Apparently I’m not the only person who has a few words of advice for their pre-married, giddy wedding-planning self.
It seems hindsight is 20/20. (Now, where have we heard that before?!)
Here are the words of wisdom I received from those people brave enough to comment:
“For every hour you spend planning the wedding, spend another hour working on the relationship. So many people get caught up with the right dress, the perfect centerpiece, that they forget it’s only a party at the end of the day.” ~ Meryl
“First, I’d say to myself, ‘You need Jesus.’ Second, I’d say, ‘You need to have an intimate, personal relationship with God your heavenly Father.’ If you do that, you will get through anything life throws at you.” ~ Dominique
“Don’t you ever take him for granted!” ~ Rebecka
“You can never be prepared for marriage. You are marrying a completely different person than yourself, and you cannot know how youwill grow and change or how they will grow and change. Just remember why you’re together–because you really love each other.” ~ Priscilla
“My single best piece of marriage advice is to buy a comforter/duvet one size larger than the bed. So for a queen bed, get a king-sized comforter. It solves probably 25% of marital arguments right off the bat.” ~ Mark
“When Christ talks about what love is, to lay down our lives for one another, that’s very practically lived out in marriage each and every day!” ~ Destiney
“Marriage is cyclical. Don’t give up. There will be ROUGH times, but hang on because there are rewards for being steadfast. Circumstances come and go, but as long as you are together you can face what comes. Never blame him or take him for granted. Take joy in the small things. He can’t be your everything, so be yourself and forge friendships. Above, be determined to love unconditionally.” ~ Kathryn
“Better get your big girl pants on! With as hard as marriage and motherhood can be, your love will grow strong enough to make it through the challenging times. Just keep praying and hold on tight!” ~ Mindy
Aren’t these people wise? I love people smarter than myself!
I’ve posted this list before, but it is worth revisiting as my final thoughts on the subject (for the time being):
10 Practical Ways to Show Love
(I am not the author, I just provide the commentary! If you know who wrote this, please let me know so I can give them credit.)
Listen without interrupting. (Proverbs 18) This is very important in our household because our ruffians interrupt constantly. I’ve gotten to a point where I can’t finish sentences or thoughts. When Lizard takes me to a quiet place and waits patiently for my words to come out, I fall in love with him all over again!
Speak without accusing. (James 1:19) Conflict happens but Lizard always reminds me, he’s not the enemy. We’re not battling against each other, we’re comrades battling to stay together – accusations are not helpful to quality communication.
Give without sparing. (Proverbs 21:26) True love is sacrificial. It’s fairly easy to get sacrificial love when you have a child, much more difficult for most people to give sacrificially to their spouse (as the spouse is more independent). Remember, anything worth having is worth working for… sacrifice can bless both of you!
Pray without ceasing. (Colossians 1:9) I catch myself singing songs as a prayer all the time. But one thing I am training myself to do when I am on the brink of behaving poorly (like, oh, screaming at my children until I burst blood vessels in my eyes and bite my tongue in half) is to literally stop and send up a prayer for wisdom, strength and maturity. It’s working!
Answer without arguing. (Proverbs 17:1) Tone of voice can make all the difference in “discussions.” Learning to answer evenly without throwing fuel to the fire of discord can create a space in the relationship for trust to build instead of defensiveness.
Share without pretending. (Ephesians 4:15) As scary as it is, just be you. Authenticity goes much, much farther than image.
Enjoy without complaint. (Philippians 2:14) We talk to our girls about using words that are like honey instead of vinegar. Learning to enjoy the positive in each moment is a life skill and will ultimately make you much more likable.
Trust without wavering. (Corinthians 13:7) No one deserves to be trusted. Period. We’ve all lied, some of us with huge lies and some with little but everyone has been untrustworthy in their lifetime. Even so, it’s far better to extend trust with the knowledge you may be betrayed than to withhold trust and never feel the freedom of love fulfilled.
Forgive without punishing. (Colossians 3:13) Oh, this is a hard one! Vindictiveness is so very human and so easy to instill in your relationship. Forgiveness doesn’t include shackles… it’s a key to freedom. Work to love your partner into the person they have potential to become!
Promise without forgetting. (Proverbs 13:12) I have six million thoughts in my head at any given time and I am so poor at remembering! That means I need to implement some changes in my life right now so that when I make a promise, I follow through. This will be a conscious decision that won’t be easy… but the benefits will be worth it. I want to be a person of my word!
Do you agree with these suggestions or think they’re crazy?