My husband and I dated for a jaw-dropping five years before we married in our late twenties/early thirties. You'd think we knew each other well enough that we'd easily transition to married life--but there were still plenty of surprises from the start. In honor of this Valentine's Day weekend, here are some of the lessons I've learned so far in our marriage:
Don't fear his faults. Pray. Know that your own shortcomings require more attention.
Travel together to the places that shaped you.
Passion doesn't have to fade; it's enriched by commitment.
Respect is to a man what love is to a woman.
Do the household tasks your spouse dreads.
Date each other regularly. Discuss the state of your union periodically. Speak the truth with tact and humor.
Remember what you wanted your marriage to be, but keep your expectations attainable.
Be interesting: share what you're learning and strive towards new goals.
A shared calendar smoothes communication.
Embracing is most essential when you feel distant.
Listen more. Speak your mind less.
Let him lead. Questioning his judgement is never helpful.
Continually express your appreciation.
Hope. Find solace in prayer.
Parenting children helps you both grow up. Accept that his approach will differ even if you share the same parenting philosophy.
Life's trials are necessary for building endurance and hope (Romans 5:3). Make marriage a shelter during these storms.
Schedule fun. Marriage should be a joy, not a business meeting. (Save discussions and details for when you're both well-rested.)
We're off to enjoy a marriage getaway for coaches and their spouses organized by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). I'm so grateful for the amazing weekend they have planned for us (as well as for the grandparents who've agreed to watch our kiddos!).
Do some of these points resonate with you? What marriage lessons have you learned?