On May 4, 2018 we are hosting an event at Chucks BBQ in Darien, IL called MarriageTime. It will be a casual evening for us to enjoy some beer, good bbq, and a little encouragement as we navigate this thing called marriage.
At MarriageTime there will be dating couples, newlywed couples, and couples that have been married for many years. Caroline and I, who have been married for 21 years, are often asked, “What has kept your marriage together and strong for for so long?”
In other words, they want to know the “secret sauce”.
Guess what? There is no “secret sauce”.
The recipe for a healthy marriage isn’t the same for every couple. Every couple is different, and will require different ingredients to make their marriage work well for the long haul.
What works for one may not work for the other.
But please allow us to share some ingredients you may want to consider to make your “secret sauce”.
Have a common long-term vision.
If your spouse is working hard and moving in a different career direction with different family goals than you are, it’s just going to be a train wreck most of the time. Be on the same page with the big stuff from the beginning, and re-evaluate the marriage agenda every so often.
Embrace each season.
We have a framed picture of our four kids in different seasons of life on our bookshelf.
It’s a reminder that life is full of different season. Each season comes with it’s own challenges and rewards, and we need to enjoy each season best we can.
Caroline and I are currently in the “teen years”, and trust me when I say the challenges are outweighing the rewards in this season, but we are embracing each season together.
Have realistic expectations.
Newlyweds especially need to work these expectations out sooner than later. Bedroom expectations, family expectations, vacation expectations, etc. If you have expectations that are more “Hollywood” than “reality”, again, expect a train wreck.
Have a shared faith as your center.
Live your lives together with your God at the center of your marriage. This doesn’t mean difficult times will pass you by, it just means you’ll make it through them together, with your God leading the way.
Most marriages start off with grandiose vows and pledges to each other, with the added promise of “until death us do part.” But in order to actually pull it off to the end, you’ll need to come up with your own “secret sauce”.
If you need some help either evaluating your “secret sauce”, or coming up with your first original recipe, let us know. We’d love to help.
“An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets, the more interested he is in her.” Agatha Christie