Tuesday, December 12, 2017

11 Things I've learned in 11 years of Marriage.

In just a couple of days we will be celebrating 11 years of "wedded bliss". In many ways I feel like it was yesterday, but in more ways, it seems like another life ago. Over the last couple years, the Lord has taken our marriage on a journey that I didn't even know I was on until I was delivered on the other side. It's probably best I didn't know the road beforehand, but I'm thankful he took us through it! I've learned so much through some refining "fire". I assure you that many have traveled a much rockier road, and have fallen into much deeper valleys, and for much longer than my short journey. Or maybe you are drowning in a relationship where you can't see any light at the end of the tunnel. I'm not sure what that feels like, but I have been in a place where the seeds of bitterness took root, resentment set in and apathy ruled the day, conversations/arguments followed the same exact script, hitting the same dead end wall, going back to square one, which only made the apathy grow more. The funny thing is, I really had no idea! I kind of thought I was living a normal life, in a normal marriage, one that's as good as it gets! We had both grown complacent, even if we didn't know it.  But through humility and the exposing and confronting of sin, sometimes bringing in help from the outside to deal with that sin head on, as well as being in the Word, reading books and listening to sermons, going to a stellar marriage conference, and communicating, we have come to a place that I never knew was even possible. I have been thinking about all of the lessons I have learned through the years and even recently and wanted to share what little wisdom I have gained up to this point on the likely chance that someone reading may have been feeling the same, and to serve as a reminder to me in the future. So here are 11 things I've learned in 11 years of marriage:
11. As cliche as it is, Communication is key. This is a "Relationship 101" DUH! But I think many don't realize what open, honest communication is and how to even do it. Ladies, don't expect men to read between lines. They only know what we tell them and nothing more. 
10. Confess and admit when you're wrong and seek forgiveness, PRONTO! Don't let your personal sin "go," deal with it- expose it- sin hates the light! 
9. Be humble- LISTEN! If your spouse is coming to you, in love, about your sin, listen. We are quick to see the faults in our partner, with extreme accuracy, but for some reason when it comes to our faults, the blinders go on and the defenses go UP!
8. Work-out together. I hate exercising, but I know I should AND I love spending time with Mr. Clean and it turns out, I get a lot more time with him if we do it together! This single thing has been a game changer in our marriage.
7. Uproot bitterness. Don't let those seeds take root and water it until it grows like kudzu. Get that stuff under control! If it has overrun your heart and marriage, call in help! It may be a hard, humbling call to make, but it will so be worth it when you finally do.
6. *Blush alert* Talk about sex. Seriously. When was the last time you talked to your spouse about how, when and how much you do "it"?  If you don't, do. If you haven't, start. Refer to #11 above. You will thank me, or your spouse will...but that's ok. Don't.
5. GO AWAY! Make time for the two of you to see someplace new. Or at least ship the kids off and see your home in a new, less hectic, way. This is the best investment in your marriage. I heard a pastor say that children are a temporary fixture in a permanent family of 2. Invest in it!
4.Be the spouse you want your kids to have someday. Be the wife you want for your son. Be the husband you want for your daughter.
3.Let the kids see you hug and kiss, laugh and hold hands. A happy and secure marriage is the greatest gift you can give them.
2. In the words of my teen siblings, Stay Woke. Know that your spouse WILL change. The person you married will not be the same person you married. Stay so connected (woke), lest you wake up 10 years later to a stranger in your bed, and instead of Unchained Melody playing in your head, it will be I've Lost That Lovin' Feeling. Marriage requires work. On the flip side, some things never change. If you are hoping some of your spouses "less than favorite qualities" will somehow disappear one day, you'll be waiting a long time on that one. I'll go ahead and spoil it for you, a lot of things will change, but those quirks just won't.
1. IF you maintain your marriage, stay humble, stay "woke", remain open, uproot bitterness and kick it to the curb, seek wisdom and HELP when needed, grow in the Lord and in Grace, and go away, your marriage WILL grow. It will blossom into something so beautiful, your little mind can't even imagine it. The love you have for your spouse will have grown exponentially and when you think back to your beautiful wedding 11 years ago you'll think: Man, I THOUGHT I loved you then. At least, that's how I feel anyway.

Here are some resources of things that have helped me and might help someone who's been in my shoes!
  • The book What Did You Expect by Paul Tripp is one of the best marriage books I've read...and I fell like I've read them all.
  • This sermon series by Jack Hughes of Crossings Church in Kentucky was a blessing to me
  • Here's the link to the marriage conference we attended in Sept. Excellent.
  • And finally, and most importantly, the link to Biblical counseling. Sometimes you just can't do it on your own and you need help. This is a FREE ministry to the public and such a blessing to many seeking God's answers to life's problems.


  1. Love love love this! I too, have come up from the valley, this past year, and only after 6 years of marriage, but wow, what a game changer when you truly take it all to God and let him bring you through it. Our marriage is true testament to God, and I'll thank Him daily and shout it to the world! Happiest of anniversaries to you!

    1. THANK YOU!!!! I'm sorry to hear about your trip through a valley, but I am praising the lord with you for His faithfulness to strengthen and restore your marriage. What a blessing it is!!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...