14 Things I’ve Learned in 14 Years of Marriage

 14 years ago on our wedding day!

Just Married and about to take the ride of our lives!

14 years later – it’s been a bumpy but blessed ride!

 

And we’ve multiplied!  Here’s the whole family outside the church doors where we were married!  God is so good! 

Tomorrow is our anniversary and I will begin answering the questions left  in the comment section here.  I won’t be able to get to them all.  But I will cover as many as I can this month and then take a break from the topic of marriage in October.  In November, I will revisit the topic of marriage and try to cover the questions that did not get answered this month.

But first, Here’s 14 things I’ve learned in 14 years of marriage!

1. My husband is not Jesus!  He cannot fulfill all my emotional, spiritual or even physical needs.

2. I married a sinner.  My husband married a sinner too.  Grace – grace MUST be a part of a good marriage.

3.  We must forgive each other over and over and over if we are going to have peace and joy in our marriage.  “A good marriage is made up of two good forgivers.” ~ Spurgeon

4.  Fighting is normal.  I must admit it sure doesn’t feel normal when it’s happening.  It’s miserable to fight with the one you love most.

5.  Marriage is a tool of sanctification in my life.  There is no other relationship on this planet that has challenged me more to the core, as mariage.  It has shown me many of my weaknesses and spiritual short comings and has brought me closer to Christ.

6. Do the harder things.  It’s easier to criticize and nag than it is encourage and build up. 

7.  We reap what we sow in marriage.  The longer I live the more I can see clearly – the grass IS NOT greener.  When my grass looks brown – and someone elses looks greener – I simply need to water my grass everyday till it’s green again! 

8.  I’m not really that great to be married to.  I’d like to think I’m the bomb diggity and my hubby lucked out in scoring a wife like me to be married to (*wink) - but to be honest I have blindspots…things I don’t see that he very clearly does see and those things are annoying. 

9.  My husband doesn’t always show his love by his words or affection but often it’s through his faithfulness, his provision for the family, taking the trash out or taking the kids on a bike ride so I can have a quiet moment to myself.

10.  My husband needs attention.  He needs to be heard.  He needs back rubs.  He needs a cold drink when he’s been out in the heat.  He needs me to be “into” him and “into” whatever he’s interested in…ie. politics, Ohio State Football, his business, airplanes… this is what MY husband is “into” therefore, this is what I’M “into”.

11.  Giving my husband respect changes the way my husband sees me.  Submission is like a muscle…the more I practice it, the stronger and easier it becomes.

12.  My husband needs s*x…a lot! lol!

13.  Reading good Christian books on marriage has helped me to understand my husband better.  I want to continually be a student learning and growing in wisdom as a wife. 

14.  Marriage is hard work and can be a bumpy road at times.  But if I hang on tight to the hem of Jesus and the hand of my husband – I’ll have the best ride of my life!

Dear Honey Love –  Happy Anniversary!  Thank you for your faithfulness and unconditional love through all the highs and lows.  Thank you for giving me your heart, your leadership, two beautiful children, a home to care for and releasing me selflessly to have this ministry on-line.  I love you more everyday and can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you!!!  Happy Anniversary!

Walk with the King!

Courtney

Comments

  1. This is great! I am in the middle of a long and nasty divorce right now I am still encouraged by your posts on marriage. They have helped me see the areas that I failed miserably at in my ending relationship and has also given me hope, encouragement and tools for whomever God decides to bring into mine and my boys’ lives in the future.

    I love #5. I feel the same way about motherhood! I remembering reading somewhere that God doesn’t give us children for us to make then more like us, He gives them to us to make us more like Jesus!

    God Bless Courtney. And Happy Anniversary!

  2. Happy Anniversary you two!!! What a great post. I nodded after every number. Thanks for laying it out in this way! So helpful! Love you, Nelle

  3. #5….I have learned this too…and WOW, God chose ME to be his wife so that I can become more like Christ…my husband (and being married to him) is helping me to become like Jesus…this is mind-blowing. We just celebrated 9 on the 31st. We said we would 9 years ago, and today we still are!! God bless!!

  4. Happy Anniversary! What a beautiful family you have! I love the picture of all 4 of you and your big happy smiles! :) This list is awesome…perfectly said. Thanks for all you do!

  5. A wonderful list! Thanks for sharing it with us. Happy Anniversary to you and your husband!

  6. Next month is our 14th anniversary.
    I love your 14 points here
    Congratulations!!!!

  7. Thanks for using the dreaded “S” word, “Submission.” This is treated like such a bad thing in the world, but for me it has been one of the tools God has used to change me most profoundly. I am so grateful for it. Congratulations!

