My husband and I are approaching a year and a half of marriage, and I have thoroughly enjoyed everyday with him. When we were in our season of engagement almost every person who found out that we were getting married immediately began to share their advice and perspective on marriage. We learned so much from couples at our church and through marriage counseling with our Pastors, which was invaluable because neither my husband nor I grew up in homes with healthy marriages. However, we also received unsought advice from many other people that was, unfortunately, quite negative. It would usually be something like: “enjoy the honeymoon season now because when you hit year three everything changes” or, “the first year is always the hardest get ready”, or “why would you get married and ruin a good thing?” While the negative advice wasn’t encouraging, it did make my husband very sober about how much we needed the leading and instruction of the Holy Spirit for us to have the life long, healthy, romantic, fun filled, durable, faithful marriage that we knew was possible.
As I reflect on reasons this past year has been so sweet, one habit that the Holy Spirit has helped my husband and I to develop sticks out in my mind: we love without ceasing. We’ve all experienced how the busyness of life can cause you to drift away from those small acts of love that used to decorate your relationship. In the midst of full-time jobs, working at church, school, friends, children, extended family drama, it’s tempting to let the little things that make your spouse feel special, appreciated, and honored slide. But, I’ve seen how holding on to those things has fed our marriage.
God values consistency. He tells us to pray without ceasing, He tells us to be steadfast, He wants us to have daily consumption of his word and prayer, and he feels the same about the way we treat our spouses. For the eight years that I’ve known my husband he has always opened my car door, and now that we’re married, he’s very serious about it. It can be the hottest of days and he’s sweating bullets, or he could be getting soaked by the rain but still he will always run over to open my door first. That’s his way of saying “I love you, I honor you, and I don’t take you for granted.” When we wake up in the morning I have made of habit of telling him how happy I am to wake up next to him and throughout the day I often remind him with a simple text or phone call how proud I am to be his wife.
Besides our love for Jesus and sense of humor my husband and I are severely different. We have different eating habits, working styles, temperature preferences, sleeping patterns, prayer styles, cleaning habits…you name it, we’re different! With our differences, there are a lot of opportunities for us to clash, but we rarely do because everyday when we commit to showing and verbalizing our love we catch the little foxes that ruin the vineyards (Songs 2:15). When we as wives focus on everything our husbands could be doing better, it causes us to miss, and therefore not acknowledge, the ways that they are growing. However, when we steal moments to show and verbalize our love for them we keep them in a place of favor in our hearts and renew our thoughts about them. Today and everyday I encourage you to feed your marriage by consistently showing your love and appreciation for who your husband is. Love without ceasing!