Today is a day of celebration in our home. My husband and I are joyfully celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary. We've been together for 13 years in total. And well…let's just say they have been the most adventurous, life-changing, and abundantly blessed years of my life.
With my husband, life is always…interesting.
I say this with more love than I can probably effectively describe. The thing is, I was just another lost soul before I met my husband. I didn't have much of a direction other than one that led to making enough money to be self-sufficient. I knew God, but didn't have a relationship with Him. And my lifestyle was lacking any real value.
When I met my husband, I fell for him quickly and HARD. It truly was like love at first sight. I'd say it was more like love at first date. Something just drew me into him. On the outside he appeared stuffy and overly conservative, with a sort of older, more gray haired George Clooney sex appeal.
I soon discovered he was a total kid at heart. He was (still is) also unbelievably intelligent, a great conversationalist, an equally awesome listener, and a man after God's own heart.
Our love the past thirteen years has endured a multitude of tests. Everything from life threatening illness to parenting to legal scares to a lengthy season of unemployment. We've had to fight one crisis - or spiritual battle - after another.
It takes having a special bond with your lover to be able to endure those types of life trials and still be madly and passionately in love.
That bond is Christ. Our Lord has been at the center of our marriage - of our love - since the day we fell in love. God has been our strength, our redeemer, our protection, our grace, our comfort, and our healer. In each trial He has shown us blessing after blessing, including shining the light on the amazing gift we are to one another.
It has been ten wild years.
Would I do it all over again?
Without hesitation my answer is a very bold and real
I would marry my husband over and over and over again. I love him more than ever. Always and Forever!
So what do I think makes a great marriage?
M - Monogamy. This may sound obvious, but sadly many marriages fail because one person strays from the relationship. If something is lacking sexually, emotionally, or otherwise in a marriage, filling that need elsewhere is not the answer. Communicating about it and working together to correct the issue is the answer.
A - Appreciation. Both partners need to show through their words and actions an appreciation for the other and all that the other person does, whether that's at home as a stay-at-home parent or at work as the primary provider for the family. This means appreciating our spouse for who they are too. Not just for what they do.
R - Respect. Treating each other with respect is so important. We don't marry our spouse so we can turn around and treat them like a child or like their opinion or ideas are worthless and unimportant. Mutual respect will go a long way in creating and maintaining a strong, healthy marriage.
R - Romance. Romance helps keep the marital flame burning hot. We should never stop romancing our spouse just because we've birthed children, or our job is stressful, or we're in a financial crisis. Romance helps remind us why we fell in love with each other in the first place.
A - Accepted. Marriage isn't about changing one another. That's God's job. Not ours. We are called to love and accept one another as God's wonderfully complex people. True love doesn't try to change someone. True love can't get enough of that person and loves them for who they are.
I - Intimacy. This is absolutely necessary for a man and woman to maintain a loving connection with each other. Without intimacy (both physical and emotional) a marriage will easily fall apart. We need to encourage some form of intimacy with our spouse, frequently.
G - God. With Christ at the center of a marriage, both partners naturally strive to live in a more Christ-like manner with behaviors that are centered around love. Prayer, communication, trust, honesty, and faith are all active responses to the difficult trials we often face throughout life. With God, both partners pull together in tough times rather than push apart.
E - Enjoyment. We need to take pleasure in being married and spending our life with our lover. We can do this through creating special memories, having moments of laughter, being each other's best friend, reflecting on the awesomeness of how our children are mini-clones of us, experiencing life and growing old together. We need to find and create JOY in our marriage.
Of course, there are many other words that come to mind that are equally important in having a great marriage.
What do you think makes a great marriage?
~Until next time, may God bless you with His presence at the center of your marriage!
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