Yesterday, my sweet husband and I celebrated our third-year anniversary. It’s been a good three years. In many ways, it’s been a hard three years because of the circumstances that have surrounded us. However, in the midst of painful circumstances, it has been such a blessing to have each other to spur on in the Lord, to lean on, and to enjoin each other to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I am very blessed that when God picked out my future husband, He gave me such a great guy. The three years have been an adventure to be sure, but there’s no one I would rather be by my side as we ride the roller coaster of life.
Although three years, may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, you can learn a lot in just a short time of being married. I’m sure that the years ahead will hold many more lessons and insights, and hopefully I’ll be able to write about those too. In the meantime, here are three important things that I’ve learned from our marriage:
- Say “I Love You” often. If you think you’ve said it enough, keep saying it. – One of the things I most appreciate about my husband is that he says “I love you” a lot. If you listened to our everyday conversations, it is full with expressions of our affection. I suppose some people could think that this could get old, that as the years pass on you don’t need to say it as much. However, I’ve found that I need the “I love you’s” now just as much as when we were first married, maybe more. After all, after being married for a while you are familiar with each other and it can be easy to assume that your spouse knows how you feel. My husband never makes that assumption – he says I love you often, and he says it with feeling, letting me know it’s not just the words that he says, but the way that he feels.
- There’s no substitute for sacrifice. – People go to all sorts of extremes to put their love on display. They buy extravagant gifts; they hire skywriters; they take exotic trips. What I’ve learned though is that there is very little that is more meaningful in your marriage than when you sacrifice what you want for the good of the other, or the good of the marriage. It’s not easy and in all likelihood your husband or wife recognizes that, and will appreciate it all the more. Scripture is replete with the admonition to serve others selflessly; no where should this be more prominent than in our marriages.
- Keep trusting in God. Keep encouraging each other. – Another one of the things that I appreciate about my husband is that he lives the truth of this statement. When I’m concerned about what comes next, he points me back to our Savior. When I’m frustrated with the way things are going, he encourages me to take the next step. It’s a characteristic of his that I hope I emulate the more that we are married. It’s tempting to put your trust in your spouse, and although you should trust them, ultimately your trust must reside with God. Your spouse will sometimes fail; He never will. At the same time, it’s important that you keep cheering on your spouse – to be the person that God has called them to be. Point them to God, and then encourage them to follow Him.
Scripture makes it clear that God gave us marriage for our good. However, a good marriage doesn’t come without some work. These are just three lessons that I have learned in my short time being married. I’m looking forward to many more lessons, and many more years to come!