Yesterday in church our Pastor continued his series on relationships. He spoke on marriage. Joni and I along with a newly married couple (a tad over one year) were asked to share perspectives on this cherished union from the two extreme points. Ours was from the more “seasoned” viewpoint.
We have been married 32 years, will be 33 this coming June. We attend a brand new church. We began the church in October 2007. And like many new church starts it is populated with young people. So not only does our length of marriage put us in the “mature” category, we are the most mature participants in this church. It is much like attending a church full of our children’s peers. We enjoy the energy such youth instills in us.
Having to think through some of the stuff we have learned in our 32 plus years I thought I would share a few of them here.
- It is not your spouse’s job to make you happy. Each marriage partner needs to be happy in their own right. If you abdicate your happiness to your spouse then you will be disappointed. And if they cease to make you happy you will look somewhere else, or to someone else for your happiness. Take responsibility for your happiness!
- Your spouse should compliment, but not complete you. Looking for and hoping to find the person who might complete you is pure Hollywood. It indicates that if you choose not to be married at some level you are incomplete. Or if you get married and you don’t genuinely discover your completeness you will assume you missed out and will look for your “completeness” in another. When it is understood we each need to be complete in and of ourselves then our spouse will be a wonderful compliment to who we are.
- Find your marriage sweet spot. There are more than enough people who want to tell us how our marriage should be. Self-Help books, Pastors, teachers, counselors, etc…. Ultimately you need to find what works for you and do it. Attempting to craft your marriage relationship so it will look like someone else is a recipe for frustration
- Don’t speak for your spouse. Often people will want you to commit for your spouse or share your spouse’s opinion in their absence. Don’t do this. You speak for yourself and allow them to speak for themselves. You will save a great deal of misunderstanding.
- Love Jesus, love each other and do the best you can. Enough said.