Today is the 1st Wedding Anniversary of Ellen and Chad.
Still newlyweds but a year of married life under their belt.. of bills and cooking meals, laundry and busy weekends with busy jobs, mowing yards and budgeting.
I’m blessed to have many friends and family that have been married for 25, 30, 50+ years and I called on them and their spouses to share their secrets to a happy and long lasting marriage.
What’s not a secret is the common thread of God. He is the center of their lives and marriages. HE makes all the difference.
Although gathered for Ellen and Chad, I think we all can reflect on these words of wisdom that have been learned over many years in many different walks… thru adversity and heartache, love and bliss, happiness and sorrow. Marriage is full of ups and downs, trials and contentment. This advice was learned with laughter and tears and fought for and earned. And worth it all.
These represent over 600 years of married life.
Grow in your faith and understanding of God’s purpose for marriage. Have an open hand. Unmet expectations can be a devastating blow. Trusting in the Lord instead of trying to control the situation or spouse and things will work for good.
Be open to changes you need to make and trust in God. Receive His grace so that you may give grace to your spouse and love him more. His time and provision don’t always feel perfect but they are always what we need.
Pray together, it reveals your heart and helps you stay together.
Forgive, forgive, forgive. You yourself will need it many times so be free in giving. Be proactive in learning how.
My Nanny told me the day I got married, “make sure he has a hobby because you don’t want a man under your feet all the time.” Same goes for a man, he doesn’t want a woman under his feet either.
Time apart to do some things you enjoy makes time together more fun. Makes for a healthy marriage.
Know you cannot make someone else happy but you can make them unhappy! Happiness is a choice and comes from within us. Decide to be happy and do the things that you know will make the other person feel loved. Happiness will follow.
Argue naked. (submitted by a husband)
In every stage of life, find things you love to do together. Be friends.
You get out of a relationship what you put in.
Always put your spouses needs above your own.
Always make your spouse your number one person. Make sure you always have their backs. Be trustworthy. Don’t bad-mouth them to others.
Don’t make mountains out of molehills. Choose your battles. Most of the things we fight about are not important.
There are no winners in an argument.
Remember you committed “for better or worse” You are each other’s best friend and together with God as your focus, you can get through anything.
Marriage isn’t 50/50. It’s both giving 100% for the best of the relationship and each other.
Play together. Make your relationship a priority. Make time for each other.
Tell and show them how much you love and appreciate them.
Disagreements can be healthy in marriage and shouldn’t be viewed as a threat to our love and commitment. Don’t be afraid to disagree. Just do it with as much love and respect as you can.
Be honest with one another.
Learn each other’s love language. And use it.
Marriage isn’t always easy but a marriage is special when we are committed to each other and work together through tough times together.
There will be good days and bad days, but never leave the house without saying “I love you”. You would never want to chance the last thing you ever said to each other were words of anger.
Never go to bed angry.
Hold hands often.
Look to God for everything and never limit Him on what He can do in your relationship and others.
Make date nights, especially after children.
Never forget how you felt when you first fell in love.
Listen, listen, listen.
Pray for yourself to be the best Godly husband always putting her first since she is a gift from God to you.
Never speak to her when you are angry, let time for you to cool down.
Have a servant heart to each other.
Pay attention to the little things that make your spouse happy. Bring home flowers, candy, or favorite treat.
Avoid silence between y’all. Silence is dangerous and seldom helps.
Early on commit to not having “divorce” be part of your vocabulary. Take that off the table and when you have that commitment, you realize you need to work through the challenges in your relationship and not give up.
Spend time together doing anything that is important to her.
Live by the Golden Rule.
Always be willing to listen and HEAR what your spouse is telling you. Make them feel heard and understood whether you agree or disagree always validate their feelings.
Travel together and make memories. The best ones usually include some problem or “disaster” that you overcome together.
Selfishness is the root of every argument. Stop and try your best to feel what he/she is feeling and compromise. Give up on always getting your way and wanting to be in control. It never feels good to ALWAYS be the “winner” or “loser”.
Commit to reading the bible daily.
Learn to compromise, especially with family holidays. Remember their family loved your spouse first.
Give and take on decisions.
Say I love you everyday.
Find a good church home and get plugged in. Find a small group with similar like minded couples. These will be your go to people when life is difficult.
Marriage comes with peaks and valleys remember words and actions can hurt. Once early on in our marriage I got angry and threw a hot dog and hit my spouse in the face. It’s funny now and we laugh about it but it wasn’t funny at the time.
Be each other’s best friend. Ask how their days is (even if you have no idea what they actually do).
Enjoy the marriage journey, be friends and do fun things together.
Honor God’s order of authority in the home.
Find couples older than you that you admire, who have strong successful marriages and family and make them a part of your “life group”, part of your tribe. Seek out wisdom. Your marriage is like anything else you want to do well, you read about it and talk to others who “know how” to do it.
Your spouse isn’t a mind reader. Talk A LOT. Don’t be afraid to share your feelings.
Show respect, affection and humor.
Ignore things. Don’t let things get under your skin. Pick your battles. (also good advice for kids)
Have a dollar number in place that limits the amount of money you can spend without discussing it with the other. This goes a long way to building trust.
Do not let differences linger.
ALWAYS assume the best intentions of your spouse. Assume they mean well even if their words make you think otherwise. Remember this is the person who loves you the most.
Do anything that makes life easier for your spouse and makes them smile.
Respect each other’s boundaries.
Love each other’s family.
Enjoy today. Don’t get ahead of yourself always thinking about tomorrow.
Notice when you are happy.
Bring God into your discussions and decisions.
Never forget the commitment you made to God and to each other.
Don’t ever say that’s the “women’s job” or “man’s job”
Embrace adventures and seek them out. Do things together just because the other enjoys it. Have fun and laugh a lot. Play together. Be friends.
Always tell the truth. Be honest even when it’s uncomfortable. Remember to speak the truth with love not anger and be careful not to say hurtful words that are difficult to forget even if forgiven.
Learn to fight fair. Don’t bring up old arguments that have been settled. Don’t hold grudges.
Enjoy life. Blink and you’ll be celebrating 28+ years together.
My spouse is always joking telling me “it’s all about you” and “it’s your world, I’m just living in it” take those loving attitudes and apply them.
Learn to time things right. Not when they’ve had a bad day or just walked in the house.
Cook their favorite foods often.
Respect each other and be supportive of their dreams. Be positive to each other.
Be kind. Use kind words. When you are angry express your feelings without being mean.
Do chores together. Nobody likes to work alone.
Say please and thank you. Be courteous.
Plan fun things for each other. Surprise them.
Wow! 600 years worth of wisdom!
These were not learned quickly nor easily. As one friend said, these are all great to read because we are never to old or been married too long to be reminded how to put the one we love the most first. We can all Intertwine these in our daily life and see the changes they will make and He will make in our hearts.
Happy 1st Anniversary Ellen and Chad and may all your years be happy together.