Today marks seven years of marriage, and all I can say is Jehovah Ebenezer! Looking back, I can honestly say this has been an exciting and fantastic journey with its fair share of challenges and trials also. We have laughed together and laughed at each other. We have argued and disagreed, resulting in each person retreating into their little silent corner, leaving the atmosphere tense and heavy. There have been ups and downs too, but one thing we have continuously committed to is working it out. Meaning working it out through the good and bad times, through the disagreements, pain, disappointments and unmet expectations. Every challenge we overcame was always an opportunity to grow and mature.
Some lessons I have learnt include knowing when to speak up and when to be silent. I have learnt that it is better to be reconciled than always to be right, this meaning continuously removing “I-told-you-so” from my vocabulary. I now know that it is not every battle that is worth fighting; some need me to use my knees. Some need me to go and shut myself in the bathroom and fume/cry away my anger. Words are powerful; therefore, it is never a good idea to speak in wrath. I have learnt that love means having patience with your partner because sometimes they will not do things according to your expectations. It means being tolerant, dependable, reliable, and above all, it means commitment. These are traits that I strive for daily because each day comes with its issues. Every day I have to choose to be better and keep maturing.
In a nutshell, I would say from my short experience; marriage is about learning to accept your partner as they are with flaws and all. One way to fail is to try and change a spouse through words and force, rather the best you can do is to create an environment that promotes change and allows him/her to see a different way of doing things. This can be done through prayer and asking God to intervene on your behalf. Marriage is about learning to forgive even when you would instead hold on to the hurt and disappointment. It is about laughing together and sometimes laughing at each other without taking offence. It is about knowing that you married a human being with flaws and weaknesses just like you, so instead of focus on the negatives rather embrace them for who they are. All the while helping, supporting and encouraging them to be better.
Lastly, each marriage is unique simply because no two people are the same under the sun. Don’t compare your marriage to others because at the end of the day the only people who know the actual state of their union behind the closed doors and glamorous social media posts is the husband and wife. Instead, learn from others and adapt the beneficial and relevant lessons to your relationship. Keep looking within your marriage, forgive and try as much as possible to forget because I know it is not always so easy to do so. Keep fighting for your marriage in prayer and in deeds, be kind to one another, patient, honest and love with all your heart. Do life together, celebrate each other and by God’s grace pray that you grow old together. Whatever you do, never give up on working it out because marriage is work.
So to my dedicated Arsenal supporter, let’s be gunners for life, celebrating every match victory together and sulking together when our team loses. After all, I promised that your people would be my people. Here is to many more years to come!