Today marks 25 years of marriage to my wonderful husband. God has been so gracious to us and blessed us with a relationship that seems to grow better and closer each year. We don’t have everything figured out, by far. But we have learned some principles through study, and other lessons through experience. Here are a few of those things we’ve learned along the way.
God is a central part of our marriage. Our relationship includes God. Ecclesiastes 4:12 ESV says, “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” What it means is that we always count God present in how we make decisions, treat each other, and set our goals. We don’t do this perfectly, but it’s the desire of our hearts to live this way.
Listening is a gift. Proverbs 18:2 ESV says, “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” One of the biggest gifts I can give to my extroverted husband is to listen to him. That means putting the book, phone, or whatever else down, and putting my attention on what he wants to discuss. But it is a gift to me too, as I understand his point of view and learn more about him – and yes, there is more I can learn after a quarter of a century with him! And my husband listens to me, too. The more we understand each other and how we feel at the moment, the better we work as a team in our marriage.
Forgive, and don’t hold it against each other any longer. 1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV speaks of love as this: “It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” I have a long memory, which makes it easier for me to hold a grudge. To be honest, I do keep records of wrongs up in my head at times. God continues to help me to rip those lists up and forgive. I’ve learned that I have to express where I have felt wronged quickly, so I don’t give bitterness a chance to grow. And I’ve learned that when I’ve wronged my husband, I’ve needed to give him some time and space to accept my apology. Everyone’s different; figure out what matters most to your spouse.
May God bless you today in the relationships He has given you!