When I first published this post I expected to receive a lot of backlash for it…and I did. I lost nearly 40 followers on Facebook, another 17 on Twitter, and I had 30 people unsubscribe from my bi-weekly newsletter. It’s unfortunate but so it goes. In the blogging world you gain followers and you lose followers. It’s to be expected. What I didn’t expect was to gain two awesome new blogging friends. One of those friends strongly disagreed with me but was very kind, polite, and respectful in her dissent. Another strongly agreed with me and we connected over our similar thoughts and feelings.
One of those blogger is Danielle from Enjoy this Beautiful Season. Shortly after we connected I offered Danielle (whom I now competlely adore!) the opportunity to guest blog here on A Silver Twig. She readily accepted and she wrote this gorgeous post about how to have a joy-filled marriage just for you. So, get reading and be sure to hop over to her blog and say hello.
I can remember the months leading up to my wedding as not only being a roller coaster of emotion, but also an open sea of public opinion. Friends, family, and even the local grocer simply loved to give me their opinions and advice on marriage.
Now, some of it has truly turned into a blessing for our marriage, but for the most part I was given opinions that I never needed to hear. So many people brought up negative thoughts or experiences with almost a “well, good luck with that” kind of tone.
Over the years we have allowed negativity and sour thoughts to invade the beauty that is marriage until it now practically hangs over us like the grim reaper, waiting to devour its next victim. But marriage was never intended to look like that.
The piece of advice I honestly heard the most was, “the first year of marriage is going to be the hardest.” It was like this unwritten rule that no matter what beautiful blessings God had arranged for my life post the wedding date, I needed to prepare myself for a year of pure misery. That was the first unwritten rule of marriage.
But that is not what God’s Word says.
Marriage was always meant to bless the union between man and woman and create a new being that is of one beautiful flesh. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh – Genesis 2:24 This is a blessing we get to partake in, not a curse.
One of the absolute best pieces of advice we received was from my aunt and uncle the day after our wedding. They basically stated that if we brought joy and optimism into our marriage daily, our marriage would remain in that place of joy. Now that doesn’t mean that there would be no arguing or hard days, but even in those, if we brought a joyful heart to them, that joy would be the lead of those situations.
They informed us that people in their lives had told them the unwritten rule of marriage, that the first year was going to be the hardest. But they continuously went out and had fun with each other and to their surprise, they had a really fun first year of marriage. That’s when they turned to us and let us know that the first year of marriage was going to be whatever we made of it.
They told us that there was a part of them that was always waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it never did and they have been insanely happily married for over 25 years. And I truly believe in large part that was because of their positive attitude toward their marriage.
So how do we create our joy filled marriage? Well I have a few different great ideas to help you keep the positivity and optimism flowing.
Play with each other
My husband Josh and I love to dance around the kitchen with one another while we’re cooking dinner. We goof off, act silly, and laugh til it hurts. If you have fun together and play, you leave less room for the enemy to sneak in and corrupt God’s union.
Laugh with each other
This goes hand in hand with playing. People take life waaaay to seriously sometimes, and even though there are times where we need to have a serious tone in a situation, that tone needs to stay in those serious moments only. Find out what makes your spouse laugh and introduce that into a daily piece of your relationship.
Protect yourselves and each other from other’s negative comments on marriage
It is so incredibly easy to fall into an attitude of comparison between yourselves and other relationships. And the last thing you want to do is compare your marriage to one that is on the rocks. Your marriage is your own and the only thing you should be comparing it to is God’s Word.
Make time to talk about the hard stuff
There will be hard stuff in your marriage because there is hard stuff in life, but if you continuously stay in communication about what those issue mean for you both, then you will be able to get ahead of the frustration before it turns into deep seeded hurts. If you take that extra hour to talk about the issue and resolve it, then you will have more time for joy to blossom the rest of your week.
Serve the other person first always
When you’re in a marriage and your first thoughts are selfish ones then serving the other person becomes impossible. But serving each other is our very best way of showing love. If you both put each other first, then both of your needs become met by the other person, which then allows you both to focus on the joy in the marriage. When I finish work for the day and I’m stressed about all the errands I need to run, but my husband comes home with those items in hand because he stopped on his way, that not only relieves my stress but allows me more time to focus on him.
Make each other the number 1 priority
Against every other person’s voice in the world, you need to put each other first. It does not matter what your best friend, your family member, your neighbor says about your relationship, you need to consistently put each other first, period. If ya’ll have prayed about it and know where God is directing the both of you and your marriage, then you need to be obedient to God and each other and leave all the other voices out of it. The number one priority needs to be the marriage.
I am fully aware that there will be trials and circumstances that come up against our marriage, but we can take heart in the fact that Jesus has already overcome the world. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world – John 16:33
So if that stress is already off of us (and our marriages) then let us celebrate in all that we do. When we approach marriage with an attitude of positivity and optimism we increase the joy and love in those moments. So I want to absolutely encourage you to smile a little more, laugh a little more, serve a little more, and always always stay focused on Jesus, and that will help you to have a beautiful marriage that is joy filled!
Do you have a joy-filled marriage? How do you bring positivity, love, and laughter in to your relationship?