Note from Caroline: Today, I have the privilege of sharing some of author Lindsey Bell’s words with you. Lindsey is a great writer, a friend of mine, and the author of her newly released book, Searching for Sanity! Read her post below, then check the end to learn about her beautiful book and a giveaway opportunity. Also, watch for my review of Lindsey’s book coming soon!
My husband and I will celebrate our tenth year of marriage this year. While that’s certainly not as impressive as someone who has been married for 50 plus years, it’s nonetheless something we are proud of.
We have come a long way since we walked down the aisle at nineteen and twenty years old, and we’ve learned a lot.
Here are a few of the things we know now (that I wish we had known earlier) that every healthy marriage needs to have:
4 Essentials of a Healthy Marriage
1. Honest Communication
When my husband and I first married, I hated having to tell him what I wanted and needed from him. (He was supposed to know, after all.)
What I’ve finally learned is that my husband cannot possibly know what I need or want if I don’t tell him. He wants to make me happy (just as I want to make him happy) but he can’t do so unless I’m open with him about what I need and want.
I read somewhere that great marriages aren’t made of great people but great forgivers. I couldn’t agree more.
No marriage will ever survive if the people in it don’t learn to genuinely forgive each other (and then let go of the offense).
When my husband and I argue, the primary cause of it (regardless of the issue at hand) is selfishness. He wants what he wants, and I want what I want.
If you think about the primary issues people fight over—like money, intimacy, parenting, etc.—most of the time the problem is rooted in selfishness.
In order for a marriage to flourish, both people need to be willing to give up their desires for the other person. To give up what they think needs to happen for the betterment of the marriage.
All marriages—regardless of how much “in love” two people are—take work. No one will ever remain in the honeymoon stage forever.
When difficulties come (and they will), a marriage will only stick together because of commitment. Because of two people who refuse to give up…even if the better doesn’t come until after the worse.
One thing you probably noticed is that love didn’t make it onto this list. That’s because love is choosing to do each of these things even when you don’t feel like it.
- It’s choosing to communicate when you’d rather freeze him out or check Pinterest.
- It’s choosing to forgive when it’s easier to keep a mental log of everything he’s done wrong.
- It’s choosing him when it’s natural to choose yourself.
- It’s choosing to stick it out when it seems so much easier to give up.
I hope you’ll choose love this year. Happy Valentine’s Day.
Let’s Talk: Anything else you’d add to this list? Leave a comment below (by the end of the day February 21st) to be entered to win a gift card from Lindsey for her blog tour contest!
Lindsey Bell is the author of Searching for Sanity, a new parenting devotional. She’s also a stay-at-home mother of two, minister’s wife, avid reader, and chocolate lover. You can find Lindsey online at any of the following locations:
Her blog: www.lindsey-bell.com
Her website: www.lindseymbell.com
About Searching for Sanity:
Have you ever looked at your beloved children and wondered, what in the world am I doing? Why did God trust me—of all people—to raise them?
Motherhood is the most difficult job many of us will ever take. Searching for Sanity offers moms an opportunity to take a breath, dig into the Word, and learn from parents of the past. In short devotions designed for busy moms, this book uses the parents of the Bible—both the good and the bad—to inspire today’s mothers.