Erick and I are celebrating seven years of marriage today.
Yes, I have used the cliche' "time flies" about a hundred times this week.
And even more so: "time flies when you are having fun"
But, it's true, is it not?
We lose track of the years and then one day we realize "hey, it's been awhile"
I've been pondering what makes a marriage last these days.
It becomes burdensome if you ponder it too long.
Because, I think at the core all of our hearts ache for that perfect example of love that Jesus so clearly gives us.
And in truth and full disclosure, Erick and I do not have this whole marriage thing all figured out.
Matter of fact, we are still growing and learning together.
So, it would be a mistake to assume that the things I am about to share are perfected in our relationship. Because, we are still learning to put them into practice.
We are two imperfect people in an imperfect world.
But, we are trying to run after our perfect Savior together.
And He makes all the difference.
So, with that, I humbly submit to you 7 things that I have learned to be important in these past 7 years of marriage.
1. Keep Jesus at the blazing center::
Of everything. And when I say everything, I mean everything. I think this is really a daily choice for me. A daily commitment to keep Christ at the center of my marriage and to actively pursue Him together. We are striving to keep Him at the center of all the decisions. The center of finances. The center of every day life. Because fullness of joy comes from Christ. And He is love.
2. Laugh together::
I really don't think that this needs much explaining. But, Erick and I don't take ourselves too seriously. We laugh. A lot. We crack jokes. We reminisce about funny things. Some of the best moments during the last seven years have been when something was "so hilarious" that we were laughing until we couldn't breathe.
3. Be the closest of friends::
Erick was my best friend when we were dating. Erick was my best friend when we got engaged. And he is still my best friend now. I have heard that friendship is sharing the way you look at the world. And so I really value our conversations about anything and everything. I enjoy looking at the world with him and sharing all that it has to offer.
4. Share, discuss, and talk about what God is teaching you as an individual::
This is something that I'm not sure comes easy to me. But, I have learned how important it is to have "God-sized conversations" with Erick. I really feel like it goes back to "iron sharpening iron".
You hold each other accountable. So, I've just learned to share regularly what God is teaching me through His Word. Talk about the hard things. Talk about the things that feel deeper. Talk about the struggles.
I think it's one more way for us to keep the most important the most important thing.
We can challenge each other to grow.
5. Make the time::
Simply put, I have realized that one of the greatest testaments to my relationship with Christ is actually my marriage. I am called to love my husband the way that Jesus loves me. And that needs to be a priority. It doesn't matter how many ministry opportunities I am involved in if the largest ministry Christ has given me is suffering. In the end, my marriage and how I love my husband is going to speak louder.
So, at the end of the day, nothing is more important than helping that relationship to grow. Make the time.
Value the relationship. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance.
6. Do something together. Share it::
I think this plays into being good friends. But, Erick and I love going on adventures together. And that encompasses everything from sitting on the couch with our milk duds having a movie night to traveling across Michigan. We have found the things that we really love doing together and we do just that. Find those things. And share them together.
7. Communicate. Always.::
This is practically my mantra. I believe so strongly in keeping the doors of communication constantly open. Erick and I tell each other everything. We do not keep secrets from one another.
Except for those times that I am trying to surprise him with all three seasons of Duck Dynasty on DVD.
But, even then, I break down. :)
More importantly, when we have a disagreement I know that this is when we need to communicate the most. It becomes the hardest during those moments because of our natural tendencies.
But, it is beyond valuable to sit down and hear the other person's heart on a matter.
Choose to believe the best about your spouse and take the time to talk it out.
I would love to hear from all you other married ladies out there!
What are some important things that you have learned throughout your marriage?