This past June Robin and I celebrated ten years of marriage. I wanted to take a moment and share ten things I learned. Last week I shared the first five. Today I’ll share five more things I’ve learned over the years.
6. I know why so many couples think divorce is the easiest option. I know this is something I’m probably not supposed to admit as a pastor, but I know why divorce can be so tempting. During our first ten years, Robin and I have been at places where Robin and I dug in so hard on opposite ends of an argument that compromise seemed impossible. Thankfully, we had taken divorce off of the table from day one, and we were forced to do the hard work of compromise and accommodation. But for those who always keep the divorce card in their back pocket, I know why it’s so tempting to pull it out at times.
7. I’d be lost without her. I’m a pretty independent and self-reliant person by nature. You’d think that as I get older, I’d mature and have to rely less on other people. Exactly the opposite. Robin compliments me in so many different ways that it scares me to think we’d ever throw it all away. I know (or at least I hope) I complement her as well. That’s what it means when the Bible says we’re “one.” It’s amazing how much I’ve come to depend on her.
8. Marriage never becomes easy, just easier. I keep waiting to pass some magic milestone and for marriage to be simple and easy. You’d have thought that after ten years we’d have everything figured out.But I’ve learned that marriage never becomes easy, just easier. Sure, marriage has become richer and more fulfilling the more we know each other, but the conflict of two self-centered sinners never really goes away. It just becomes a little easier to manage over time.
9. The stakes get higher with kids. When Robin and I started having kids, the stakes for our marriage skyrocketed. Now we’re not just playing with the happiness and well-being of two people. We’ve got three other human beings that will forever be marked (positively or negatively) by our marriage to each other. If not for our sake, for their sake, we need to make sure to make our marriage successful.
10. The mountain tops are worth the climb. This is my sappy attempt to say, “hang in there, kid!” Sure, marriage is tough at times. You have to compromise, you have to serve someone else. Life isn’t about you anymore. But the joys, the riches, the happiness of a successful marriage far outweighs anything I’ve given up. In short, it’s worth it. God knew what he was doing when he instituted marriage. Stick with it, do marriage God’s way, and you’ll discover a happiness and satisfaction found nowhere else. I know I have.
QUESTION: What’s something surprising that you’ve learned as you’ve gone along in your marriage?