thankful that our God is gracious and forgiving. I strive to be the best wife I can be, but I fail daily and I’m far from perfect. But God knows our hearts and I’m thankful for that. I pray for another 10…20…50 years of a thriving marriage. Doing back bends on beaches, holding hands, laughing, crying, supporting and loving each other.
Happy 10 babe!