Today, Amber and I celebrate 10 years of marriage!
For our 10 year wedding anniversary, Amber and I thought it would be fun to write a post to invest in other peoples relationships. Over the past 10 years of marriage we have experienced incredible joy and blessing, as well as challenges. Through it all, God’s grace and faithfulness have been the anchor that has held our lives. We are thankful for the investment that MANY have made into our marriage relationship.
Here are 10 Marriage Tips from 10 years of marriage that we have found beneficial.
1) Don’t go to bed mad
Sounds simple, until you are ticked. Living this principle out will save you and your marriage. It will keep “little” things from becoming “BIG” things. Making the choice to live out what the bible tells us to do (“Don’t let the sun go down on your anger…”) is an incredible investment into your marriage. Stay up, talk things through, extend forgiveness and sleep good!
2) Invest in growing your relationship
Read books. Go on dates. Take a couple out who you want to influence your marriage and relationship. Keep investing, because this is your most important relationship that you have!
3) Give the grace you want
It’s easy to want the other individual to extend grace to us, but do we extend the same grace that we want to receive? Give what you want to receive in your marriage. One area where we have seen incredible blessing is when we make it our goal to out serve each other. When my focus is on bringing and being a blessing to the other person, it is amazing how blessing comes back my direction.
4) You don’t always have to be right
Soon after I had proposed to Amber, I went to visit a man in our church who was battling cancer. I was with my Pastor, Steve Jamison, who asked the man if there was any advice he would give me as I was preparing for marriage. Herman looked straight at me without hesitation and said these words:
You don’t always have to be right…even when you are.
That was the voice of wisdom! I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to be right, thought I was right, needed to prove that I was right…and that voice would echo in my head.
5) Do devotions together
It’s about as cliche as they come, but it is true. The family that prays together, stays together. It is hard to hold a grudge or be frustrated with someone if you’re praying blessing over them!
6) Keep the right priority: GOD – SPOUSE – KIDS – OTHERS
I think there is an important order in our relationships. If we are not careful we can place things in the wrong order. I have seen marriages that try and “stay together for the kids”. This order is broken. What happens when the kids are gone? Keep Jesus first, your spouse next, then your kids and finally other relationships and friendships.
7) Laugh together
It is VITAL to have fun, make memories and laugh together. We get one shot as this thing, so we should do our best to enjoy the journey. Some of our favorite moments have been when we just laugh together. Have fun and don’t take yourself so serious!
8) Find physical activity you can enjoy together
My guess is if you are a man and just read this you wondered why this wasn’t #1 on the list. IN ADDITION to your initial thought of what this means, we have found so many good things in being active together. Tyler and I run together, go on walks and hikes, rock climb and from time to time play some family t-ball in the street. There is something important about being active together and finding things that you enjoy doing TOGETHER.
9) Manage finance together
This can be by far one of the greatest stress points on a marriage. Make the choice for it to not be. Work together on your goals and dreams, make a plan and implement it! One great resource that we have used is Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey.
10) Keep it creative
There have been seasons where either life or budget didn’t make it convenient to go on a date. In those times we had to be creative. We would encourage spouses to put the same energy, effort and creativity into your relationship that you did when you were trying to convince them to marry you back in the day!