We are ten months in and every day it gets better and better. Life is good. Marriage is great! Things are different the second time around. I do not mean that in a flippant way because I do not take this marriage lightly. Being given this amazing second chance at love and marriage is a HUGE blessing. With this marriage, I am navigating it from a different perspective. I have solutions to old problems and ways to make things work that did not the first time.
We begin with faith. What I did not have the first time around was a marriage where God was the cornerstone. The foundation of it all. It was not a marriage where God came first. I now know that the secret (and truly it is not a secret if you read your bible) to a wonderful marriage is having a foundation built on God. It is amazing the difference when both people put God first in their lives.
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing along can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
My husband and I make a great team. We work really well together. We support one another in all areas. This makes our marriage strong. However, just as the verse in Ecclesiastes says, three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. We are even better because our marriage is like a triple braided cord because God is what holds us together. All that to say, the most important thing in marriage is keeping God at the center and that both spouses are believers walking daily with the Lord.
Now as I have mentioned in past postings, it is incredibly difficult being newlyweds in a house with five children. A new marriage requires certain “things” to keep it alive and thriving. Anyone with kids knows that those “things” can be difficult especially with teenagers in the house. Overall, we make it all work. All of it! There are necessary steps that need to be taken in order to “keep the romance alive.” I will begin with a shout out to my friend and “sister” April Peck! She gave us one of the best wedding gifts ever. It is a picture that lists the Rules of Love. I keep this picture hanging where I see it constantly. It is such a great reminder for me. The list is a little lengthy so I’m only going to share some of the important points for us.
- -Kiss each other goodnight: My husband insists on kissing me goodnight every night. In the ten months we have been married we have not gone to bed once without kissing each other goodnight. This simple act makes it a little difficult to go to bed angry. Though I have gone to bed annoyed :-)
- -Hold hands and cuddle: Huge!! We are always holding hands and we always find time to cuddle. Truth be told my most favorite place to be is in the arms of my husband. There is just something incredible about being wrapped in his arms. It is the safest place in the world for me because he make me feel safe. He will not allow anyone to disrespect me or make me feel as if I do not matter. He truly is my protector and will defend me to the bitter end.
- -Laugh together every day: This is us. We are always laughing together and having fun. This keeps your marriage open to fun, which in turn helps to keep you close. Have I told you about the time I cracked an egg over his head??
- -Be willing to compromise: To me this means communicate. You cannot compromise on anything if you are not communicating with one another about everything. My husband and I talk about everything. We do not agree on every topic. With that said, there is nothing off limits and he has given me the confidence to bring anything to him. We talk about everything! It is something that was severely lacking the first time around.
- -Write love letters: This is another big one for me. He writes me letters all the time. I never realized the simple importance of reading his feelings on paper. I love finding letters he has left for me. They are my reminders that when he is not with me, he is thinking of me.
- -Remember why you fell in love: Our situation is different than most. He walked a very dark road with me and saw me through to the other side. He has seen me at my worst and seen me at my best. He knows all there is to know and yet he still loves me! This makes him my best friend. After everything I went through and everything that he saw, he chose me. He wanted me. He loves me! I fell in love with him because when the rest of the world walked away he was right there cheering me on. He never gave up on me!
- -Live happily ever after: I’ve read many a Christian article about how happily ever after does not exist. To those who would say such things I simply say “how sad!” I agree that fairy tale endings are not necessarily real but I will not put limits on God. I have seen Him do too many amazing things. Love and marriage are His design and when we put limits on God’s design, it doesn’t speak too highly of our faith. I firmly believe that when God comes first you can have happily ever after. We still fight and argue like the rest of the world but with each battle I love him more and more and our love grows deeper and deeper.
I know there are those out there who would argue the point of God in a marriage. I know there are those who do not believe in God or religion and that is ok. I write as someone who has experienced marriage from both aspects. I have lived both ways and for me, there is no better way to spend the rest of my life with my husband than with God at the center. If you are someone who does not believe but are happy, let me leave you with this one question. If you are happy now, are you not a bit curious as to what joy could possibly be awaiting you if you brought God into your marriage? Just think about it :-)