My husband and I are celebrating 7 years of marriage this week. July 26,2008 I married the man of dreams. It’s hard to believe that time has gone by so quickly. In celebration of our anniversary I wanted to share 7 things I’ve learned over the years
FIGHT FAIR~~~ I can remember earlier in our marriage when Edison and I would argue and have disagreements we would say some pretty awful things to each other. We would hit below the belt to intentionally hurt the other person with our words. Those words would still be echoing long after the argument was over. A couple of weeks could have passed and we would be sitting at the dinner table together and smiling but in the back of our mind the hurt and pain was still there. I can remember thinking how could he say such hurtful things if he loves me, I can remember seeing the pain in his eyes when I would spew out hateful words during arguments. Colossians 3:8 (NIV) “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” We BOTH had to learn this lesson, as husband and wife no matter what we should make sure our words are not hurting our spouse. Do we still argue….OF COURSE, but we take into consideration our tone, we choose our words wisely, and we always respect the each other’s feelings. If you are too angry and full of rage to discuss something with your spouse ask for some time to avoid saying something you will regret. Please don’t slander your spouse maliciously to friends and family during your rough times. Reason 1: Once you all work out your issues and move on, your family and friends have not forgotten how you badmouthed that person. So you are at the family BBQ with all your family and friends laughing and seemingly having a good time and somewhere Aunt Lucy and Cousin Jr are talking about how you two were just talking bad about each other. You may forget what you said but others won’t. Reason 2: You guys are still on the same team, you are one so when you try to ruin your spouse’s name you are also ruining yours. Professional Athletes don’t bash whatever team they are currently playing for….it’s a reflection of them just like your marriage and spouse is a reflection of you.
FORGIVENESS~~~ This one was big for me, as mentioned above our fights were not always pretty. I learned that in marriage you can’t keep score. I would say well he did this and did that and I would hold onto it mentally. So he thinks we are fine and certain things are in the past and during our next disagreement guess what? I brought up ALL the old stuff that I hadn’t forgiven him for. So now not only are we arguing about Tuesday we are arguing about November of 2013. I came to the realization that in order for us to truly grow I had to forgive and let go. I couldn’t allow us to be stagnant because of my unwillingness to forgive. Matthew 18:21-22 (MSG) “At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?” Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.” I remember reading this and thinking 490 time?!? That’s a lot of forgiving….and I can remember during one of my Quiet Times with God that he said that is the point. We are to never stop forgiving. He also lets us know that unless we forgive others, our Father in Heaven will not forgive us (Matthew 6:14-15, Mark 11:25) Now I had to put in perspective that I’m not perfect and I’ve had to be forgiven several times in my life, I would hate that by me not forgiving my husband for his imperfections that my Heavenly Father would not forgive me. Un-forgiveness also hinders your prayer life. I couldn’t effectively pray for my husband, our future, our children, and our marriage until I released all un-forgiveness.
HE IS NOT MY SON~~ “Take out the trash” “Clean up the mess you made around the bathroom sink” Where have been” Why didn’t you answer the phone” In case you were wondering this was me talking to my husband (awful right) I cringe just typing it because you would think I was giving commands to our son. This one is actually quite embarrassing for me to admit but it’s something that I learned so here I go. So I’m a bit of control freak and bossy (just a lot of bit) 📷 So I would find myself giving commands to my husband instead of asking him to do things around the house. If things weren’t done right or if he got the wrong thing from the grocery store or gave our children too much junk food I would react in a way that sounded like I was scolding a child. As you can probably guess this lead to some arguments and resentment from my husband. I wasn’t doing it intentionally but I was still doing it and it had to be corrected fast! As wive’s we sometimes perceive our husband is incompetent when it comes to the household chores or caring for our children. So we feel the need to “correct” them. So I went to my handy dandy Bible: Ephesians 5:22-24 (MSG) “Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.” First I had to let go of the power struggle and learn to S-U-B-M-I-T to him. It was one thing to say I was submissive and another to show it in my actions behind closed doors. I had to realize that I was emasculating him and what man wants to feel like he is a child in his own home! When one spouse treats the other as a child, the relationship becomes unbalanced and children are confused. If he tried to exert his authority, the kids will ignore him. You know why…..your actions are saying that he is one of them and children will think that in their mind. Have you ever heard the saying that “children do as they see and not as they are told” so if they are seeing disregard for Dad by their mother, no matter how much I say listen to your father, they won’t. I began to think how hurt I would be if my children grew up disrespecting my husband because of what they saw me do. Change the way and manner in which you respond. Proverbs 21:19 “It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife” OUCH…..I would much rather make my home a peaceful oasis for my husband where he feels respected instead of desiring to be far away from me because of my nagging. So if your husband says phrases like “I don’t need you to tell me what to do” or “I’m a grown man” it’s a sign that maybe he feels like you trying to be his momma and not his wife.
