The trend of having a photo booth at your wedding is no longer “new” it’s a “thing”. So of course Nate and I took our photo last night! And now I can’t get our silly photo out of my head. I realized that while mine says “wedding crashers” and Nate’s says “cheers”, what I really wanted was bubbles that say, “Establish Rules“, “Be Vulnerable“, “#NoDivorce“, and “God First“.
You learn a few things in 15 years of marriage. Some are worth passing along. The first is to make rules for the marriage. Establish boundaries that will build trust. Three of our rules: Nate and I share the freedom to look at each other’s phone call history, tweets, or text at any time. Not because we don’t trust one another, but to build our trust and accountability. Nate and I never put each other down in public. If I don’t like what he said or he doesn’t like what I cook – it is a conversation to be had alone.
Our “fun” rule is that we would never let the other walk out of the house looking stupid! We share the freedom of being each other’s fashion police!
The second is to be vulnerable to each other. Don’t build walls in your marriage that are created when you don’t share your whole self. When we keep parts of our thoughts or emotions hidden from our partner, we lay a brick in that wall. When we don’t share all the pieces of our soul because we believe they are not worth sharing, or we would look like a fool for our specific emotion, we lay a brick in that wall. When created our partner shares pieces of their soul and we shame them for their feelings or put them down for their emotions, we lay a brick in that wall.
It takes both of you to be vulnerable. The gift of vulnerability is sacred and should not be taken lightly.
The third is to never let divorce be an option. When times get tough…and they will…don’t threaten each other with divorce as an option or an alternative. Don’t even use it jokingly. Don’t use the word in your home. Don’t give it merit. Some day when you have kids, just hearing the word will have an effect on them – don’t make it part of your, or their, vocabulary.
You are in control of the word divorce … don’t let it control you!
Fourth, and most importantly, keep God first. Pray together, laugh together, walk in honesty with the Lord together, and go about His plan together. Marriage is action. It is what we choose to do every day even when we don’t have the energy to keep going. It is a beautiful and wonderful joining of souls. It has amazing outpourings of kids, love, service, and passion.
This union of marriage is a covenant relationship between the two of you and the Lord. Honor it, treasure it, fight for it, and work at it together with God at the center.