On Monday, Laura and I will celebrate our 1 year anniversary! I can’t believe we’ve been married for a year! It has definitely been the best year of my life! We have had a great first year! I wanted to share some thoughts and reflections from our first year of marriage! I hope they will encourage you and help you in your marriage (or future marriage).
I will preface this by saying that Laura and I dated on and off for ten years before we got married. I think this is critical to recognize when you view our marriage and our relationship. In those ten years we went through and worked through a TON of issues (ask anyone who walked through that journey with us).
Our marriage and our relationship is not perfect. We do face issues. We do work through things. However, as one of my favorite teachers, Keith Moore, says, “When you’ve been through a hurricane, 70 mile per hour winds don’t really bother you that much.” Because Laura and I have worked through some major issues in our relationship, when minor issues come up, they are no big deal. We deal with them right away and get past it!
We are not naive enough to think that we won’t have any major struggles ever again, but we are committed to doing whatever it takes to work through anything that comes our way.
Year One Thoughts:
We Took a Year off of Serving to Build a Great Foundation for our Marriage – This was hard for me. I had been serving and/or on staff in the church for ten years. We got a lot of council to take a year off of serving and focus on building a solid foundation for our marriage. This was one of the best things we did. For one, I recognized that too much of my identity was wrapped up in serving. Secondly, I realized that my wife is my ministry! We believe we’ve built a solid foundation and we are excited to jump back into serving in our church!
We Are Growing Together – This is probably the greatest thing about our marriage! We are both committed to growing into the people God has called us to become. We are committed to each others growth. I love watching Laura grow! We read books together, pray together, call each other out on things that need called out, and go through life together. It is true that growth = happiness, both in your personal life and in marriage.
We are Learning What is in Our Hearts – Before we got married, we both had dreams and visions in our hearts of what the future will hold. Now that we’re married, those dreams and visions are coming together. We’re discovering what God has called US to do as a couple, not individually. One of our favorite things to do is to dream together, set goals together, and pursue those goals together.
We are Having an Absolute Blast – Marriage is awesome! You have to be intentional about creating great memories! We are always trying to make memories! We have hundreds of inside jokes and memories from our first year of marriage! We can’t wait to continue to do this the rest of our lives.
We Were Not Surprised by a Lot – As I said before, Laura and I knew each other really well before we got married. I basically grew up with her family from the time I was 17. Again, I think this is so important. I think sometimes people date for a few months and then get married without really knowing the person they are marrying. While I don’t know if I’d wait 10 years again, I do believe that God had to grow both of us into the man and woman of God He wanted us to be for each other. Dating for ten years set us up for success in our first year.
We Did Not Fight that Much – I’d answer the same as I did in the last point. We fought a ton in our early years! We’ve learned how to work through issues when they come up. We’re committed to getting better and better at this.
We are Learning to go Through Battles Together – To be honest, this was probably the hardest part of our first year of marriage. The battles we faced this year really didn’t have a lot to do with us. They had to do with issues in the lives of people around us. We had to navigate some tough waters. Navigating them together made us stronger. It’s awesome to have a partner to be there for you when you’re going through a tough season. We prayed for each other, affirmed each other, encouraged each other, and walked through the battle together. Learning how to go through battles outside of our control together was our big growth area this year.
We are Learning how to Help each Other Reach Our Dreams – If you know us, you know that Laura and I are total opposites! Which is awesome! We really do complete each other. She is strong in the areas I am completely weak in. I am strong in areas she is weak in. As a result, we work really well together. It’s been fun to start to work with each other. We’re still learning how to do this, but I can already see that God put us together to do great things together.
If you are married: I’ve heard it said that marriage is the closest thing to Heaven or Hell we’ll experience in this life. I believe that. I am committed to making it heaven on earth, no matter what! Whatever it takes! If you’re married, work on your marriage! Be intentional with your spouse! Dream together! Grow together! Pray together! Make memories all the time! Serve together! Date your spouse! Work through issues! It’s worth it!
If you are not married: It’s worth waiting for the right one. I believe I am just learning how important the person you marry is. Don’t be in a hurry! Make sure you marry someone who is committed to growth! Make sure you get to know the real person before you marry them! Make sure you have some experience dealing with issues before you get married! Put God first in your life and He’ll bring the right person in your life.
Bottom Line: Matthew 6:33 says to seek God first with your life and He will take care of everything else. Put God first in your personal life and in your marriage and He will bless both. We thank God for growing us into the people He knew each of us needed to become before we got married. We thank God that He is growing us through the issues in our lives now so we can have a successful marriage five years from now. Walking with God in marriage is unbelievable!
We had an incredible first year! Year two… here we come!
If this post helped you and you believe it could help others, please recommend it on Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon, and the other social media sites listed below. Also, I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Leave a comment below! Thank you!
I would also encourage you to subscribe to this blog via RSS feed or e-mail! You can sign-up for e-mail by typing your e-mail address in the box on the left hand side of this site that says “E-mail updates”.