This June, my husband and I will celebrate one year of marriage, and we’re happily looking forward to the next 50. I don’t know if we did that first year right or what’s coming for us in the next few years. By no means are we experts, but we did sit down to discuss what went right and what didn’t go as right in our first year. (I’m married to an engineer so it’s pretty normal to have those types of analytical conversations.)
Besides our tendency to have nearly scientific discussions, we realized that our relationship couldn’t be marked by how healthy we calculated or thought it was. It had to be measured by how much our marriage showed God’s goodness.
Unfortunately, there’s no yardstick for that. Instead, each day we’ve made a commitment to trusting God to show up in our marriage even on the days when my husband burned a frozen pizza or when I bleached his boxers.
We didn’t always get it right. In harder days, a simple argument boiled into angry words. At the end of it all though, our prayer has been that our marriage stand on faith in God. After all, God created the human relationship as a testament to his goodness. He wants us to experience things like honesty and love and friendship.
Here are a couple of other components my husband and I have prioritized for us (in no particular order):
- Friendship. There is so much laughter in our household. My husband is my favorite person to spend time with and he always knows how to make me smile.
- Sacrifice. I didn’t like baseball when we got married, but I’ve worked extra hard to understand the sport because I know my husband loves it. Plus, the ballpark serves great hotdogs.
- Forgiveness. We don’t keep score. We don’t take cheap shots at each other’s past.
- Honesty. It’s easy for both my husband and I to close ourselves up when we’re frustrated, but it’s so important to us to stay in the loop with one another.
- Communication. This goes along with honesty. We have to talk often.
- Love. More than just romantic love (although that’s fun and necessary), I’m in love with the role of being a wife and helping my husband every day.
Your priorities in a relationship might not look this, and that’s OK. The best thing to do is to sit down with your significant other or spouse and talk about each other’s needs. You don’t have to do it like my husband and I do— with pen and paper and graphs (again, I married an engineer).
Take your time to pray for God to direct your heart. Romans 12:9-10 says that “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
God wants us to have a reflection of his love here on earth, and I’ve found the best example of it in my sweet husband, who brings me flowers on a random Tuesday, who listens to me talk about what I found on Pinterest, who promised on June 15, 2012 to serve God first in our marriage.
My husband and I have a lot to learn about marriage (and for me, maybe about laundry techniques), but we’re willing to head into the unknown with faith in a God that wants us to succeed.