RESPECT IS KEY~~ Most men have a deep desire to feel respected. If you ask a group of men if they would rather be respected or liked the majority of them would say respected. Edison is no different. Respect is number one on his list when it comes to his desires for our marriage. The above was a sign of total disrespect. A man needs his wife’s respect and admiration. 1 Peter 3:1 (WE) “Wives, respect and obey your husbands in the same way. Then the husbands who do not obey the word of God will want to know God. They will want to know God because their wives live good lives, even though they say nothing about God.” So the more I show my husband respect the more I lead him to Christ because of the Christ-like behavior I exemplify. I definitely don’t want my actions to pull him away from God. I’ve also learned that when my husband feel disrespected he feels unloved. I’m definitely more mindful and aware and I try to catch myself before I disrespect him in any way.
IT’S OKAY TO BE DIFFERENT~~~ Edison and I on the surface are two totally different people with very different personalities. I’m a social butterfly and I’m not sure what the term stranger means and he is very quiet and reserved in public. I grew up in a very small southern town in SC and he is a big city guy from FL. I’m the oldest of my siblings and he’s the baby, we prefer different music, and so on and so forth. I remember once we went to an outing together when we first got married and I was chatting and talking to everyone and having a great time. I looked over at him and he was being quiet and I felt that he was being standoffish. I told him that he was being rude and that he needed to mingle (told ya’ll I can be bossy 📷 ) and we had a little dispute about it. Now at that time we had been together 4 years and I knew his personality so why did I think he was all of sudden going to become Mr. Social because we got married…….I had to learn to celebrate our differences. Just because we were married it didn’t mean that we would be carbon copies of each other “Romans 14:19 Therefore, let’s keep on pursuing those things that bring peace and that lead to building up one another.” While we are different in our personalities our core values and morals are the same. We are both devoted Christians and we constantly strive to be closer to Christ. Family is very important to us, our outlook on education is the same, we share several common goals and dreams. I focused on the things that made us fall in love instead of a few personality differences. We both balance each other. My weakness is his strength and vice versa. We love and accept each of our differences, besides it’s what made us fall for each in the first place but we spend more time doing things that we both like to do. Communication is super important and we make sure to communicate often and we make sure we are honest with each other. Some days I want to dress up and go out and he wants to stay home and watch Netflix but in the end the result is the same and that’s spending time together.
PRIORITIZE EACH OTHER~~~ My husband is preparing to enter medical school and he works a full time job. I manage an office and we are both very active in our church ministry as the Youth Pastors. We have a 5 year old and a 2 year old and I can keep going…..basically our life is BUSY!!! If we are not careful we place each other last on the list. After a long to do list and then parenting, household chores there is sometime little energy left for each other. Although we are not as consistent as we should be, Date Nights are so needed! You have to intentionally set aside time for your spouse. It’s so hard on a marriage when one feels like they are insignificant to the other. When we are riding in the car we have a no cell phone rule. One person would spend the entire car ride on social media sites and texting that we would barely talk to each other. Now we make sure that we are present mentally when we are riding together. We take the time to talk and check in with each other. It makes such a big difference. “1 Timothy 3:5 NIV “If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?” We are constantly reminding ourselves that our first priority before church, work, and other responsibilities is our home, marriage,and children.
ALWAYS KEEP GOD FIRST~~~ The last one is the most obvious, most important, yet the most overlooked lesson. We have to every day, every week, every year make sure we keep God first. Our scripture at our wedding was “Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” We entered this marriage knowing that it would take all three of us to make it work. We constantly remind ourselves of this. There is an analogy that says that marriage is like a triangle the two bottom end points are the husband and wife and the top is Christ. The more we move to Christ the closer we get each other. When we start feeling distant from each we know that we have to make sure that we are seeking Christ and keeping our “cord” intact.
The past seven years in my marriage I’ve learned what works, what doesn’t and I’ve also learned that I still have so much learning to do. I can go on about what I’ve learned but I said that I was stopping 7. I’m committed to learning more about him and our marriage for as long as we both live. After 7 years I don’t have all the answers and I don’t always do it all right but I know that we have to keep learning, keep growing, and keep loving each other. I’m so blessed to have Edison in my life. He is my purpose partner, truly my best friend, the love of my life, and the best father there is. Happy Anniversary Love and cheers to 70 more!