  8. Courtney!

    You are such a voice of hope and encouragement and inspiration! God is using you in tremendous ways to teach and lead and guide His precious daughters! I would love to meet you in person some day!! You are a blessing!!!

    Sibi

  9. I love it, Courtney! I’m seeing these things more and more every day – so glad to be able to read from your wisdom ahead of me on the road of marriage…and now parenting! Happy anniversary!

  10. I love the list; it’s very encouraging!!

  11. Happy Anniversary!! That’s a GREAT list! :-D

  12. Happy anniversary! I kept nodding along as I read each of these. Some of them have been hard lessons for me, but they’ve all been important ones so far. I look forward to seeing what else you have to say about marriage!

  13. Happy Anniversary! We too are celebrating 14 years of marriage this year, but not til November! But I celebrated 15 together today! God has been so faithful to us, and I absolutely agree with all your lessons! Thank you for your transperancy and God bless you as you celebrate your love and marriage tomorrow and may you be blessed with many more!

  14. Amen! Happy anniversary! And thank you for sharing what you’ve learned over the years. What an encouragement! So much of that is the same stuff I’ve been learning in my marriage too. :-)

  15. so cute! and you both look the same! Beautiful lessons everyone can learn from. Happy 14th more and a lifetime!!!

  16. Happy anniversary!! Thanks for sharing your list!

  17. Happy anniversary! Great points — really helps me keep things in perspective as I navigate the world of dating again.

  18. Happy anniversary dear Courtney! I’ve only been married for almost 2 months so I love your marriage tips and your upcoming Q&A!

  19. Our 13th Anniversary is this weekend! I love your list and #10 is particular to me. My hubby loved college football to pieces when we got married. I fought it soo badly at first. Then I read in one of the many marriage books I have that I could either keep fighting with him or learn to love something about it. He was deployed and I started staying on top of everything dealing with his team to send to him or tell him on the phone. Now, I love it as much…some would say more, lol…as he does. Every fall we have some great times talking and enjoying watching the game. Great post! Looking forward to your marriage series.

  20. I can learn from this ……thx

  21. Thanks for this post! Very encouraging: ) I would like to ask for some advice and since I’m among others that are striving for the same type of marriage that honors and gives glory to God then I figured here would be the place to ask ; ) S*x—-my husband wants it a lot also and it is a very strong need for him. I have always tried to not say no but 6 kids later with 3 being homschooled and 3 under 4 years old, well….. not only have I found that it has become harder to not say no, I have been struggling to come up with any desire at all to be intimate with him. None. Notta. And obviously, 6 kids, I used to have a ton of desire for him ; ) Anyways, I am praying for God to replenish my desire for my husband so I know ultimately it will come back as that is a need that I am responsible for fulfilling for my husband. I also know that among other Christian women I may be able to find some tips, tricks, remedies that can help my marriage out as well. Thanks in advance for any help and Courtney Happy Anniversary! May you face God someday completely empty with nothing left from where you have let Him pour you out completely on earth :)

    • angelicmamaof1 says:

      I have been married 5 years with my husband 8. We have only one child but she’s not typical child. She’s a certified genius, very high on the autism spectrum, has a multitude of food, medical, enviromental, material & so on allergies and she’s a bundle of energy. She also has chd. Sometimes….more often then not….I just don’t want to have s*x with my husband. One thing we started to do though, that is helping both of us, each night after the little one is in bed, we sit, cuddle, talk about our wants and needs from each other, being completely open & honest and instead of having s*x sometimes we just kiss and cuddle! It helps with his desires and needs without me being stressed over it all because I’m exhausted! Did I mention we have triplets on the way! Thanks Courtney for another amazing post

    • Praying is definitely a good thing, but after having 6 kids you could be hormonally imbalanced. Have you spoke with your doctor about this at all? There are lots of different options with low chances of side effects. Also, remember we do go through seasons in our marriage… Maybe speaking with your husband & letting him know you want to want to, but sometimes cannot. Hopefully, he will be understanding & try to either help take some of the weight off of you so you will have more energy or be able to tune into your cues of when you need a break! :) Hope this helps!

  22. I love this list, thank you so much! I relate with a lot of these as well!

  23. Happy Anniversary! Just love this post! Seems to be the same 14 points all over the world – lol. Enjoy your day! Hope you’ll get some dating-time just for the two of you!

