May 28th, my husband and I will celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. Any time I celebrate the anniversary of a significant event, I usually become very reflective. I doubt I’m unique in that way. I am so aware of just how quickly life is moving that I force myself to be completely honest. If I allow it, these hard truths I face, can help me grow. So, today, as my husband and I approach this milestone, I want to share with you some realities I had to face during our first 5 years of marriage. My hope is that you can learn something from this article. If you don’t learn anything, I hope you can at least be entertained. (Hope springs eternal, right?)

Assume nothing. It’s so easy to assume that you know your spouse’s intentions, their thoughts, their feelings, and even their behavior. We often convince ourselves that something is true before we even know if it is. We can get ourselves into a total frenzy about something that is most likely false. For example, we ASSUME that our husband didn’t take that garbage down on purpose. He did that just so we would have to do it. He doesn’t think he has do anything around here! He thinks I’m his maid! I got news for you, buddy, your mom may have put up with that crap, but NOT ME. Sound familiar? Before you assume ANYTHING, talk to your spouse. Maybe your husband stayed late at work. Maybe he hurt himself. Or maybe, he did legitimately forget. Find out before you get mad…

Not every nuisance needs to be a fight. Let us transition into my next point. So, maybe your husband DID forget to take the garbage down…AGAIN. Maybe he was hoping that you would just do it because he didn’t feel like it. Take a deep breath. Ask yourself, “Is this worth a fight?” I spent so much time fighting with my husband over every single stupid little thing. Let me tell you all, it’s exhausting. It’s so much easier to say, “OK, well, if you could try to remember to take the garbage down, I’d really appreciate it!”, than to scream your head off, cry yourself to sleep, and wake up angry. I promise you. And I’m not suggesting that you become a push-over. BUT, there is a way to communicate our emotion without yelling and screaming and crying and threatening to stay at your mother’s. Not that I have ever done that…but we should show our spouse a little grace from time to time. (You know, like God has shown us grace.)

Your spouse doesn’t live inside your head. I really didn’t plan for all these points to flow together so well, but it’s nice when things work out. Your spouse isn’t a mind reader. That has been said before, but please, really let that sink in. I can remember one year, on my oldest daughter’s birthday, my husband picked up a shift at work. Now, we were going to have a party for her later, but I at least wanted to do cake and ice cream for her on her actual birthday. I was really upset that he picked up that shift. Why didn’t he want to be home with our little girl on her birthday? As my daughter, my mother, and I all had cake, I’m pretty sure there were tears in my frosting. When my husband came home to a red-faced, snot-nosed, uncontrollably sobbing wife, he had no idea what the problem was. Because I never expressed it. To me, it was obvious that he should be home for her birthday. He didn’t see it that way. Please, be crystal clear about your thoughts, feelings, wants, needs, and expectations. It’ll save you a lot of hassle.

Love is a verb. I’m going to be very blunt about this. Love is so much more than a warm fuzzy feeling you get in the pit of your stomach whenever you gaze into the eyes of your spouse. It’s an action word. You can SAY you love your spouse until the dang cows come home, but until you prove it through your actions, your words are empty.

God comes first. My final point here is one that we often like to forget. God comes first. All the time. Before everything. God comes before your spouse, before your kids, and before you. (Proverbs 3:6 “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.”) So, what does that mean? Well, as you go forward in your marriage, you should remember that you need to do things God’s way. If you’re doing ANYTHING within your marriage that isn’t in accordance to God’s will, well, we have a problem. Your love for God should be stronger than the love for your husband or wife. After all, God is a jealous God. He wants to be our primary focus. We put many things before God, and often times, our relationships are one of those things.

So, to wrap this all up, I thank God for the family that He has blessed me with. I am truly grateful for the past 5 years, and I look forward to many more. And to my husband, if you’re reading this, know that I love you, and I appreciate you, and you have been a blessing to me.

God bless

Written by: Kristin Geckle