My husband and I celebrated yet another wedding anniversary last week — our 26th.
Marriage has been every bit as sweet and satisfying as I always dreamed it would be. My husband is my best friend, and I love getting to live life with him, sharing moments and making memories together. I feel incredibly blessed to be wed to such an amazing man.
Even so, staying married — and happily so — has taken much more work than either of us ever imagined.
Building a happy marriage is an ongoing process. It’s not something you can power through once, then check off your to-do list. There’s no propping your feet up and saying, “That’s done. Now I can move on to a different project.”
Marriage is a dynamic relationship. If a husband and wife are not drawing closer, they’re drifting apart. If their love isn’t waxing, it’s waning. If their passion’s not heating up, it’s growing cold.
There is no automatic pilot, no cruise control, no steady state, no mindless maintaining of the status quo.
Living “happily ever after” is not a given. It takes purpose and persistence, planning and prioritizing. If I want a happy marriage, then I must work to make it happy, each and every day.
Getting married is easy. Staying married, not so much.
A lot of couples expect marriage to be a piece of cake. When they discover otherwise, many want to throw in the (dish)towel and get out of the kitchen.
They forget that even a piece of cake takes time, attention, and know-how. The very best cakes (like the very best marriages) are made from scratch with fresh ingredients, carefully measured, skillfully mixed, and beautifully decorated.
Do you want a happily-ever-after marriage? It will require a lot of love and commitment, self-sacrifice and mutual respect, patience, forgiveness, friendship, and tender affection (refer to recipe below). God will supply the ingredients, but you’ve got to furnish the labor yourself.
You really can have your cake and eat it, too, but only if you stay in the kitchen and keep on baking.