    Greetings from Germany
    Katja

  24. Good Morning, Courtney! I love your blog. I even put it as one of my favorites in Kelly’s Korner this past week. You have learned many good things in your marriage. Put I want to encourage you in point #4. I spent the first 23 years of my life arguing. We rarely if ever argue the past 7 years. You don’t like arguing because the Spirit inside of you is telling you it is not good, unlike what society tells you. I have looked up a few Scriptures to encourage you to stop arguing. It accomplishes nothing good. Learn to discuss things without arguing. It is so good!

    Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. Proverbs 17:14

    He who loves a quarrel loves sin; he who builds a high gate invites destruction. Proverbs 17:19

    It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel. Proverbs 20:3

    And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. II Timothy 2:24

    You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. James 4:2

    You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? I Corinthians 3:3

    For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. II Corinthians 12:20

    [A Workman Approved by God] Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. II Timothy 2:14

    Blessings,
    Lori

  25. I so agree with you on the grace one (and all of them)! Happy anniversary! :)

  26. Happy Anniversary, Courtney! I appreciate your being open and real with others about what you are learning. I’ve been married 21 years now, and there aren’t that many people we know that actually STAYED married (and we run in Christian circles for the most part). You’re doing a good job encouraging others!

  27. Thank you for this! We all need those reminders! I have posted a link to your post on my blog.
    Happy anniversary!

  28. I really enjoyed this post. It really spoke to my heart. Thank you for always sharing what God has given you.
    Angela

  29. Kathy in Illinois says:

    Hi, Courtney! Happy Anniversary! We have a few things in common. Our anniversary is Sept.5 too! We have been married 36 years today! I also share a birthday with you on Aug. 26. I am a bit older though- I just turned 60. I do so enjoy reading your blog and love to hear about your sweet family. Thank you for all you do encouraging people to read the bible and live by it. You are a wonderful person.
    God bless, Kathy in Illinois

  30. Congrats on 14 years and heres to 14 more! I always enjoy the love and honor you have for your husband, so I would love for you to link up with 100 reasons I love my husband. You are such an inspiration to so many and we would love to see your list! Take your time because the linky never closes….Be Blessed, both of you!

  31. Great advice!!! Thank you!! Happy Anniversary!

  32. Happy Anniversary Courtney and hubby!! Thanks for sharing that list of things you have learned. I have only been married for 5 years, but I am so thankful to have learned those things already! Thanks for all you do through your ministry!

  33. 14 years! Wow! My hubby and I are in our 4th year and I look forward to #14!
    Thank you for your honest and open marriage tips. I am learning how to please and honor my husband. Sometimes it’s a battle of my will and what I know I should do and be.

    You are a blessing! May God continue to prosper and bless you and your sweet family!

  34. Thanks for some great reminders Courtney and Happy Anniversary! I love the Spurgeon quote. Our second anniversary is Sept 13. :o)

  35. So true… Happy Anniversary!
    After reading #7 it reminds me of a quote I love…”If the grass is greener on the other side its probably because its over a septic tank” ~ Rita Davenport

  36. I’ve been married 44 years. You’ve learned some valuable lessons. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  37. Amen to all 14 learning lessons. Love your post today and can see that you have had a great marriage. I have been married for 44 years and it just keeps getting better in every way.
    Blessings to you for your thoughts today! Keep on enjoying the moments!!

  38. Leah Scott says:

    Congrats on 14 years! I love you and all that yopu bring to us women! I follow your blog, love to soak up what you & God share. I am not sure if this is where you want us to ask the marraige questions.. but here it goes:

    I am having trouble in submitting :( I want one leg in the pants so to speak. Especially about $ and control. I dont want to over spend, I want to retire nice one day. I want to use my families time wisely. He dosent think I shold have a say in it at all, he is the leader. Please help! You are a great model for me, you are a strong Christian woman whom I look up to, to teach me how to do it.

    Blessings to you and yours for the next 14 and beyond!

    • Girl – you are not alone and take heart – this is something we learn as we grow closer to Jesus. If you have not worked on practicing it then you are probably weak in this area. I think this video here may help you:

      http://womenlivingwell.org/2009/12/video-blog-learning-to-submit/
      or this post:
      http://womenlivingwell.org/2010/05/what-my-mom-taught-me-about-marriage/

      Also, remember that when you place your trust in your husband to lead you and make final decisions you are ultimately trusting in God. God has called you to this place in your home and he will be faithful. Trust and obey God – and pray daily for your husband. If you don’t already pray daily for your husband – now you will because he has a greater influence in your life than he has ever had before. And remember – you are to be your husband’s “helper” – he may need you help to think wisely about finances – still share your thoughts – just respectfully and in a way that says – I trust you to make the final decision for us.

