My husband Jason and I celebrated our third year of marriage back in July. Though it’s cliche, it’s true when they say that time flies. It’s hard for me to believe that it’s been over three years since we walked down the aisle in front of two hundred of our friends and family.
When Jason and I first started our courtship, I felt like God wanted me to start writing about it, so I started blogging. My goal has always been to blog about my current season in order to help others who are going through that season or about to enter that season. That’s where GabbyWrites.com was first born. I started the blog back in 2010 to write and share about our courtship and it was great! I got a lot of positive feedback from people who were inspired by what I wrote. I felt like I was doing what God wanted me to do. However, I eventually found it challenging to keep up with the blog and be inspired to always write about relationships. As a result, I was posting less frequently and it began to fade away.
At the beginning of 2015, after Jason and I had returned from our missions trip to India, God reminded me of all the things that he has taught me throughout the years and that he wanted me to share those lessons so that I could help others who are going through similar situations. That renewed my passion for sharing my experiences through writing. So here I am, relaunching my former relationship-themed blog as a lifestyle blog, ready to share things with the world.
On the note of transparency, know that I’ll be 100% transparent about the challenges of marriage and relationships. I’ll never ever bash men or my husband or give away too many intimate details, but I will be honest about both the joys and the struggles that can take place within the confines of marriage.
I’ve seen that it’s better to learn things the easy way than the hard way, which is why I like to write about things that I’ve learned the hard way, so that others can avoid making the same mistakes.
So, without further ado, allow me to share with you my first post on my newly launched lifestyle blog. The following are three core lessons that I’ve learned the hard way from my three years of marriage. I believe that anyone who follows these core values and beliefs will have a much easier marriage, easier relationships and friendships. I pray that they would help you have healthier relationships overall and that you don’t have to learn these the hard way. These lessons are nothing new. They’re things that you’ve probably read and heard in countless marriage books and podcasts but will be revolutionary once implemented.
#1- Don’t ever go to sleep with unresolved anger
“In your anger, do not sin, do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” – Ephesians 4:26
The Bible is completely right about never letting the sun go down on your anger. The implications of this verse will carry far into any marriage. If you never let issues go unresolved, your marriage will be one million times easier. Unfortunately, Jason and I didn’t follow this habit at the start of our marriage and have paid the price through the years. Unresolved issues will come up again and again if you don’t handle them in the moment. I’ve known couples who had issues from decades past haunt their current state of marriage because they were never dealt with. Please don’t let this happen to you.
I understand that there are some issues that can’t be resolved in one day, however, as Christians we are called to resolve the anger in our hearts by the time the sun goes down. As married couples, we need to stay up as late as it takes so that we are no longer carrying anger in our hearts towards each other. Issues can be resolved the following day as long as we get rid of the anger that same night. Going to bed angry hinders our chances of resolving things the next day because odds are that we will still be angry when we wake up the next morning.
#2- You MUST Forgive easily + quickly
“But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” – Matthew 6:15
I’ll get straight to the point here. If you don’t forgive, your marriage and relationships will never be all that God has intended for them to be. Forgiveness is KEY. Learning to forgive in marriage is difficult because the closer someone is to you, the more access they have to your heart and as a result, they can hurt you easier. When you are hurt by the person who is closest to you in life, it REALLY hurts.
As hard as it is to forgive, I’ve found that using God as a model helps every time. For all of the things that Christ has forgiven me for, can I not forgive my husband or others who have hurt me? This is a very humbling way to keep yourself accountable to forgive because it calls us to get rid of our pride; however, it’s worth it, because it always works. How can we not forgive others when God has forgiven us SO MANY TIMES?
An important thing to remember is that a lack of forgiveness in any area of your life will come back to haunt you. It will pollute your heart and taint your relationships. Holding on to grudges will do more damage to you than those who the grudge is against. Forgive quickly and all of your relationships will be better.
#3- Always assume the best
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” – James 1:19
This one is the hardest for me. I find it so easy to assume that when Jason hurts me, he does it intentionally. This however, is usually not the case. I know that it’s easy to think that our spouses, friends and family members hurt us intentionally, but we cannot allow this thinking to pervade our minds. The enemy is quick to make us think that everyone is out to hurt us intentionally but this simply isn’t true. Always give your spouse a chance to explain themselves because more than likely they didn’t realize that their words or actions hurt your feelings. Do what the verse says:
be quick to listen (for an explanation)
slow to speak (so that you don’t interrupt them)
slow to become angry (so that your emotions don’t dictate your actions)
I’ve also learned to never assume that your spouse doesn’t care about you just because they hurt you. I know it’s easy to think that our spouses don’t care when they hurt our feelings. Trust me when I say that I know this is hard to do. Assume the best though, and realize that they didn’t purposely want to hurt you. By assuming the best, we can forgive easier because we know it wasn’t intentional. It’s hard to hold a grudge when you know that someone hurt you accidentally and not intentionally.
There are many lessons that I’ve learned throughout our marriage, however, after thinking and praying on which ones to include in this post, I believe that these are three of the most important ones. Following these verses and lessons can revolutionize your marriage. If you’re not married, these lessons can actually benefit every relationship you’re in. If you’re married and have also had to learn these lessons the hard way, just know that it’s never too late to start implementing change. Once Jason and I implemented these changes in our relationship, we saw amazing results!
My challenge for you today is this: Think about the relationships that you’re in. Are you currently in need of implementing any of these lessons? Is there any festering anger in your heart towards someone? Is there a lack of forgiveness that’s slowly turning into bitterness? Have you assumed the worst about anyone recently?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then my question to you is this:
What are you going to do to fix it?
Are there any other lessons that you’ve learned about relationships? If so, add them in the comments, I would love to hear from you!