Last month, Mr. Austin and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary! You can read our anniversary post here. With that, came a flood of thoughts as we reflected on how far we have come as husband and wife. I wanted to share a man’s perspective on the do’s and don’ts of marriage in hopes that this post can offer tips for married couples.
The First Few Years
I know some may view being married for seven years as not a long time. How could we possibly offer any advice on marriage? Well, Mr. Austin and I both feel that from the moment (not exaggerating either) we exchanged marriage vows, our marriage has been through the trenches. It has not all been doom and gloom either, we have had amazing moments that have been lasting memories too.However, in seven years, he and I have witnessed the “worse” part of the vows we spoke. No one (not even our premarital counselors) could have prepared us for the worse part of those vows but a heads up would have been nice! We have endured the “poorer” part of our vows, but God remained faithful through it all! Then came the ” in sickness” vow. Gosh, the sickness was not a bout of the flu or any other illness that lasts for only a moment.
So you see, even in seven years, he and I have been tested and yet we endured. All while barely hanging on in some instances. Where calling it quits seemed easier than giving it our all.
A Helping Hand
Mr. Austin was willing to roll up his sleeves to provide a husband’s perspective or his take on the dos and don’ts of marriage.
- Learn to speak your spouse’s language. It’s important to be able to translate between your actions and how your spouse receives them. You may have heard ” respect your husband” , but both individuals may have their own idea of what respect is.
- Acknowledge ( and learn from), perhaps even embrace your spouse’s shortcomings.
- Don’t separate yourselves: acknowledge that you are both individuals (who are truly unique), but you are still on the same team.
Here is advice from yours truly. By the way, if we would have known these, and applied this advice, we could have avoided some of the pitfalls.
- Do not make an idol out of your husband. When we place our husband’s as idols, it disrupts the unity in marriage. When hubbies become our idol, our expectations shift to him (an imperfect human being) and away from God. I remember when I expected everything (and I mean everything) of my husband. He did not want that type of responsibility, nor should I have burdened him to be my god. My hubby said in one word what being placed as an idol was for him ,” stressful”. Ouch! The more serious issue is that we now place our husband’s above God. This cannot be. It is important to know the right order: God, husband, children (everyone or everything else).
- Keep God first was told to us during our pre-marital counseling session. But it was taken lightly. We were Christians, sure, but the ” keep God first” was placed on the back burner. And ya know what? Our…marriage…suffered… Please take heed to this piece of advice if you don’t take heed to any other piece of marriage advice. Indeed, we saw the symbol of the triangle which represents a godly marriage. But we failed to make the connection that this picture illustrates. It’s a simple concept yet we did not follow it. The connection is, as we (as husband and wife) draw closer to God, we draw closer to one another for a deeper, intimate marriage relationship. #marriagegolasachieved
- The last piece of advice I would leave you with is not necessarily advice, but more so a verse to reflect on. Ecceclisiates: 4:12 says, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” You see, you and your husband need God in your marriage. The enemy will continue to through fiery darts at your marriage. But God in the midst of your marriage will enable you to fight the real enemy and stand on his word. Keeping God in your marriage will allow you to withstand the tests and trials that seek to destroy your marriage relationship. You can get strength from Him, promises from Him, wisdom from Him,and guidance from Him.
I would love to hear some marriage advice you were given. Did you apply it?