It must been that teen-thinking that gave me the courage, more like guts, to write this based on my marriage that's in its early teen years. I mean what do I really know about marriage? Well, I'm happy to share what I know so far...knowing that we'll learn (& experience) more in our many years of marriage to come...wishing you many more yours in your marriage too...
In marriage, it's not enough to love the person (of an opposite sex) who becomes your spouse, it's more important to truly love (& keep loving) the person your spouse becomes - and that changes too - as you do.
Having a happy marriage is not like making a meal from a time-tested recipe. The recipe for your marriage is different from the recipe for every other marriage. Some of the ingredients - such as love, trust, honesty - are the same; some others e.g. gifts are different and the quantities required to make your marriage enjoyable vary depending on the spouses. Know what works in your marriage.
In marriage, it’s important to marry your best friend but more important that your spouse (of the opposite sex) remains your best friend. The reason is simple as Friedrich Nietzchelt explains: It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages. I also agree with Franz Schubert that: Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife. The same is true for wives ...as it was from the first marriage, husband and wife must be & remain naked and not ashamed before each other...
You and your spouse, not your children, must remain at the heart of your marriage. Children are a "by-product" not the main product of your marriage because one day they'll leave your home and your spouse will be with you. If you're not yer married, take Dr James Dobson's advice: “Don't marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can't live without.” You'll be glad you did.
I was thinking about our marriage vows and it just hit me that we said "I do" not "I'm done." So that must be our mindset - continue to do all you each should for your marriage to be and remain a success progressively.
"Do" is a verb i.e. an action word that means to perform... This means that at your wedding ceremony, you each committed to do your part to have a successful marriage.
A successful marriage does not just happen - yes, it's not like a pre-packaged meals that you put in the microwave to warm and it's ready to eat. People's best wishes - no matter how many - can't make it happen.
Just as we're constantly working on ourselves so we're better people, we must do the same with our marriages. Our lives and marriages are work-in-progress and one day's (or even year's) success does not guarantee continued success, so we cannot rest on our oars...
because the devil never stops fighting our marriages.
Every marriage needs a third party - yes, someone you can go to if you and your spouse don't agree on something or even if you just need guidance. I got this tip - that works- from Ecclesiastics 4: 9-12 which is one of my cornerstone passages - we used it our wedding:
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (NLT, emphasis mine)
Marriage is God's idea - He should be the only 3rd party you should have in your marriage.
Wishing you - and me - a very happy and fulfilling married life to God's glory - enjoy the journey.