For better or for worse.
According to the Google Dictionary marriage is defined as:
1. the legally or formally recognized union of two partners in a personal relationship (historically and in some jurisdictions specifically a union between a man and a woman).
2. a combination or mixture of two or more elements.
synonyms: union, alliance, fusion, mixture, mix, blend, amalgamation, combination.
…just to be clear, Kevin and I are proud supporters of same-sex marriage as well 🙂
I can hardly believe that in two short weeks I will have been married to my best friend, partner in crime, my ride or die, for two years!! Two years of marriage and four years of courting has taught us so much about relationships, life, love, marriage, and our amazing Father; and we want to share all of that with you guys.
This post is inspired by a video we watched by Michelle Ana and her husband sharing their beautiful story; May you rest in peace Calvin. They shared with us all they have learned in their first years of marriage, which encouraged us to take a few moments to reflect on our journey over the years. We actually wrote this post a while back, but wanted to add to it before we published. Today we were reminded that it was in the queue and away we went. This post is also super exciting because it is the first time my husband has blogged with me!! So, here we go.
1.Where is God in our lives, and our marriage?
Everywhere! From finances to health. He is in the smallest details all the way to the biggest miracles. We all have parents or in-laws that have
failed let us down in one way or another; aren’t consistent; don’t support us, etc. Having God in our lives and in our marriage means that we always have a constant support. One that never wavers. One who fully supports and encourages us as individuals, and as one unit. A Father who is 100% completely for us.
Having Him in our lives means that we have hope. Hope for our beautiful baby boy one day. Hope for an amazing future and continued opportunities. Having God in our lives assures us that there will be joy, every single day. We do not live one single day in fear, but live each day to its fullest knowing that he has planned, and worked everything together for our good.
We have built our marriage upon the strongest foundation; the Lord.
2. How does God’s presence make a difference?
His presence in our lives helps us continue to keep our foundation strong. Our foundation is Him. We do fight sometimes; sometimes we don’t like each other, but at the end of the day we always come back together. That is because of our solid foundation, Him. As they say, when the roots are deep there is no reason to fear the wind.
We know that God made no mistake in placing us together, and we hold strong to this. When we see Him working in our lives, we use that as validation and reinforcement that he has worked this all out. He has brought us together for good.
3. What has God taught us?
What loving someone, truly and honestly, looks like. God is love and therefore he has given us a perfect example of how to love one another. If we ever need a reminder, we can look to our Father and he will always show us the way.
Forgiveness. To let go and forgive. Without our Fathers example we would not be able to truly forgive each other and let go without holding onto resentments or anger. Again, he shows us a perfect example. Sometimes if I’m harbouring anger towards Kevin and I can’t seem to let it go, I think of all the times Jesus forgave, and what he forgave. I remember all the times I have made mistakes and how quickly I was forgiven. In contrast, whatever I’m holding onto really doesn’t seem that important anymore; I let go.
4. What have we learned about each other?
We are perfect for each other, but we are not perfect. My husband is not Jesus; sometimes I forget that he is human. My spouse is also not a mind reader, it is my responsibility to communicate my wants and needs to him. We learned early on in our relationship that when we share our wants/needs with one another they can easily be met. When we expect to read each others minds, things get messy quick.
Our love languages. This has been key. If you have never read ‘The 5 Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman, we highly recommend it! During our engagement it was suggested that we read this book once a year; we have.
Kevin’s love languages are Quality Time, Physical Touch and Words of Affirmation. If I really want to love on Kev I will spend time with him. No cell phone, no tv, no distractions. Just him and I. He loves to cuddle, have his beard scratched, and be told he is loved and why. Nothing makes my husband feel more full of love than when I am expressing it to him in this way. My love languages are Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, and Words of Affirmation. Nothing makes me feel more loved than when my husband helps out around the house, or with a project I’m working on; and surprising me with flowers instantly puts a smile on my face.
When we start slacking on loving each other the ways we need, we can really feel the effects on our relationship. In the beginning of our marriage there were times when I would realize that I was expressing love to my husband the way I wanted to receive love, not the way he needed to. I was doing acts of service for Kevin and giving him gifts because that is how I feel loved. He was not receiving this as love. He just wanted a hug. Luckily, we know how to love on each other now and can easily rectify things when they fall off track.
I’ll say this now and we’ll mention it again in this post: Your spouse is your partner, NOT your enemy.
5. What have we learned about marriage?
Marriage is the joining of two perfectly flawed individuals who vowed to go through life as one. We have to remember that the other person is not perfect. We are all on a journey of trying to perfect ourselves; to become more like Christ. There has to be grace for the times we stumble and fall because neither of us will ever reach ultimate perfection. If we did, we wouldn’t need Christ.
Before Kevin came into my life I knew that both my heavenly Father, and my earthly father, set the bar high for whatever man was going to come my way, and so came my expectations. We ever so gently have to check our expectations of our partner (and ourselves) and be sure they are realistic. There are times when we will fail each other, but we have to learn how to forgive and love one another.
Throughout the years the biggest thing I have learned about marriage is that my spouse is my biggest fan and my partner; NOT my enemy. When it comes to my struggles with addiction there have been many times when I felt that Kevin was against me, not understanding me, not for me. These are all lies being fed to me by the enemy, and I eat them right up.
The most important lesson: Assertive communication. Clear and concise, in all things.
6. What marriage advice did we receive prior to our nuptials?
-Let all that you do be done with love.
-Forgive quickly, and walk in thankfulness.
-Never go to bed angry, always kiss goodnight and say I love you every day.
-Pray without ceasing.
-When conflict arises remember you are always moving in a direction, either towards each other or away from each other.
-Read The 5 Love Languages book once a year.
-Be selective in your battles for sometimes peace is better than being right.
-Cherish the little things for that’s what matters most.
-If the dinner in the oven is a disaster, go buy fish and chips.
Our amazing friends and family each took the time to share with us their advice on marriage (above) when we were starting our journey. Thank you!
7. What advice do we have for newlyweds?
-Tell your partner one thing every day that you love about them, and one thing that you are grateful for.
-Encourage one another on every level. Career, hobbies, home life, etc.
-Never go to bed angry.
-Have lots of sex!
-Read ‘The 5 Love Languages’. If you don’t read, get it on audio.
-Figure out your love languages and ways to show love to your partner in their language.
-Create things together. Art, music, food, babies, food babies…. Whatever suits you.
-Pray for each other.
-Do one small thing every day that makes your marriage better than yesterday.
-Go on adventures, experience the world.
-Be open with your friends, talk, share your thoughts & feelings. Some of the biggest strides in our marriage have been accomplished with the help of close friends and loved ones. Always be open.
We are so thankful to God for allowing us to see 2 years of marriage, and for all the amazing adventures we’ve been blessed to have been on.
What have you learned about marriage, or relationships? We’d love to hear your stories and advice!! What adventures has God taken you on, comment below or e-mail us 🙂 Also, If you want me to do more blogs in collaboration with my hubby throw this post a like.
Much Love xo
Nik & Kevin