Today as we celebrate our 11th wedding Anniversary, we have all the reasons to thank God for his faithfuless. We are not experts on this institution of marriage but maybe by the virtue of being together for 11 years we qualify to share a few lessons we have learnt especially with those who are about to get married.
- Marry your friend: I was a young trainer, training men and women who were in their late 40s or early 50s. I remember one of my student who was an elderly man called me aside after I shared in class that I was getting married, he asked me ” is he your friend or your lover?” That question did not make sense to me until now 11 years later. Marriage is beautiful and the responsibilities that come with this union can drain your energies. This is when you start wondering why did I marry this man or this woman? The “love love” thing goes away and conflicts sets in. The only thing that would keep you going is the fact that you can discuss your issues and agree to disagree sometimes. This can only happen if you two are friends.
- Chose your best couple wisely: To me a best couple is a mentor an accountability couple. A couple that you both of you admire and look upto. A couple that can be real with you and tell you when you are loosing it. In many occasions people chose a best couple because they look nice or because they can provide financial support, if you can get all in one package, good for you. In marriage Sometimes the two of you can disagree so much that you need a third party to listen and tell you what each one of you is saying. It is not that they have any solutions for you but they can help you see the other person perspective. We are privileged to have Lucy and Willie, walking with us from the days of our dating. They are such a blessing to us.
- Have a shared vision and a plan: we set out our 5 years plan during our honey moon and God has been faithful to help us accomplish all our goals in the last 10 years apart from one ( a 2nd born) The Bible says a man plans but God is the one who accomplishes the plans. The process of planning and working towards goals together keeps you together and focused. You always have reasons to pray together even when times are difficult. Our experience has been, whenever we had a common project, we have been very close and in love. Our relationship has been cold whenever we had no shared goals.
- Keep a company of couples you share values with: It is said that you are a sum total of the 5 friends you hang out with. Peer pressure is not just for teenagers, even we adults experience peer pressure. We want to fit in and therefore have to do the things our friends do. We have a chama of 10 couples whom we are accountable to, we save and invest together and our children meet and play together. At this time and age you want your kids to be influenced by other kids who share your values, you must create that environment by chosing your friends wisely.
- Keep close to God: Marriage was authored by God himself, as much as it can be difficult, he is the only one who can help you through it. He knows your spouse better than you know him/her, if that man/woman becomes difficult, take him/her to God in prayer. He is the creator, he will sort his creation out. Sometimes things are very thick and you can’t pray, just know deep down your heart that God can hear your prayer even before you verbalise it.
- It takes deep commitment: To stay married takes deep commitment and self sacrifice from the two of you. It takes two to tangle, every issue you are going through has been contributed by both of you. It can never be one side, the challenge is, we like blaming each other instead of asking ourselves, what small thing have we done to lead to the big issue. Sometimes I have wanted to walk out and call it a quit and sometimes Joseph has wanted to walk out and call it over. Fortunately for us, none has ever walked out, we have stuck with each other and after 11 years we have realised the fighting is just part of life. This make life interesting.