So you want a happy marriage?
You’ve been married a few years (or months) and you are past wondering what in the world you got yourself into.
Not that marriage is horrible. But wifehood has turned out to be a little different, a little harder than you imagined.
That’s where I was 5.4 years ago after I said “I do” to the man of my dreams. The fuzzy expectations in my head refused to translate to immediate reality in my life.
There remained a yawning chasm between what I wanted in my marriage and what showed up, unbidden, in our life.
Years later, I am still learning to bridge that gap, learning that lasting bliss is not necessarily very complicated. Just not easy to craft.
So what does it take to create a happy marriage that lasts lifetime?
Here are 4 things that can help you in that journey
1. Love the Lord more
Once you get married you must deepen your roots with the Creator and Author of marriage.
That’s just plain simple sense, isn’t it?
But simple isn’t always so easy to do.
The joys and angsts of early marriage and young wifehood will stretch you and try to distract you from nurturing and growing your relationship with God.
There’s so much to do, so much to be that sometimes ‘balancing’ the two loves of your life – hubby and Jesus – will feel like a huge juggling act.
Here’s one thing you can do about this challenge; purpose to keep first things first.
C S Lewis put’s it like this;
“When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now”
No matter what you do, pursue God like you have never done before. Understand that the more responsibilities you have on your plate, the more you need His wisdom and insight.
2. Be counter-cultural (and counter-flesh)
It’s impossible to have the marriage you long for and still keep the world and all it’s ways of thinking.
One has to give.
You got to decide that it’s okay to be made fun of, have your values ridiculed, often stick out like a sore thumb in society that’s floating down stream.
You have to train up your mind and heart to dwell on the right things. Purpose to stay out of the gutter.
While everyone is shouting about personal rights and freedoms and independence in marriage, train yourself to dwell on selflessness and service and unity and teamwork and oneness – everything that lifts up and pours life to your marriage.
I guarantee ya, that’s not natural to your flesh! It’s going to hurt, going to cost you. Don’t expect any less, don’t feel horrible when it hurts.
I wish I would have remembered this is my early months – that it’s okay to hurt for the right reasons. Death is not easy!
So you must choose what to believe. You can’t believe the first (or tenth) thing that pops into your head concerning your husband or marriage. Choose your thoughts, choose your meditations. Always choose.
A happy marriage is a choice.
3. Be happy being last
Balked at that subheading? Being the choleric I am, I often choke at the thought of being last!
Or to be more specific, not having my own way all the time.
I’ve learned (and still learning) that you can’t be full of yourself and still have a full-feeling marriage. You got to learn how to get out of your own way.
Happiness has got nothing to do with having your way or living it up in “freedoms and rights” square. But everything to do with preferring your husband above yourself.
I am learning that when I do my part in our marriage, God will get my husband to do his part. And even if he doesn’t there’s just peace in knowing I am in the right place.
So learn early to be happy being last.
4. Keep the right perspective
Marriage is both awesome and hard work. I tend to talk about the “hard” part in this blog because that’s my calling 🙂
I have a burden for wives who are struggling in their early years of marriage because I have been there and experienced the love and instruction of God through mentors.
Just a few months into marriage, I remember looking at all the “perfect” couples around us and thinking that we were the clowns and losers of marriage-ville.
Until God began to show me that there were many young wives who struggled just like me. But they didn’t have what I had – the love and support of mentors.
That’s why I have this blog – to give you what I had, to encourage, equip and help you overcome young marriage blues and cheer you towards a stronger marriage.
But with all the tough-loving and cheer-leading that happens in this blog – it takes reading a book like Happy Wives Club to be reminded (yet again) that a happy marriage is about perspective.
All marriages have their challenges – it’s about what you choose to focus on.
You choose to be happy even when the socks are on the floor for the upteenth time.
You choose to see the wonderful things he is even when the other “not so-wonderful list” is screaming in your head.
He is not perfect. And neither are you. And that’s why you give grace, why you choose grace every day. Because grace gives, it forgives, it focuses on the right things.
I love this little quote I found sometimes back,
“Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing as she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots” – Hoosier farmer
There will be a lot of “mopping” and messes in your marriage. Just determine to keep the happy anyway. Focus on and nurture the right things.
For what you focus on multiplies.
So there’s my four things for a happily ever after! How have you crafted your own happily ever after? What habits do you nurture? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Please check out Happy Wives Club book! Happy Wives Club is Fawn Weaver’s journey across the world to meet new friends and discover what makes their marriages great. Join her on this exciting, exotic trip across six continents and through more than eighteen cities.