April 16, 2014

In defense of the Knot!

 Maybe it's because I studied marriages all through college, or maybe it's because I'm obsessed a bit with having a successful marriage myself.  Either way I have made almost a case study of so many of the marriages around me and the ways that they have thrived and changed people.  Even the marriages that ended have given me insights into why signing a piece of paper and deciding to tie the knot make such an impact on our happiness. For all of our benefit, I present the people I love and some of the most inspiring parts of their marriages.


This couple decided that they were going to join in on the other's interests.  That means that she spends each winter going along on ice fishing trips (and even has her own gear) and he attended all sorts of quilting classes with her to learn how to use her new sewing machine.  FOR WEEKS!  Neither one would delve into those hobbies on their own.  

Lesson #1: Join in each other's interests.  Share the things you love with your spouse, and learn to appreciate the things they love.

These two took a chance on each other and got married after both of their spouses passed away.  How great to become companions later on in life, despite the years and years you've had living in completely different ways.  It's a lot of work.  But they keep at it daily.  I so admire the commitment of their generation. 

Lesson #2: Stick it out until you figure out how to live with each other.



These folks are the prime example to me of keeping love alive and light hearted.  They are ridiculous together, and spook out laughter amid hard times.  They have fought their way through so many crazy rough times, and still have their wits and their good natures.  I include a regular photo too for their sakes :)

Lesson #3: Be light hearted with each other, and remember to laugh when burdens get heavy.


These two have six kids.  I did say that right.  SIX kids.  And two dogs and a business.  Maybe that's why they're so fiercely committed to each other.  He would support her if she told him that she thinks that they all need to go live in a hut in the Amazon.  And she would be at his side if he decided he needed to move their whole family to their shop so he could work and still be with the kids.  It's unreal what they will do for each other.
Lesson #4: give each other's dreams a chance, and fight to make them happen.



I am biased on this one, because I dearly love these two.  They are 1. hilarious, and 2. dedicated to each other in ways that every new couple dreams of being.  They have seen more pain and health challenges than their fair share and yet they still get into that rv or take a road trip and appreciate the beauty all around them and in their lives.  You'd think suffering would make you bitter.  Not here.

Lesson #5: learn to enjoy taking care of your spouse.


Marriage gives us the opportunity to grow and stretch (sometimes uncomfortably) for the sake of another.  To develop a capacity to love and sacrifice when it's really not what you expected to have to do.  I see incredible patience with each other in these two.  They came into marriage with a lot of factors working against them, and rode it through until things leveled out.  They are better individuals for it, too.

Lesson #6: be willing to sacrifice for your spouses happiness.  To be patient when their best efforts still fall short.  You love each other all the more for riding it through.


These two have seen a lot of loss and heartache, but remain optimistic and hopeful individuals.  They have come to know themselves and their inner weaknesses as well as strengths for being together.  It's tough to continue to love others when your own heart is hurting, but only because you choose to keep your heart open do you find a particular humility and tenderness that keeps the cracks in your heart from breaking.  That is what this couple has shown me.

Lesson #7:  When deep heart aches and incredible sorrow come, keep your heart open to love.


Nothing worth having comes without sacrifice.  Marriage is no exception.  These two are so often on each others case, either getting the one riled up or making the other laugh out loud.  Marriage smooths out the edges and kinks in our souls if we let it.

Lesson #8: When your spouse's little imperfections annoy or anger you, take a moment to appreciate the larger, more important qualities that draw you to them, and savor that.


I imagine that there is nothing that can get this couple down.  They are some of the most resourceful people I know.  Despite money being tight, they still made it possible for their kids (they have 6!!) to earn a Wii and to save up for vacations that have taken them all over the west.  She bakes bread all the time.  He works extra jobs in the summer.  They both see to it that their sweet family has everything they need and even the things they want.  And they are so happy!

Lesson #9 when times get tight financially, get creative.  Money will come when you're being faithful to God and each other.


Lastly, how could I forget my sweet hubby?  He has taught me time and time again that needing each other is a good thing, despite my stubborn independence.  He has loved me in so many situations that I never thought we'd be in. And he is nearly perfect in my book.  If you knew the man you'd probably agree.  He has his faults, but his good outweighs them. He still can't believe that I had never seen all of Star Wars before meeting him.  I still can't believe men like him still exist.

Lesson from my own marriage:  Women need men, and men need women.  Good men are still out there, and you hold them tightly when you find them.



Nothing has been quite so challenging or quite so fulfilling as sticking it through with this Man.
I'm so thankful to be married to him!




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