I’ve been married, as of yesterday, three years. And, these have been the best years of my life. Our marriage couldn’t be stronger and healthier. I’ve talked with men who’ve wanted the secret to a successful marriage or men wiser and older than I, who’ve offered advice for my taking.
Waiting down at the bottom of the aisle was exhilarating. I still remember the entire audience staring at me as I waited for my bride. Canon in D began. The doors flooded open. My heart pounded. Then, a glimmer of white caught my eye. There she was, beautiful, pure and walking towards me.
The moment my father asked if I would take her as my wife, I said I Do. There was no going back. The marriage had commenced. But after the fanfare wears off. After the dust settles how do you create that same spark each day? Surly I’m talking about a fairytale – but am I? Can you truly have a happy and healthy marriage amidst two imperfect people who, at times, can be as stubborn as a mule?
Here are 3 tips or strategies to creating a lasting marriage and one that will tell the story of your love for generations to come.
1. Be the first to apologize. Fights, skirmishes, tiffs or disagreements are inevitable, but are always forgivable and can be worked out. If you’ve been married for any length of time you’ll find you and your spouse at odds with each other. There’s nothing you can do to stop it from happening. We’re human and fallible. What can happen is what we do in those moments when we’d like to scream because of a disagreement.
This is where forgiveness and quick to repent comes into play. Even if you’re the one who didn’t initiate the fight, even if you are the one who feels they are right/justified in what was said, be the first to apologize. Having a clear conscious and a quick to repent spirit you’ll find your spouse will be more willing to forgive you than harbor unforgiveness in their heart.
2. Support each others dreams. We all have dreams. Ideas that keep us moving toward a better future. I am a writer and a pastor. My dream is to see this website produce income for my family and for this website to serve and bless ministries and see them succeed. She supports me in this endeavor. There are many nights, after she’s gone to bed that I sit up and write these posts, while she patiently waits for me. There are nights when I’m at the church late that she prays for me. I feel so much support from my spouse, which emboldens me to continue on this journey and see the rewards benefit our family.
It’s hard waiting for someone. But when their dream makes your marriage better because you allow your spouse to dream, you end up growing closer and stronger as a couple. Allow each other to dream dreams, and watch your spouse soar to new heights.
3. Help the other out. No one likes doing the other’s job. In our house, I love working outdoors and Kari enjoys working inside. It’s a blessing to my wife when I take the time to clean the kitchen after dinner, put away the dishes, or even vacuum the floor. These little things brighten her day, and as my father-in-law would say; “a happy wife for a happy life.”
Take the time to bless the other. Go out of your way to see them succeed in what they enjoy doing. You’ll find doing something out of your comfort zone, to help you spouse, is one of the greatest blessings you can give them.