Now, lest you think I'm about to hand out marriage advice when I've only been married a year and half, don't worry -- I'm not. You can read on. :)
When we got married, the guests were handed little heart-shaped cards on which we requested they write their advice to us as newlyweds. Well, as you can imagine, we got our share of goofy and strange replies, but we also received a wealth of good little tidbits from seasoned married people and the Scriptures. I was looking through them today, and wanted to share some of the goodies. :) First, the serious ones.......
- Remember it's harder to love each other in the hard times, but it means so much. And you will be in our prayers.
- Keep your love sweet. As you don't want to lose your first love with the Saviour, don't lose your first love with the mate God has given you.
- Lots of hugs and kisses every day and every night!
- Don't compare your relationship to anyone else.
- As you grow in your love for the Lord, your love for each other will naturally grow with it.
- Grow young together and keep the faith. Just keep loving each other no matter what.
- Each for the other......both for the Lord.
- Never go to bed angry with each other. Enjoy every moment -- before you know it, you're gray!!
- Christ only, always.
- Patience is the key. Think before you speak. Always be kind to each other and most of all loving. Walk with God beside you.
- Put each other first (after putting the Lord first).
- Always say I love you. Keep God first in your lives.
- Always keep the romance in your marriage -- little notes, flowers, special meals, surprise get-aways. Lord bless you both!
- "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
- ".....and He will lead those He has redeemed."
- Rejoice in the Lord always. This makes it so much easier to rejoice in those around us.
- Don't tell your family members all about the arguments you have with each other. Soon you will get them resolved, but your family won't hear about that part. They will only hear about your arguments. They will think your spouse is a terrible person. So keep your disagreements between each other.
- I challenge you to serve the Lord together faithfully in your local church and in your relationship.
- Develop a good sense of humor. Make sure you say "I love you" every day. And a kiss -- don't leave home without it!
- Ask God to help you overlook each other's faults. Be humble, not proud.
- Focus on the 90% that is great in your husband, not the 10% of his shortcomings.
- Choose your words wisely.
- Someone told me once that when you get married young, make sure that you grow together. I would add make sure you grow closer to the Lord each day and you will grow closer to each other.
- When something is forgiven, don't bring it up again!
- It will be "natural" for you to expect your mate to have your parents' strengths. It will be "spiritual" if you recognize and build your mate's strengths.
- Give massages freely. :)
Now a few sillier ones......these made us laugh as we were driving back to Canada.
- Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away AND you've got their shoes.
- When you make grilled cheese, make sure the cheese is on the bread. :)
- Clean your bedroom well and don't have 11 kids.
- Nurse Missy, be nice to James and check his pulse and temperature.
- Don't give Melissa a credit card and make sure to control the remote (James).
- Make sure to take off the first day of walleye season. Chew with your mouth closed. And remember, the husband is always right. (written by a man, of course)
- Sorry, Melissa, you should have asked us before the vows (from James' Uncle Henry)
- Pay NO attention to Uncle Henry (from Uncle Henry's kids)
- I think that you two should enjoy a sunset together, make every moment a joyous time of togetherness, and see each other in the beauty of a rose. :)
- James -- if she starts yelling, start nodding real fast. If she then yells louder, switch tactics and start shaking your head real fast. Works every time.
And top prize goes to........a card that is completely stained through with oil/salad dressing. The inscription reads "Don't eat salad on top of the advice card!!!!"
I'm glad we did this. If I ever feel discouraged, I can pull these cards out and read them. They never fail to encourage me, make me cry, or at the very least, make me smile. :-D I love being married.