Time flies when you’re not looking!
It seems just like yesterday, when I wrote my first post on this matter, 30 lessons in 3 months of marriage.
Now, I’m talking about 84 whole months. As usual, I am writing this post in a rush, so let’s get to the gist of this:
1. It is God that builds a home.
Whenever I minister at a wedding, my favorite scripture to use is Psalm 127:1.
Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman wakes but in vain.
I have no idea how to build a successful marriage without God. I look back on the past seven years, and all I see is his mercy.
It is God that gives you the wisdom to choose the right spouse.
It is by his spirit that you learn to walk in patience, forgiveness and obedience, and self-control.
When a marriage has got two people who listen to the Lord, it is nearly impossible for them to stay too long or too far in strife.
Through his word, supernatural encounters, nudging of the spirit, the Holy Ghost will align you both when you err.
It is God that builds homes.
2. He needs his watchmen and women
I have never seen a physical building built by God alone without the help of actual humans. Never. How much more is a marriage? I think many times, people expect God to build their marriages but don’t expect to do the work involved.
God needs your involvement in building the home of your dreams.
He needs you to obey, he needs you to listen to him, he needs you to watch your words, even when you have the right to say what you want to say. He needs you to surrender to the leadership of the spirit. He needs you to die to yourself.
You can’t change your partner, but you can change yourself! And don’t underestimate what a change you can do to your marriage.
Assuming you wanted to drink a bottle of Fanta, but for some reason, you had a bottle of water and you could fill it up with Fanta only halfway.
It’s going to make a big difference in the taste, color, composition, and texture. So playing your part is so important, instead of panicking so much about that partner of yours that needs to change.
3. Buildings work best with good raw materials/foundation
One reason I’m ever so passionate about dating intelligently is that as a pastor, and counselor for over a decade, I have seen firsthand what choosing the wrong spouse can do to a marriage.
That’s why at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll say again, that courtship is the time to love intelligently and marriage is the time to love blindly.
So if you’re single, and trying to choose a spouse, remember that you’re not just choosing someone who would look good on Instagram pics but you’re choosing raw materials, you’re laying a foundation. So choose wisely, and remember that marriage doesn’t change people.
4. A good marriage is possible
It might seem like this goes without saying. But in our world today. It must be said. There is so much bad news going around about marriage that it’s easy to believe that is all there is.
So for someone reading this, it is possible to have a happy home, a marriage you’d enjoy, and not just endure. When you want to build a business, you don’t keep reading news about businesses that have failed and panicking that yours will have the same fate. No.
You check for those with successful businesses, learn from them, and tap into their enthusiasm.
Imagine if we did the same for marriage. Surround yourself with good marriages, and don’t let anyone poison your mind about this beautiful institution God has created.
You can decide that it would be good for you, and make decisions daily to make that happen.
Also, while you have a lot to learn from happy couples, I’m not asking you to make people, especially people you don’t know, your marriage goals.
Remember that, because your faves’ marriage failed, doesn’t mean that marriages don’t work.
My husband and I don’t have a perfect marriage. But mention one thing in life that is perfect.
Parenting, for example, is so beautiful, but it isn’t perfect. I still haven’t recovered from sleep deprivation since I first became a mum, but I won’t trade my kids for anything.
Don’t let your vision of a perfect marriage blind you from building a great marriage.
5. Love your partner as a loaf
I learned this from my marriage counselor, Pst. Mrs. Dele Bamgboye, you should totally check her out.
Love your partner as a loaf, not in slices.
There is a tendency to cherry-pick parts of your spouse that you like and judge the health of your relationship based on that.
No one is perfect. Not even you. So, understanding your partner’s weaknesses, yet loving them despite those weaknesses is a great key to an awesome marriage.
6. Difficult conversations
If there is a skill that you will continue to learn to master throughout the marriage, it’s got to be conflict resolution.
There would be times that there are issues you need to address, touchy issues. Make it about the issue and not the person.
Prayerfully figure out the right time, place, and way to address issues.
Learn when to let things go.
Don’t keep secrets from each other.
Don’t rush to get revenge in conversations, marriage is not tit-for-tat. The goal is resolution, peace, and understanding, not winning an argument.
You’re both on the same side. You’re both one.
I kid you not, I’m still learning this. Sometimes I forget and act out of character, but then I get back up on my feet (sometimes kicking and screaming) because the spirit is willing and the flesh is weak. But thanks be to God, I can mortify the deeds of the flesh and yield to the leading of the spirit every single time, and so can you!
7. I married well
Haters will say this is not a lesson, but guess what? It’s my blog post, so thank you very much.
My husband has always been a big deal to me. Even when he had one pair of shoes and wasn’t as tall as he is now.
I’m truly grateful that I was able to recognize him as a great man, even if many other people may not have seen it right away at the time. But what matters most was what I saw.
I saw someone who also saw value in me.
I wrote this post on social media a while back, that I’d like to share with you;
One of the first things people notice about my husband is that he is such a great dresser. I mean the guy has style! But truly, that was one of the last things I noticed about him. In fact, we had been married for years before I began to say ‘ahn ahn, you can dress o!’ I always thought he was a fine boy, I mean look at this man (okay don’t look ), but the things that really attracted me to him in the first place?
He could pray.
He loved the Lord.
He was kind and friendly to everyone.
He was confident.
He has a great sense of vision and direction about where his life was going.
He was respectful.
He engaged his brain on a regular.
He was a good friend to me.
He wasn’t a flirt.
He was a good leader.
He saw value in me and constantly communicated it.
He and I had interesting, meaningful conversations. I still remember the first time we talked walking from the Sports complex to the front of Mary hall in 2008.
He believed in me.
He was responsible.
He was brave, especially in the direction of God’s will.
He was always seeking to improve.
He was consistent in character and is to this day.
You see ehn, by all means, marry someone you’re attracted to. But please, let your ’God when’ lead you in the direction of value. Even when ‘value’ doesn’t have a car or designer suits yet. Please, don’t choose solely on superficial qualities alone, then sing ‘men are scum.’ You need to understand that character more than anything else, is what makes a marriage work. You can buy clothes in the market, but nobody sells characters there. So build yours, and choose someone who is building theirs.
If you want to learn more marriage lessons, you need to watch my YouTube drama series, During Ever After. It is such an interesting show, packed with so many lessons. Everyone keeps insisting that it’s marriage counseling material.