{“Advice” to Friends Getting Hitched: Things I’ve Learned Along the Way}

I don’t like to give people advice, but here are a few things that I have learned along the way, working on year nineteen of sharing life with Tom.

Life is a process of becoming who you really are.  This is amazing,  and sharing it with another person is an incredible honor and joy.

Joining two lives in marriage is hard work The best thing about our marriage, I think, is that we have active, respectful, honest and loving communication. Keep talking!  Tell each other the truth in love. Say I’m sorry.  Be able to say I was wrong.

Forever is an amazing concept. If you believe that there is no “out,” then you can and will work through anything with God’s help. And don’t be afraid or too proud to ask for help from others.

Pray for each other. Affirm each other.  Say what you like about one another out loud, because it matters.

Know that you cannot change the other person, so accept them unconditionally. 

Know that you should never stop growing and changing yourself—spiritually, physically, and emotionally. You have been given a partner that is right for you but not perfect.  You’re going to annoy the hell out of each other!  And you will sharpen one another, becoming better people, if you are willing to continually grow.

Respect one another’s family of origin, but hold it loosely and do not be imprisoned by it.  You can make any family culture that you choose. You are not bound by the family you came from but you will bring all of that into your marriage.  This too must be valued and understood.

Keep your own interests, friends, avocations and vocation.  Your differences will make life more interesting. You don’t have to like or even enjoy everything that the other one does, but be willing to try new things together.  Anyone can change (their interests and what they enjoy doing!)

Cook together. Clean together. Divide chores by abilities and interests not by conventional gender rules.

Children will not solve any problems. 

Live within your means.  And do not go into debt to have vacations, toys, or anything physical except eventually a house. Take the Dave Ramsey course and stick with it!!!! Living within your means could be the most important thing you do together as a couple.

Experience God’s community with people further along in life, so that you can observe and learn as well as receive love and encouragement.

Remember the power of scripture to breathe hope, peace and healing into your lives.  

Always be patient and kind (in words and actions), not jealous.

Don’t be too proud to admit you are wrong.

Don’t rudely demand your own way.

If you are irritable, figure out why.

Don’t keep track of the wrongs, yours or theirs.

Celebrate and be happy when truth wins out.

Never give up on each other.

Never lose faith in one another.

Always be hopeful about your relationship.

May your love endure through every circumstance.

 {1 Corinthians 13:4-6 paraphrased by me.}

Like I said, advice is just words—there are no easy answers.  Every marriage is different, the challenges and joys that you will face will be as unique as the two of you.

Pray often. Stay in community.

With all my love,


July 30, 2012

2 thoughts on “{“Advice” to Friends Getting Hitched: Things I’ve Learned Along the Way}

    1. Hm, not all that long ago. Glad to hear of your love story! Mostly know that there are no experts and everyone has to do it their own way. If you’re being selfish, own it. If you’re wrong, admit it. the whole golden rule this is truly the best advice! love to you charles! melody


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