Have you seen the picture of the elderly couple on social media with the quote about why their marriage lasts? The one where they say it’s because they come from a generation where you fixed something when it was broken not throw it away?
It always makes me think about the world around me. How sad that we live in a world where often relationships are treated in the same way as ‘stuff’. When a relationship isn’t working the way we think it should or is hard to make work it would seem that is somehow OK to throw away and start again somewhere. The sad thing is that often people take the issues that made the first marriage hard or not work properly with them into the next.
Today marks our 10th wedding anniversary.
We were 19 and 20 when we got married and suspect there were a fair number of people around us who thought we were crazy but we firmly trusted that God had his hand over our lives and that our marriage was by his design.
On the whole we’ve had a good marriage so far. But there have been many times when we have just survived. When we’ve made it through tough situations, whether created by our own actions or thrown at us by God and the universe, by the skin of teeth. Infertility, money, death of a parent, trust issues, newborn baby phases and lots more have all left their mark on us and on our marriage. But the thing is we fight for it to make it work. We’ve learnt, far more slowly than is logical, to turn to God for his strength and guidance. The classic wedding verse about three strands being harder to break than two is not just a bible verse, it’s fact!
Marriage is more than a piece of paper you get to mark a good knees up with friends and family. Marriage is a piece of paper which marks a covenant that you make to each other in front of friends, family and most importantly God. It’s you saying that through the easy and the hard, the joyful and the crap, the you-are-amazing-I-want-to-live-in-your-pocket moments and the argh-get-out-of-my-face moments, the two of you will stick together. You’ll fight it out, find the solution, say the sorries, grant the forgiveness, learn from the moments and grow to be better people both as individuals and together.
If you go into marriage thinking the other person will change or that if things go wrong you can just walk away then you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Marriage changes you. YOU. But only if you let it. It’s not about checking something off a list in life to pass to the next level. It’s not about mr right or changing someone to fit to your criteria. It’s about learning to love someone else first, to build them up and to be the best version of you that you can be in any situation. If we could all manage that then this world would be happier and more full of love [cheesy].
So although this past 10 years have been too filled with moments of just about surviving we come out of the other side of those 10 years changed. Bruised in places, blooming in others but changed mostly for the better.
My prayer for the next 10 years is that it’ll be filled with moments of more than just surviving, that we will find ourselves, our marriage and our family thriving as we keep learning to step in time with God in this crazy marriage adventure.