My wife and I have been married for 11 years and it’s been up, and down, traumatic, and glorious all at the same time. I think all marriages go through certain things. I am not a marriage expert but I have seen the Notebook three times, which makes me extremely close to being one, don’t you think? So, let’s dive right in to five things I think I think:
- We will start with something easy so you can get an understanding of how this is going to go. Fellas, when your wife says, “Just do what you want”, DO NOT under any circumstances do what you want. This is a trick that has been performed in many marriages across many centuries. Don’t be selfish. Consider your wife in the things that you do. Include her in whatever you are going to do, even if you know she doesn’t like it. I Corinthians 10:24 says “Let no one seek his own good but the good of his wife. I don’t know if it is all right to do it, but I substituted wife for neighbor. Well if you think you can do that for your neighbor who lives next door, you really should do it for your wife who lives with you.
- We are different. For example, what we find beautiful differs tremendously. Hers: sunsets, children playing carefree, paintings. Mine: Appetizers…and that’s it. I mean come on, someone thought, “Hey let’s pregame this food with more food”, and I think that’s a beautiful thing. Romans 12:6 says we have different gifts. We should embrace what each other brings to the table, so we can grow and learn together. We should nurture those gifts and strive to bring out the best in each other.
- We are a team. We work together just like the citizens of this great country. Remember there is no “I” or “me” in America. I didn’t even say this out loud and my wife from upstairs just yelled down to me, “There is literally an I and a me in America”. I don’t know how she does it. I know you are not supposed to swear, but I swear she is a wizard. Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens his wife.” I substituted wife here again…by the way in case you didn’t pick upon that. What the proverb means is that you help each other be the best they can be, even if you rub each other the wrong way sometimes.
- Marriage is not a competition. I mean, sure you face off while giving vows like 2 UFC fighters at the weigh in press conference, but remember you are a team (We just went over this in point number 3). My wife and I often laugh about how competitive we are. But I laugh more, just for the record. (In your face…wife!!!) Seriously though, Philippians 2:3-4 talks about not looking after your own interests but to the interests of each other. It is amazing how much you can achieve when you work together. Trust me. I am married to a wizard.
- The simple ABC’s of marriage: Always Be Clear. But most importantly listen to each other. This is a constant battle in my house. She frowns and says, “You weren’t even listening, were you?” And I am thinking to myself, “What a weird way to start a conversation?!?” You are fighting a losing battle if you cannot even communicate with one another. Matthew 27:19 says, “When Pilate was sitting on the judges seat HIS WIFE said, “Don’t have anything to do with this innocent man”. If you are reading this and you do not know how the story goes *spoiler alert* He did NOT listen to her. He could have avoided the worst tragedy in the history of the world if he had. That is how important it is to listen to your spouse. It is vital to a healthy marriage.
Like I said I am not an expert. These are just some of the issues my wife and I deal with on a regular basis. We fight. We pray. We love. We forgive. We have tender moments where I come up behind her while she is cooking and hug her and kiss her on her neck. I tuck her hair behind her ear and lean in to whisper. Then we have contentious moments where I lean and whisper, “Eat all of the double stuffed Oreos again and we are done!” But that is what makes a great marriage. You get to try again tomorrow and God will be with you every step of the way.