In a few weeks my husband and I will be celebrating 23 years of wedded bliss.
Okay, maybe not bliss, but happiness and love.
Okay, I’ll just be honest here…
23 years of learning how to love each other.
We’ve had some glorious, and amazing mountain-top moments:
Our wedding day.
Our two-week honeymoon.
The day we found out we were expecting (twice).
The weekend retreat that saved our marriage.
Renewing our vows three years ago.
Celebrating how God saved Bill’s life in a bicycle accident.
Let me tell you, we’ve also experienced time of valleys and lows:
In year seven, the weekend the kids and I moved out.
When the fights were hard and long and awful.
When our days were filled with selfishness, stubbornness, and unhappiness.
The good has always outweighed the bad. We’ve come through some major obstacles and trials, but no matter how difficult things got, we’ve walked through them together. (Even if we wanted to bop each other upside the head.)
Seriously though, it’s been a journey of learning how to love each other. Learning what’s important to each other. Learning how each other “ticks.” Learning our individual weaknesses and strengths, and how to support each other in them.
Learning how to love each other has been a gift.
I was reminded this week how far we’ve come. And as I recalled some of our memorable moments, I was reminded of something else:
3 Sentences That Transformed Our Marriage
1. “Put God in the center of your marriage.”
Seven years into our marriage this sentence struck me. Sure, we said our sacred vows on the altar in front of God and our friends and family, and committed ourselves to each other and to God at our wedding, but the thought of inviting God smack-dab in the center of marriage was a light bulb moment. I began visualizing God holding us and our marriage together, and that helped me realize our marriage was a strand of three, not of two. Putting God in the center of our marriage strengthened it, healed it, and prospered it.
2. “Be nice to each other.”
Our pastor and mentor encouraged us with these words at the end of one of our visits with her. They have rang in my ears ever since. When I’m upset or don’t “feel” like being nice to my husband, these five words remind me to do so. Life–and marriage–is better when you’re being nice.
3. “We’re on the same team.”
This is the one my husband said again to me this week. Yes, we most certainly are on the same team. We are after the same goals… to love and support each other through this life, to raise God-fearing children, to honor God in our marriage, and to bless others in ways God calls us to. We have each other’s backs. We are in this together. Until death do us part.
Three simple sentences that transformed our marriage. Three tangible ways we can show love to each other. Three beautiful truths we’ve learned along the way.
Learning to love this husband of mine has been a great gift. It hasn’t always been easy, and it hasn’t always been bliss.
We won’t ever claim to have the perfect marriage, but we do have the perfect union: My husband, me, and God who joined us together.
What sentences have impacted your marriage or others you know? I’d love to read them and be encouraged by them as well.
Blessings to you!
(Linking this post with some friends of mine: Barbie & Mary at The Weekend Brew, Susan at Dance With Jesus, and Deb at Blessing Counters. You’ll be blessed to visit and experience all that’s going on at these places!)
Looking for more?
Enter your email to instantly access my FREE RESOURCES - exclusively for my readers!
Your information is safe with me and will never be shared.
What great tips for any marriage. One of the things we value in our marriage is that we are polite to each other. I’ve seen couples snarl and snap at each other. How can they say they love each other?? Our pastor always taught that if you can be kind all day to your co-workers we should be able to be kind to our families. Thanks for sharing. Visiting from The Weekend Brew.
Amen, Rebecca! I love that. Politeness is important and I agree with you. I’ve seen other couples snap at each other too. I’ve been guilty of that myself. Thank you for sharing here. It’s a joy to have you!
Love this post Julie. It is simple and true. My husband and I will are almost at the 23 mark as well and as I think about our years together I realize it is the small things that get you through the hardest times. Choosing to be nice when you don’t feel like it, choosing to respect your partner’s needs even when you don’t understand or agree, making time for each other, even if it’s just a few minutes a day. And yes, of course, putting God at the center, not only of my marriage but also of my life. As you say, it is learning to love. Happy almost anniversary! 🙂
Hi Tracy! Happy almost anniversary to you, too! I love that we were married the same year. So much truth in your comment. I’m thankful you stopped by and shared here. The small things do make all the difference, don’t they?! Have a blessed weekend.
I love this Julie and your heartfelt words about marriage. I love your first sentence “Put God in the center of your marriage” because I realize how important that is in any relationship. I stress this sentence with my sons as they both have serious girlfriends and I have learned this for myself as a single mom who never says no to the possibility of a relationship myself someday. Thank you for these words. Barbie and I are blessed to have you as part of The Weekend Brew community.
Hi Mary! Thank you for stopping in today. You and your words always bless me. Marriage can be tough, but when both of us seek God in it, it makes it a whole lot easier. I love The Weekend Brew. Absolutely love it. I look forward to the day I get to meet you both. Bless you both!
Hi Julie! As a single girl I really needed to see this, I’ve unfortunately been with guys who didn’t know the right way to treat me. I finally figured it out that it was because their faith just wasn’t as important to them as it was to me, it was more of whenever it was convenient for them. I’m never going to make that mistake again!
I understand what you’re saying here, Abby. I’ve been there, and I’ve done that, too. May it encourage you to know you aren’t alone in that journey. May God bless you as you continue to put your faith in Him first in your life!
This is a great post, Julie! So encouraging for marriages. I think I’m like most women, wanting to read as much encouragement on marriage as I can!
Thank you, Betsy. I appreciate you being here. I’m with you, friend! The more encouraging, the better for me. Have a blessed week!
What a great post about marriage. I love the simple suggestions and the practical way that you write.
And, what a good word to just include – Be nice to each other!
My husband and I are about to celebrate 25 years, and I think that is one of the main things we notice in marriage that are working. The happily married couples still treat each other with kindness and compassion.
I found your site on the You Are Invited Link Up.
Hope you have a great Monday.
Hi Melanie! It’s great to “meet” you. Thank you for coming over. You’re always welcome here! I appreciate your words of encouragement and blessing. Have a great week!
Ah, what a beautiful list of sentences! I love God’s math-1+1=1 plus God :). I agree that marriage is all about learning to love each other through all of our ‘growing up’ and changing and the trials that we face together with God holding us together.
Thank you, Anita. Love God’s math! Thankful God holds us together. Hope all is well in your corner of the world, friend!