Five years ago was arguably the happiest day of my life when I got married to my best(est) friend, and it has been exciting journeying through marriage together.
Five lessons I’ve learnt (and continue to learn):
Patience and selflessness – it is one thing to live alone, dating someone. It is a different thing to be together in a marriage relationship. I quickly realised that it is impossible to maintain a facade of ‘niceness’. Our fallen nature means that sooner or later we’d get on each other’s nerves. And this over small things like my having to wait in the car for bibi to finish up at work in the evening. Funny how, 5 years later I’m hardly bothered, now understanding that she’s a high performer and hates leaving things hanging at work, and in general
Selflessness – Kind of tied into patience is selflessness. Many people come into marriage (or even dating) with an idea of what ‘what can she or he do for me?’ – basically what am I getting out of this. I continue to learn that for a healthy marriage, it’s got to be about what I am giving not taking.
Communication – If you have played ‘broken telephone’ you would know that it is quite easy to say one thing and for someone else to completely misinterpret what you said. This can still happen between people who supposedly know each other well, particularly when people are talking at each other as opposed to each other, when making assumptions. Don’t we all do this – both married and unmarried? Then we wonder why people are so full of themselves
Good communication contributes to healthy marriages – I think there’s lots of statistics and research around this.
Marriage a reflection - No marriage is perfect and ours is no exception. Tied into all these other lessons (and many others not illustrated here) is that marriage, as pictured in the Bible is a reflection or pointer to the relationship between Christ and the Church (Eph 5:22-33). I think that many focus on the wife, but as R’s husband, each time I read vs 25, a sense of the responsibility I have is overwhelming: ‘Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her’. Grasping this for me has been critical in how I (selflessly) relate to bibi
Responsibility – related marriage as a reflection – is the sense of responsibility that I learn to take up each day. In a sense treating marriage as a journey, gazing into the horizon to where we are headed, while looking around, watching out for any danger to it. Quite a big deal.
This are just a few lessons of many highlighted here out of the many that I continue to absorb in this journey with my best friend.We are exceedingly thankful to God for keeping us through these five years of marriage.
(Image credit: Andrew Wafula)