My friend Amy (with Amy Cole Photography) is such an inspiration to me in so many ways. I admire the love she and her husband share, the way she raises her kids with the right values, and how she shares her story honestly with everyone. I was honored to have her share her thoughts for this blog series!
We prayed for this!
You know, “the beat in my heart skips when I’m with you…” (Beyonce, Crazy in Love)
Over the years, as we have grown in our marriage, I realize this is what we had prayed for when we talked about being married. Josh and I definitely have that special kind of love. We grew up loving each other. That doesn’t mean the marriage was always easy or the story was never dark. I remember early in our marriage, we would fight and argue and I would jump in the car and drive away (aka around the block). We lived in Tennessee then and there was really nowhere for me to go…but I would try. I didn’t know how to use words or communicate. My family always had to scream or fight to be heard, so if we weren’t screaming no one was listening. I took that straight into marriage with Josh. I had an idea of what love and marriage needed to look like and can I be honest? It doesn’t look anything like that dream I had. Once I surrendered my dream for reality, the reality became even more beautiful.
Josh and I adopted a quote that someone shared with us early in marriage. She had said, “never go to bed angry and always use your pillows for talking.” We chose to accept this as our philosophy in marriage. In fact, the kids laugh at us today because we talk a lot at bedtime. We will be dying laughing and the kids will walk in and ask what we’re laughing about…sometimes we don’t even know. We just enjoy each other’s company and having fun together.
Communication has been the key ingredient in making our marriage healthy. We seriously talk about everything and I mean everything. If we are struggling with reading our Bible, we talk through it. If someone has made us angry, we talk through it. If the our finances need a revamp, we talk through it. If we are struggling in our mental health, we talk through it. We tell each other what we need and want and it’s fun watching the other listen and try to help achieve the goals.
Along with communication, we date each other. One of our favorite pastors told us that we needed to date once a week (more on this in a minute), go away overnight once a quarter, and go on a trip together once a year. We chose to take this to task and it truly changed our marriage for the better. Now, when I say date once a week, that doesn’t mean it has to be an extravagant date that cost a lot of money. In fact, most of our weekly dates don’t cost anything. We may just go walk around a mall (or Costco) holding hands and talking. A date doesn’t mean dressy and fancy. The biggest thing is to spend time with each other. Listen, I know every man doesn’t want to chat, but it’s our job to ask them about what they’re interested in and LISTEN! The biggest thing we miss in marriage is a listening ear.
Our marriage is not perfect, by any means. We just work on it every single day. We hold hands whenever we are together. We kiss each other good morning and good night, we choose each other, we set aside time to be alone, we defend each other, we depend on each other, and we ALWAYS say I love you! Even when we’re mad, I love you can soften your heart and his!
A good marriage takes two people invested! If you want to grow in communication and love with your spouse, Josh and I highly recommend the Winshape Marriage Retreats and several books listed on our Q and A page. Please invest in your marriage! It’s what changed ours for the better!!!