      Love,
      Courtney

  39. We celebrate 13 years of marriage on September 5th!!! Watching our wedding video reminds us of just how much we’ve been through in that time! Happy Anniversary to you too! I couldn’t agree more with the things you’ve learned in 14 years of marriage! Even when you know these things, it’s still good to be reminded…. making sure I “water my grass” today!! =0) Thanks for your your time, your wisdom and your obedience! You are blessing so many!

  40. Happy Anniversary, you really have inspired me to really work hard and continue to give my marriage to God and know that he will work it out

  41. It is wonderful to see a couple together for 14yrs in today’s divorce driven world. My 19yr old daughter is getting married next December, what would be your “top ten” words of advice for young women on marriage?

    • I’ll make it 4! :) “Walk with the King” – my walk with God has changed everything and has made my marriage look nothing like what we see on tv or in this culture! When we walk with God – reading his word, obeying his word and living by God’s principles, praying, and enjoying fellowship with his people – it changes the entire course of our lives and our marriage!

  42. This is beautifully well said. Thank you for sharing this list.

  43. After 26, (almost 27) years of marriage, my husband has been, and always will be, my best friend. This is important in a marriage. When you are young, s#x is one of the important things for intimacy. Unfortunately, that part of your marriage can end rather abruptly due to physical illness and a cure that will leave your husband incapable of doing what he once did. Now our intimacy is in our bond of friendship and being comfortable with one another, cuddling and sharing our lives. So enjoy the intimacy of your youth but don’t make it the center of your life and marriage I don’t miss it and yet I am fulfilled every day (by my best friend) my husband’s love.

    Very good advice Courtney!

  44. Happy Anniversary Courtney! Marriage IS hard work! May God continue to give both you and your husband every grace and blessing as you walk hand in hand on this journey. You are an inspiration to many.

    God bless!

  45. This was powerful, profound, and insightful (as usual). Thank you for sharing your awesome passion for the gift of marriage…here’s the the next 14 years {chink!}.

  46. Great post! Thanks SO much for sharing! Will be sharing on my fan page! LOVE this:

    When my grass looks brown – and someone elses looks greener – I simply need to water my grass everyday till it’s green again!

    Keep up the Godly work! ~Blessings!

  47. We are also in our 14th year of marriage. We’re going through an incredibly difficult time, and I am looking online for information and encouragement. I just stumbled across your blog, and I want to say THANK YOU. Your love and faithfulness to your husband is clear. This is just what I needed to lift me up today. :-)

  48. What a beautiful message about marriage. I am truly blessed. May the Dear LORD bless your family and your marriage. And thank you for sharing, GOD Bless. :)

  49. Interesting post! I think it has a lot to do, however, with how you define “variety.” Trying new stuff in the bedroom all the time isn’t going to bring about intimacy. Perhaps, however, small alterations can be good…like adding music or candles, trying a slightly different position, spending more time in foreplay, etc. I believe it can add an interesting flavor to the same dish to do something different.
    Using your Starbucks analogy, I always order the same drink there. Most of the time, I ask for peppermint syrup with it. But now and then, I want something different. I don’t change my drink; I change the syrup … to vanilla, caramel, whatever. And it’s rather nice.
    Great post! Curious to know what others think as well.

  50. Thank you for your post about intimacy. I lead a group called Marriage Builders on facebook. If most women could grasp this one concept, it would improve their marriages tremendously. Thanks for being obedient and being used of God to help marriages to improve. I posted your video on our Marriage Builders group page. Thanks, Jay

  51. Charo Robinson says:

    Sharing this has truly blessed me. I was searching for quotes for marriage to provide me some continued inspiration when I came across #14 during a search and thought it was downright awesome! I am not currently married, but I do have someone in mind and believe we can make it happen, but I would like to have all of the tools and guidance necessary to keep it.

    I pray you and your family stay strong, blessed, and happy for all the days of your life.

    Again, thank you and God Bless you!

  52. Great article! Thanks for sharing. What books do you recommend on marriage? And parenting? Blessings.

  53. Poppie meiring says:

    Thank you for sharing , it is really inspirational, through your “lessons”, you are helping other people to make a succes of there marridge, may God Bless you and your beautiful family. Happy anniversary.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] of Jesus and the hand of my husband – I’ll have the best ride of my life! Women Living Well, 14 Things I’ve Learned in 14 Years of Marriage Related [...]

I love hearing what is on your heart.

*