Since last time’s post went much longer than I expected, here are the remaining three lessons. If you didn’t read that one, you can find it here.
5. Find out what’s most important to the other person. This could be in figuring out their love language. It could also mean what’s most important to them in caring for the house. It’s also figuring out what’s most annoying to them if it doesn’t happen, then make sure it does! 🙂 My husband is a great chef, but is highly bothered by mess. So he’s totally fine with cooking supper each night, as long as I keep the kitchen in decent shape so he has space to work. Each person has a different way they receive value and different priorities for family life.
6. Listen to God. The biggest piece of marriage advice I would give anyone is listen to the Holy Spirit. Over and over again in the middle of a frustrating conversation, one of us takes a breather then comes back to apologize. You’ll often find me stepping into another room, or silently praying for help when things get tense. More often than not, my heart is softened and my half of the problem is pointed out by the Holy Spirit. I’ve also learned that I don’t need to point out his wrongs. If I leave it be, I can trust Jesus to change his heart as well. The key is I have to listen. The Spirit is waiting to convict, soften hearts, and restore…but I have to be ready to hear it and act on it.
7. Celebrate with Cherry Coke! He proposed to me over Cherry Coke (like he seriously drove us to town to buy Cherry Cokes and back to my parents house again, so he could get over his nerves to ask me to marry him), and Cherry Coke was a requirement in our hospital bag for our first baby. It’s our ‘go to’ when the kids get stressful, and it was a staple for date night (until we started trying to be healthy). Find something that is ‘your thing’. Something that is part of your culture as a couple/family.
I dream big dreams and I want big growth/progress moments. But what I’m learning in life is also true in marriage. Small repeated actions lead to health. Brushing my teeth daily, working out for 30 minutes most mornings, drinking water, choosing a salad…….they aren’t really ‘fun’ but they support my bigger goals. In marriage, small repeated actions that speak value to the other person provides the strength needed to keep saying “I do” even on the sleepless nights when all the kids are up in the night, and everyone is grumpy.
Here’s to saying “I do” everyday through small ordinary actions.