Date Selfies and Other Tips for a Vibrant Marriage

My husband and I have a special marriage. Over the last 17 years, many friends and some strangers have commented that our relationship blesses them, saying, “You two are an inspiration” or “What a perfect couple!” And I think “if you only knew how many times I fail.” But Judd and I have a lot going for us. I wanted to list some of the ways we guard our marriage in hopes that it will help shed light on why we are a “perfect couple.”

After reading these, let me know what you think in the comments, or leave tips of your own.

1. We had a good foundation

We were blessed with an opportunity to begin our relationship in a beautiful way. Before we met, Judd and I each became so fixated on God that we were willing to do whatever it took to honor him. THIS is the foundation on which we built our marriage.

“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock” (Matthew 7:25).

In reality, many couples aren’t in the same position in the beginning. Stuff happens. And if your wedded life did not begin in bliss, I’m here to tell you there is still hope. You see, Judd and I both had checkered pasts. We each had several failed relationships, some of which damaged us emotionally or physically. We were both engaged to others at one point before we met and had broken off those engagements amid hurt and dysfunction. If you haven’t heard the story of our courtship, it may encourage you that it’s never too late to let The Lord renew you. You can STILL get rid of the sand on which you’ve built your lives, and start fresh on the rock!

2. We know that we will fail. 

As much as we want to consistently act in love and grace with each other, we know that selfishness, irritation, old wounds, and just plain meanness will rear their ugly heads. We’re ready for that. If we expected every day to be wedded bliss, unicorns and roses, we would surely have though we had “fallen out of love” about 3-4 times by now!

Sometimes our failings last a short time, like when I say something snippy, then Judd comes back with a joke, and then we pretend  to choke each other until we laugh hysterically and the kids roll their eyes. And sometimes, we fail bigger and we need weeks or months to work through it. The important thing is that we DO work through it. No matter how long it takes. Time after time, God uses us to expose the hurt places in each other that need healing – but we have to go to God together for that healing.

3. We both love God more than we love each other. 

I take comfort in the fact that God comes before me in Judd’s life. God is the one who roots out sin in our hearts (although I certainly try to point it out). But somehow, it doesn’t work out the same when I try to play the Holy Spirit. I know that if Judd is working to please God, he will honor me as well. In the rough patches, I can pray that the Lord works reconciliation in us rather than trying to manipulate the situation to my liking.

4. We take selfies on dates.

Seriously. Or unseriously… The point is that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Even though we may have financial problems, child difficulties, arguments, {insert stressor here}, we need to let it go and just have fun, if only for a little while. It’s amazing how laughter can  revolutionize your perspective and remind you why you married each other in the first place.

We take Selfies on Dates - Marriange

 

Could our marriage completely fall apart tomorrow? Possibly. We are sinful people trying our best to navigate this crazy life. The truth is, we are not the perfect couple (we just don’t put our failings on Facebook very often!) But we do know the one who is perfect – Jesus is the one we lean on when we don’t know the way.

You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11, ESV