This week, my husband and I celebrated 9 years of marriage. I posted a picture along with this phrase on my personal facebook page…
I got to thinking about this and thought to myself, “What a horrible phrase to describe our past 9 years?!” I feel some sort of responsibility to always speak truth and to be as open and transparent as certain phases of life allow me to be. I’ve seen too many marriages–Christian in particular–crumble over the years and I believe one large reason is that they believe that “everyone else” is doing better than them. What a disservice to our brothers and sisters in Christ! While some marriages may have little conflict or issues, my guess is that a majority of them have all sorts of it.
I am a multi-layered person. I go much further than fitness, so I’ve done my fair share of reading up on marriage over the years. Kory and I have had the opportunity to sit across from many people–married couples, divorced ones (or those in the process of getting), singles, and engaged. We have had many, many conversations and have had a chance to process what we’ve learned from them to help us out. (We jokingly say we need a sign on the front of our house saying, “Smith Counseling: Open for Business”! LOL! My husband is a high school counselor by profession though! :))
So here are some thoughts I wanted to process and write down about our 9 years of “wedded bliss”.
1.) It’s not been all wedded bliss.
As a matter of fact, if you were a fly on our wall, my guess is you would actually wonder if we even liked each other at times! We are both strong personalities so when sparks fly, THEY FLY! We have had our share of ups and downs–more than I could count–in our 9 years. WE ARE NOT PERFECT.
2.) The comfort is in the commitment.
I heard a Family Life Broadcast a few years ago where Dennis Rainey mentioned that the “comfort is in the commitment”. There is such comfort in knowing that Kory is committed to me–no matter what we are FEELING. And because he tells me this, it makes me want to work harder at making this work! Commitment is a foreign word in so many ways nowadays and what a shame that is.
3.) We understand that we are BIG walking TARGETS.
Satan wants nothing more than to ruin our marriage. He knows that the BEST picture and representation of our relationship with Christ, is our marriage! Kory and I are daily in His Word. We are praying. We want to use the gifts God has given us. We have our own ministires we are involved in. Satan sees us–and our marriage–as a THREAT to him. I have to keep this in mind often! My fight is not against the “flesh and blood” but against something I don’t see.
4.) There’s a triple threat that we all bring to our relationships: our backgrounds, our past relationships, and how marriage was modeled to us…
All those things matter–and make an impact–when you are in your marriage. It’s really hard to pinpoint that unless someone can look from the outside in and tell you. Understanding –and diving a little deeper–into those things will only HELP.
My card to Kory for our anniversary this year. No comments from the peanut gallery! LOL!
5.) It will get HARDER before it gets EASIER.
There’s always a learning curve when you are trying something different. Your natural tendency is to go back to what is comfortable. (This is something to keep in mind when starting a new health habit too!) So in that, you have to be patient when trying something new. Many times this means it gets much harder than what it was before, but keep your eyes on the prize!
6.) We are better as a team than solo.
Teamwork works. (The Wonder Pets would agree!) We work better side by side, moving towards the same goal, as opposed to nose to nose fighting for our own ways. This is something that 2 first-born, very independent, people have to remind themselves over and over again. 🙂
7.) It’s hard because we CARE.
If I didn’t want our marriage to not only work–but be thriving and successsful– then I wouldn’t care how the climate is in our house. I wouldn’t care if I carried a chip on my shoulder, or that he was feeling disrespected. Sure, many times I WISH I didn’t care, but I know that in order for us to stay together (because that is our ultimate goal) we HAVE to care. And because we do, man, it makes it rough!
Before I get any haters on this post, I want to say that I understand. Not every marriage will work out. I am not the marriage police. At the end of the day, I am only responsible for my response to my relationship with my husband–not yours. I do not have all the answers! My prayer is that you would seek God DAILY in your marriage relationship and that you would be obedient to what He has called you to do. And if you have a marriage that is doing well, THANK GOD for that—often! I am SO thankful that my husband loves God and is committed to me! I am blessed beyond measure!!
Justin Bieber gives a little wisdom that I love, from one of his newest songs and I’ll close with this…
♬ But the grass ain’t always greener on the other side,
It’s green where you water it
So I know we got issues baby true, true, true,
But I’d rather work on this with you
Than to go ahead and start with someone new ♬