Twenty-five years ago today, in the pouring rain, Steve Stilwell and I stood before God and 250 of our family and friends, and “pledged our troth” to each other. Of course we had no clue what that really meant or would look like but, thankfully, we trusted a God Who did.
God’s grace and mercy has covered us through 25 years and we’re believing Him for 25 more. I’m thankful to be married to such a wonderful man, and I consider him to be my greatest gift!
As I look back, these are some things I’ve learned:
7 Secrets for a Happy Marriage
- God comes first. PERIOD. Faith has to be the foundation of your marriage (and family) or you’re headed down a rocky path.
- Decide ahead of time that divorce is NOT an option. Once that’s off the table, you have no alternative but to work things out.
- Choose your fights carefully. If it won’t matter next week/month/year, it’s not worth arguing over. And if you DO need to argue, choose your words CAREFULLY. Once they fly out of your mouth, you’ll never get them back and they’ll ring in your spouse’s ears forever.
- Be willing to apologize. I don’t know what it is, but there is something incredibly healing about hearing the other person say “I’m sorry” and mean it.
- Don’t yell at each other. Seriously, unless the house is on fire, keep it down. Something crazy happens when voices raise, and it’s easy for things to take a mean turn.
- If you have children, don’t make them the center of your universe. I might catch some heat over this one, but so be it. You were a couple before they came and you want to be a couple after they leave. Guard your time together. When your marriage is strong, your kids will feel secure.
- Be your own person. Healthy marriages don’t require you to spend every waking moment together. Be sure you cultivate plenty of shared interests, but each of you needs individual hobbies and pursuits too. Those things make you a more interesting person, plus it gives you different things to talk about.
One more to tie it all up -
Click that to tweet it!
(seriously – great advice & the most tweetable tweet you’ll ever get from me)
Obviously this isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s what popped into my head as I looked back over 25 years with “The Governor.” I wonder what HIS seven secrets might be…