Someone once asked me, “Is your marriage really as good as it is on social media?”
I didn’t know this girl, she was just a random follower who was really wondering.. & rightfully so.
I told her yes, yes it actually was that good, maybe even a little better. This opened up a conversation about why marriage can work & it has been a conversation I have loved having with people ever since.
Is my marriage hard? Absolutely! Ab-so-freakin-lutely! Is that how you spell that?
Anyways, its hard. Its work. Its sometimes a mess.
Now I’d be lying if I said Nathaniel & I live on struggle street in our marriage. It wouldn’t be honest of me to sit here & pretend we argue often, fight like crazy, or are often in conflict. We butt heads, but the arguments are few & far between.
Don’t roll your eyes & stop reading just yet… I want to share with you how we have learned & labored for this… I promise, it won’t be a waste of your time.
Work... Anything worth while takes work… We hear that ALL THE TIME right?!
Well hear it from me, it’s true. I’m not sure I have ever met someone who is admirable that didnt have to work hard for what they have. If we didnt have to work hard for a good marriage we’d be, well bratty. We’d expect marriage to be pretty all the time & then the moment something isn’t great, we’d crumble. But when we work for it, the strength runs deep.
Think about people who live a fit life. None of us are born in the gym. Eating kale & chia seeds is not usually your dream dessert. Then one day you choose to change your life. That first time you hit the gym is torture. the thought of a salad over a #1 from Chic Fil A makes you cringe. Then day 2 comes, it’s hard but not as hard. As the days, weeks, & months go by these choices become like 1st nature. Now you love working out & sweating like crazy. You crave colorful fresh food.
Do you think the hard work is gone? Not at all, you are still working.
But as you reap the reward of your labor you see what it is worth & then the labor is something you love.
Now that work that was once hard is now like 1st nature. Oh believe me, it is still work, but it is a work you thoroughly enjoy.
Friends, that is marriage. It is truly a labor of love.
Nathaniel & I had an excellent 1st year of marriage… No fights, no frustrations, it was like a year long honeymoon. Then we went into that 2nd year, got pregnant, moved back to the states, got a home, new friends, new job, new school… We started to see the not so pretty parts of each other. Now what that could have done it led to a not so pretty marriage. rather we looked to Jesus.
So that is what I want to share with you, some of the steps we take to make this marriage work.. no, make this marriage thrive.
1. We seek mentorship. Premarital counseling should just be the 1st step but the counsel should never stop. We have mentors that we meet with individually & as a couple. They challenge us, teach us, encourage us, question us, & even whoop us if need be. Haha ok not literally but it feels like it sometimes. We adore their marriage & their hearts for God so we trust them.
2. We read, listen, & learn… constantly. There are incredible books about marriage out there. There are also some great books about what it means to be a woman or a man of God. Knowing who I am in Christ helps me to be a better wife & vise versa. We listen to sermons, ted talks, podcasts, etc.
9 times out of 10 you will come into my house & hear some kind of teaching playing from my speaker, iPad, or tv. They aren’t always on marriage specifically, but on respect, speaking kindly, how men think, self love, & so on. I am always wanting to learn & grow because I believe my marriage & us as individuals thrive this way. Nathaniel does the same while he drives, works, & so on.
3. We love God 1st. We have learned that without the presence of the very God who brought us together, we have absolutely nothing. When Jesus is made known, when we worship Him, when we lean on Him, love Him, look to Him, talk to Him… we really love each other more. Without the heart of God we are so quick to have friction because the imperfections of 2 humans combined is a recipe for hot mess. But when those 2 pitiful humans live in the love of Jesus, their unity is something to admire.
I admire my marriage, in fact, it is my favorite marriage. I wouldn’t rather have what anyone else has. This work is beautiful because through it I see how Jesus was able to choose the cross. He saw the bigger picture which made the suffering minimal in comparison to the glory that awaited.
We see the bigger picture, the generations, the fruit… It is something worth working for.
(below are links to some of our favorite books)
There are more books I could recommend but these have been so great. Please email or message me if you wanna chat about marriage.