“Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years” – Simone Signoret
Today marks our four-month anniversary! I can’t believe 1/3 of a year has passed since we said “I Do”. Things are getting slightly more familiar; I no longer have to do a double-take when someone uses my married name and, I’m a little more accustomed to thinking of myself as a wife.
The picture at the top of this post is one of my favorites. It was taken during an engagement session last November and seeing it instantly reminds me of the anticipation, excitement and joy of those months leading up to our wedding. To have all the gifts of marriage now is such a blessing though. I like being a wife MUCH more than I liked being a fiance. It’s a calmer, more intimate stage of life.
If you read the last three of these posts you’re already familiar with the outline (you can find previous blogs on this topic under the “Favorites” tab). Basically, this is me processing my marriage and my love for Tom. Writing is how I learn best, there you have it.
Wife lesson #10: The little things matter.
I chose the quote at the top because it beautifully illustrates this ‘lesson’ we’re learning. Since we were dating we’ve talked about how much the “little things matter”. Marriage has only proved it more true.
Relationships, the healthy ones at least, require daily maintenance. Grand gestures, like the gift of a diamond necklace, are not what build intimacy. Those are celebrations of love but, intimacy, practical love, is fed by the small things that might take only take five minutes but are oh, so easily overlooked.
It’s Tom washing all the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen as we’re trying to rush out the door after breakfast – so when I come home for lunch I’ll have a few minutes to read. It’s when I pack his lunch and fill his water bottle so he doesn’t have to think about it.
The little things are everyday choices. Sometimes every hour choices.
I believe that those little things, those moments that communicate such care, are one of the greatest gifts of marriage. Who else will bless me and do the dishes if not Tom? Who else will pray over him and cook his dinner if not me? Some gifts are only a husbands, or only a wifes, to give.
Wife Lesson #11: You married a human being.
Yesterday, I sat in the sunshine with a beautiful, Indian friend of mine. She’s been married for five years and we talked for a long time about marriage and God. We were talking about the demands many spouses make of each other.
Her perspective was refreshing and true when she simply said:
“our husbands are not our God”.
Obviously, disappointing your spouse should not be your goal but it is part of intimate living as husband and wife. Thousands of interactions hold potential for at least a few dozen hurt feelings (or, depending on the day, more ).
A lady once shared some wonderful marriage advice with me – resolve your conflicts as soon as possible. On the surface it sounds so simple. Yet, true resolve takes humility and confidence. It takes learning the words that go with different feelings and refusing to run away when it’s hard.
It takes accepting your spouse in all their brokenness as well as their strength. Living that way frees you to accept all the gifts they can give and it frees you from living consumed by bitterness over the things they missed.
It’s crucial to remember that.
Wife Lesson #12: Enjoy every stage of marriage.
Yup, I went all carpe diem on you.
We’re heard this so many times since we got married. Enjoy it, enjoy it, enjoy it.
Now, reality is that all stages of married life are not equally enjoyable. Some of life just…is. The bills need to be paid, the dishes need to be done, the clothes need to be washed, we both have to get to work.
Yet, I appreciate the reasoning behind the phrase. It’s one reason I blog – I want to remember our “early days of marriage”. No season lasts forever and, in light of eternity, life feels especially short. I don’t know how long Tom and I will have on earth but I know I want to “give” him back to our Jesus more whole then when I was given him. That takes intentional living.
Every second might not be enjoyable but every second is a choice and an opportunity to love him well. I want to seize that.
This post was all somewhat serious, thanks for letting me process and for taking the time to read it. If you wouldn’t mind sharing, what is one excellent piece of marriage advice you’ve learned? I’m in a thoughtful mood today and would love more things to ponder (haha, I am a nerd).
Some smiles on the way in a future post, after all, I am married to Tom .