We talked on the phone for months on different sides of the country before even meeting each other face to face. He offered to fly me out to his favorite conference, Passion, where we first laid eyes on each other on new years eve in 2006. We’ve been together ever since and May 8th we celebrated 9 years of marriage.Our marriage together has been fun, funny, challenging, inspiring, and has only made us better individuals. In reflection of our 9 years together, we thought it would be fun to put together 9 lessons we’ve learned about marriage and our relationship
In reflection of our 9 years together, we thought it would be fun to put together 9 lessons we’ve learned about marriage and our relationship together!
(This is *not* an exhaustive list just a few reflections, if you’re interested).
ONE: You don’t always have to be right. This has helped us avoid a bunch of petty quarrels that could have led to major blow ups. Just give away the right to be ‘right’, it goes way better!
TWO: Be quick/the first to say, ‘I am sorry!’ When you’ve been wrong, haven’t communicated, crossed a line or have not loved well…find those three magnificently difficult words to say in the moment, realize you need to own it & then let the words be said with sincerity. It’s one of life’s greatest tools to leveling the ground.
THREE: Be quick to forgive! The phrase, ‘I FORGIVE YOU’, when you’re hurt, angry or just feeling ornery can be equally as hard to say back to the person who just said ‘I’m sorry’. Withholding forgiveness is a misunderstanding of grace and ultimately can end up hurting you more than the offender. There’s a freedom in extending forgiveness that has the power to heal even the most difficult things we encounter in our relationships.
FOUR: Serve your spouse. 💕😜The trash, the dishes, the cooking, or the gas in the car. Just serve. Don’t wait, hoping the other person might do it first. This mindset it will create an atmosphere of serving in your relationship that is paramount. If you serve each other in the small things it communicates LOVE in a big way.
FIVE: Celebrate the medium things. Cultivate a spirit of celebration in your relationship. It’s easy to make a big deal out of big things, but, there are so many medium things that can be celebrated week-to-week or day-to-day. Celebration cultivates joy and appreciation. When your spouse has that hard conversation with a friend/co-worker, celebrate. When they finish a semester of school, celebrate. When they finally go get established with a doctor after years of not seeing one, celebrate. There’s all kinds of medium stuff to celebrate today.
SIX: Develop a daily rhythm of being together. If you’re feeling like you’re growing a part from your spouse, ask the question ‘when are we together’? We’ve found that our relationship is at it’s best when we prioritize time to be together. It could be as simple as chatting over early morning coffee for a few minutes or a little debrief of the day before going to bed. Whatever it is, find it. Look each other in the eyes and slow down for a second. Discover the art of asking good questions, listen well and you’ll find a real love for being together.
SEVEN: Make your wedding anniversary sacred. It’s crazy the things we’ll do for a birthday, a random ‘off grid holiday’ or The Super Bowl. You might take the day off, dress up, shell out money to make it awesome, etc. Oddly, anniversaries rarely make the list even though it’s arguably celebrating the biggest commitment of our lives. So what would it look like to make your anniversary a sacred day to honor the beauty in your beloved?!?! We like to call our anniversary our honeymoon. Truth be told, it’s mostly been an excuse to plan and prioritize a fun trip away to be together.
EIGHT: Get on the same page with your finances & stay out of debt. Money problems can create unresolved conflict, arguments and stress in your relationship. The most important things we’ve learned is to establish our shared values of money, get to work on a plan and stay out of debt. If we don’t have the cash, WE DON’T BUY IT. Brian and I can’t thank our parents (and @daveramsey) enough for teaching us these concepts before we even knew each other. If you’re looking for a good resource we highly recommend @daveramsey’s #financialpeaceuniversity
NINE: Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. There have been many times in our marriage when we haven’t known what to do in a situation…whether it be career, family planning, finances, or relationships, etc.. We’re continuing to discover that we’re at our best when we’re in tune with God’s ‘gentle whisper’ and when we follow after the peace that only comes from Him. If life or marriage feels a little chaotic right now, ask God to lead you in peace in this season.
Promise Tangeman is a graphic designer, certified digital marketing strategist, style curator, and owner of the webdesign firm, Go Live Hq. He husband Brian is a worship pastor and they live together with their adorable dog in southern California! Promise and her husband ran in the same circles as Jeremy when he lived in Santa Barbara, and we have also utilized her insanely talented web/design skills:) We love what Promise had to share in light of their 9 year anniversary about 9 things they’ve learned about marriage!