“You know we’ve been together for 10 years?”, says the hubs.
“Oh really?”, I respond, cos I’ve been mostly thinking seven, given our recent seventh wedding anniversary.
And I get a look from him, like “hellooo?”. But of course, he’s right.
Wow. That’s quite a long time, huh? In this day and age of easy-come-easy-go, this is something to reflect on, be thankful about, and truly celebrate.
I don’t say this often enough, or consciously live it, but I am very grateful for the man I married.
There are a few things that can make or break a person’s life, and I think marriage is one of them. Folks are not joking when they say that marrying the wrong person could seriously mess up your life.
Like I tell single friends these days, far better to stay single, than to marry the wrong person, or to settle in haste.
To those who are struggling in their marriage, if you share the same faith as me, I’d say pray really hard, and draw upon our Lord for daily grace. Try to focus on the big life issues that matter, rather than the small annoyances that don’t. Try to work on ourselves first, before we try to work on the other person’s ‘failings’. An older woman from church shared recently “Don’t try to change your spouse, instead work on what you can do”, which are wise words indeed.
In fact, at our anniversary lunch, whilst staring soulfully into each other’s eyes (*not* – more like lots of sidelong glances at the interesting stuff other folks were eating), we chatted about how one thing we’ve learnt is that there’s very little we can change about the other person. Not that we hadn’t read 10 books on marriage before our wedding, telling us we shouldn’t even try. But what we’ve learnt over the years, is acceptance in practice. Walking the head knowledge. Living the love we know we should give.
Any one in a marriage will tell you that it’s not easy. We have our fair share of glares, growls, and sometimes even snarls. But most of the time, those are the reactions to surface issues. Stresses of the moment.
On the things that matter, on the core issues of our heart and being, we agree. And how wonderful that partnership on things that matter, is. Find a man like that, and you have found yourself a gem that you’d never exchange for anything of surface worth.
One thing I’m very thankful for this year alone, is how he challenged me to read through the bible again. I’ve read through the bible in various versions, so I was all like, “But I already have! Many times!”. Then I got the look again. (This one is a look of long-suffering.)
So he said, “Let’s sign up for the same reading plan and read through together.” And it was such a good idea because we see each other reading at various times, and get reminded to keep apace. Being just very slightly competitive, we even try to read ahead, so we have a buffer on days that are exceptionally busy.
Happy to say that we have kept it up since 1 Jan this year, and are on day 85 already (I think he’s ahead by a few days for now). As with marriage, it is easy to get complacent with bible reading. Keeping in the Word is hard work, but the returns are more than we can ask or imagine.
I was also extremely encouraged by the community of friends and family that we have (more than 100 likes on our anniversary status post! Okay people, you can stop now, haha…). It warms my heart to know that there are people rooting for our marriage, who rejoice with us, and many who will keep us accountable in this journey.
Another friend said she got the following advice – don’t always think of marriage as hard work! These are happy times! When both spouses are in the prime of health, and kids are young and cute… the winter seasons of physical frailty would be the times of true hard work.
And that is true too, isn’t it? So whilst we peddle hard so as not to get swept downstream, we also do some floating and backstroke at times, to enjoy our marriage, to live in the present, to “carpe” these “kairos moments”, not every “diem” or every second, since some hours can be tough, but to cherish the good moments, because those are what matter, at the end of the journey.
Hug your spouse today! 😛