Long lasting marriages are not as common as they used to be several decades ago. Although the divorce rate has decreased in recent years, less couples are deciding to take those sacred vows. Marriage can appear to be quite scary. In my previous post, What I Wish I Knew Before Marriage I shared some of the things I felt would’ve helped us in our marriage if we had known upfront. But here we are! Through all of our trials and errors, ups and downs, our story that began at the ages of 19 & 20 years old, is still being written. 11 years later, I can honestly say that I am happy that I married my best friend. In collaboration with my lovely husband, we want to share with you 11 reasons why we are still married!
1. God Is The Glue
Our marriage without God is simply impossible. We rely on Him for everything. He has been our mediator when we can’t see eye to eye. In our darkest days of transition and loss, He has given us peace in abundance. Time after time God has granted us supernatural favor and provision. Most importantly, He has been our guideline to parenting! There is absolutely nothing that we can do outside of Him. God gets credit first and foremost for keeping us together!
2. We Choose Marriage
Growing up in church, we were taught that divorce is not an option. You must remain married no matter what, unless you are in physical danger. Our thinking on that has changed as we have matured. What we have learned is that divorce is always an option, but it’s one that we choose not to take. We choose to stay in the fight for our commitment. Why? Simply because we love either other enough to see this thing through.
3. We Want To Break The Cycle Of Divorce
There are many people who have walked that path for many different reasons. Some have called it quits after decades of marriage, some after just days. We don’t frown upon anyone who has made that choice. What we have decided for our story is that it will NOT END THAT WAY! We have seen so much divorce in our family that it has challenged us to break that cycle. We will win at this, PERIODT!
4. Our Children
A lot of our continued commitment is because of our children. They need to see what a healthy marriage looks like. Our daughters need to see what a husband does and what his role is. Our sons need to see the same as it pertains to a wife. We stay together to give them hope in marriage in a society that really doesn’t take it as serious as they should.
We’ve been together too long to start over. It may seem very petty but this is a real reason! We have been a couple for 12 years and nobody has time to go back to the dating pool. From what I see, there isn’t much to pick from nowadays. Plus, I hear way too many horror stories about dating gone wrong. To start over now would just be too much work. It’s just easier to keep what we got. If it ain’t broke, no need to replace it!
6. We Know And Speak Each Other’s Love Language
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman is one of the books that transformed our marriage. Being able to know how to meet my husband’s specific needs and vice versa truly changed the game for us. My husband’s love language is physical touch. My love language is acts of service. So in a nutshell, we are still married because I am dedicated to meeting him in the bed chambers and he doesn’t mind getting me a glass of water when we’re finished. It goes hand in hand!
7. Legal Sex
Speaking of sex, that is another reason why we are still married! We believe that sex was created for the context of marriage. Therefore, we thoroughly enjoy having what we call legal sex. There is no boring, missionary only style activity going on in our christian marriage. We like to keep it fresh and fiesty. An orgasm a day keeps divorce away! Just kidding……..but for real, great sex makes our bond stronger.
8. We Believe In Each Other’s Potential
In our more mature stage of marriage, we have come to grips with the fact that neither of us is completely perfect at this. Mistakes will happen but so should growth. The wife that I will be 10 years from now will change. The same is true for my husband. Knowing this, we don’t trip a lot off of the things we get wrong in this relationship. We look at it as a chance for prayer, growth, and development. Also we believe in each other’s goals and visions. Our future together will get better as the days pass.
9. Dating Life
We love date night! This area has had it’s ups and downs but this year, we have purposefully been rekindling that part of our relationship. It has been the spark we needed in our marriage to give us a fresh wind. We really try to keep it interesting and do new things. Spending quality alone time with no distractions has increased the intimacy level in our marriage. That is a big key to staying HAPPILY married.
10. Working The Work Of Marriage
Staying married is work but we vow to do it! It takes a lot of effort and elbow grease to stay in the fight. We continue to work on our communication skills, how to argue fairly, proper parenting skills, and everything else that comes with this package. This marriage has not survived just off of a wing and a prayer. We are still married because we put in the work.
11. Marriage Is A Ministry
Finally, we believe that our marriage has kingdom purposes. For us, it goes beyond the natural. We believe that God truly wants to use our marriage as a vehicle to spread hope to other marriages. We have been through a lot in our 11 years and we don’t shy away from sharing the intimate details of our story. It brings God glory to be able to say, “This is what we have been through, and this is how God brought us out.” It is bigger than us. Our marriage is a God ordained covenant that we take seriously.
The Bottom Line
Most people didn’t think we would make it this long. There were many times that the odds were stacked against us but here we are, still standing. Not only are we still standing but we are HAPPY! Don’t get it twisted, every day is not sunshine in this love story. Sometimes, we’re only hanging on because of reason number one! At the end of the day, we are committed to the life we have built with each other. We hope this inspires someone to stay in the fight for the one they love. Believe me when I say, your marriage can last forever!
Mark 10:8-9 8and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Cheers To Us, 11 Years And Counting!