We were hanging out with some married friends recently and as I glanced around the room of couples, I was filled with joy for one simple reason: they all have awesome marriages.
I know these friends really well, and every couple in that room would testify that they are truly blessed to have their partner by their side. Inevitably, life brings so many ups and downs, and there’s nothing more important than choosing a life partner to walk with you through those times. A good marriage is truly a gift, and this is why it’s so important to marry well.
So what does it look like to marry well, and how do you know you did?
Before we get into that, let me tell you what marrying well IS NOT. We live in a culture that’s so bent on skewing our perspective of marriage and the kind of person we should marry, and too many people are falling for that lie.
Women are convinced they need to be on the lookout Mr. Perfect, all while the men are on the prowl for a SuperModel Wife. Marrying well is not about having a fancy car and house…or finding someone with a really great career. It’s not even about chivalry, romance, or chemistry.
Marrying well is so much deeper than that. And here’s how you know you did:
#1 – You’re Better Together
Marrying well is about finding a spouse who makes you better. Personally, I’ve become so much better by being married to my husband, and he would say the same about me. In marriage, you’re GOING to rub off on each other – the good, the bad, and the ugly – so when the “rubbing” starts to happen, you need to be married to someone who will ADD to your life, rather than take away from it. In my new book, Choosing Marriage I talk about this concept, and how marriage has the power to make you better along the way, but it requires marrying someone who’s willing to take that journey with you – pushing you toward becoming the best version of yourself spiritually, physically, and mentally.
#2 – You Fight Fair
As a professional counselor, I can confidently tell you that there’s nothing wrong with disagreement. Two different people with two different ideas, opinions, and feelings are bound to disagree. But here’s the thing: it’s not about what you fight about at all – it’s about HOW you fight about it. When you marry well, you’ve found someone who’s willing to communicate and converse in a way that brings resolution and intimacy, not in a way that brings isolation and contention.
#3 – You Support One Another
I vividly remember after an event I spoke at, a young man came up to me and thanked me for my ministry and said, “I’m your biggest fan…”, and then he corrected himself, “actually – your second biggest fan, after your husband of course”. And you know what, he was 100% correct. My husband is truly my #1 fan in every way. And I am HIS #1 fan. I think he’s the greatest and helping him accomplishing his goals and dreams is such a great joy. Support can come in so many different ways, shapes, and forms. In a good marriage, you don’t compete with one another, you support one another.
#4 – You Enjoy One Another’s Company
I read an article in which the author said she despised calling her husband her “BFF” because she didn’t believe that was the role of a husband….what?!? I have to admit, I did not connect with that article at all, because I’m totally on the OTHER side of that perspective. My husband was, is, and will always be my Best Friend For Life. You know you married well when there’s no one you’d rather spend time with and do life with. Of course we all need friends and community to thrive, but in the context of marrying well, your marry someone who you can’t get enough of.
#5 – You Grow Together
Marrying well doesn’t mean you cover one another’s flaws, because the reality is – through marriage- you’ll likely expose their flaws. No one is perfect, and there will always be a level of “flaws” that comes out through the context of marriage. But when you marry well, you find a spouse who is willing to acknowledge their sins and struggles, confess, grow, and seek change. You’ll find that you’re growing together each step of the way. You’ll find that the person you’re married to today, is even better, wiser, and kinder than the person you married a decade ago. You find a willingness to grow in your relationship with one another, and most important yet, your relationship with God.
To those of you who’ve married well, go give your spouse a kiss and and show your appreciation. Commit to continue loving, growing, and choosing marriage day by day.
To those of you who are single, you better believe you need to keep these things in mind as you date – because dating well leads to marrying well.
And to those of you who find yourself discouraged at the thought that your marriage isn’t where you want it to be, let TODAY be the starting point to your commitment to learning as much as you can and becoming the best you can. Like any good thing, marriage takes work, but the more you know, the better you’ll do.
My new book, Choosing Marriage, is available for pre-order!! Pre-ordering shows the retailers this is an important message, and helps to increase the reach of this message across the country!! Click below to pre-order and learn more about Choosing Marriage!
Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, 21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life, and 21 Days to Pray For Your Love Life – where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 200+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!