On May 2, 1992 Steven and I chose to pledge our hearts and lives to one another. We were just 20 and 22 years old and completely unsure of what we were doing! We knew that we loved each other and wanted to spend out lives together. We just didn't realize it would be so hard.
Not many people will tell you that marriage is hard work. It's hard work all the time. There are good days and wonderful times but they require putting in the grunt work first. I love being married, don't get me wrong, but it is work to make it work.
When we were young and in love we had an ideal of what marriage would be like. We each had pictures in our minds of what we wanted from the other and what we expected from our marriage. We didn't have great pre-marital counseling so some issues that could have been avoided reared their ugly heads later on. We didn't know what we didn't know and learned things the hard way.
One of those things being that we weren't working together to create a marriage that we both wanted. We were young and selfish and unsure of how to talk with one another.
We spent several years fighting for our own selfish desires and creating unnecessary strife in our home. Those were not the best years of our lives. :-( Both of us needed to grow up and stop looking to our own interests and put the other first.
But that took about five years to figure out.
When we finally decided individually to change we started improving our marriage. We each chose to work on ourselves and let Jesus work on our hearts and stop focusing on changing the other person. It was revolutionary. God worked on us and showed each of us what needed to change in our hearts to allow Him to work through us for the good of our marriage.
Things started changing soon after. We found that when we focused on changing our own hearts and seeing to the others needs first we were happier than when we were striving to get what we wanted on our own. It's funny how that works, isn't it? We still fight, just ask our children, but we learned how to fight the right way and what the rules are in our marriage. We fight fairly now and make sure each person is heard and their opinion valued even if we don't agree with them. Yes, we do fight in front of our children but we also make sure they see us 'make up' afterward as well. They know that we have disagreements and fight but they also know we will do what it takes to make it right and stay together.
Being married has its ups and downs but the ups can out weigh the downs if we follow God's design for marriage. Not that that will make everything perfect and that nothing bad will happen. We are all sinful people that make choices and sometimes those choices are wrong; but God is merciful and gives second chances.
After 21 years of marriage I can honestly say that Steven is my best friend and I want to talk to him first whenever something is happening in our lives. I want him by my side to face whatever comes and I want him facing the challenges of parenting with me. He makes me a better person by spurring me on to love and good deeds.