Rick and I have been married thirty-two years today! We were married on August 25, 1984 on a hot summer day in Sioux City, Iowa. We spent the first 20 years of our marriage moving every two to three years, including several years in Brazil and China for Rick’s job.
Now settled in the mountains of Colorado Springs, we can both testify that these are our favorite years together.
I love this season of our empty-nest-almost-grandparents life.
It’s not all been easy, and there were times we wondered if we would make it, but I can say today that I’ve never loved him more!
Looking back over the years, these are the twenty things I wish I had understood earlier in my marriage:
- Keep dating your husband.
- Laugh more and complain less.
- Talk less and listen more.
- Pray for him more often.
- Learn to speak his love language.
- Speak blessings over him more.
- Tell your children why you fell in love with their dad.
- Tell your children why you respect him. And do this in front of him.
- Take lots of photos and video of your husband with your kids.
- Find ways to have getaways … just the two of you.
- Realize his drive to succeed is deeply rooted in his commitment to provide for his family.
- Realize there’s a reason Satan left Job’s nagging, negative wife alone when he destroyed everything else in Job’s life.
- Don’t be like Job’s wife.
- Tell him that you’re changing subjects on him before you change subjects on him. (It took me 25 years to figure that out.)
- Realize there’s a place in your heart that only God can make whole and complete, and it’s not up to your husband to fill that place.
- Know that the Rider on the white horse isn’t supposed to be your husband. See Revelation 19 for that Rider’s name.
- Understand that Hollywood’s version of romance is just that: Hollywood’s version.
- Pray that God fully captures both of your hearts, and ask Him to do whatever it takes to do so.
- Remember that some of what annoys you the most today may be the things you love the most about him later in life.
- Think about what you hope he will say about you at the end of your life, and be that kind of wife now.
One of my favorite books on marriage is What’s It Like to be Married to Me… and Other Dangerous Questions by Linda Dillow. Some other books I’ve loved for my marriage are The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman and Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerich. Also, watch for Men Who Love Fierce Women: The Power of Servant Leadership in Your Marriage by LeRoy and Kimberly Wagner. Powerful book and it releases September 6!
What about you? What are things you wish you knew earlier in your marriage? And do you have any great resources you can recommend for making marriages stronger?