I recently embarked on a journey to find out what makes a successful and lasting marriage. These days, a long-lasting marriage seems to be stuck on the generation of our grandparents, and if we are lucky, our parents.
I’ve been to weddings before. I’ve supported friends as they walked down the aisle, and I’ve even found myself as a sounding board for those in the midst of trials.
Yet, I’ve never walked down the aisle, I’ve never even been engaged, and walking down the aisle seems to be the easy part!
So, recently, while praying for dear friends who were approaching (and are now celebrating) their first wedding anniversary, I decided to seek expert advice.
I asked friends, colleagues, former colleagues, and my own parents for their wisdom. There are two common themes in all they had to say:
Trust, and embrace the change.
It seems simple enough, but the statement alone is the work we so often hear about.
That change? That’s anything! It can be buying a new home, having a child, losing a parent, or creating new friendships and finding different interests and changing jobs. It could even be a change in their sense of humor.
As I pour over all the words of lived wisdom, I recognize something else: This is life. It’s lived, not planned; it’s ignited into action, not prepared for; it’s celebrated, but not even expected. It is the ebbs and flows of life.
It, the formidable and the great joys, just happens, and as my Dad says, you have to be on the ready.
Trust the experience, and trust the one you’re with, trust the change, and embrace it all because it, whatever it is, is happening even when you don’t think it is.
And you know what, I think this advice works for any relationship, not just a marriage.
The marriage, though, comes with a greater covenant and even better ways to make up.