Every relationship requires work. It’s not a “set it, forget it” model. Marriage requires even more effort and both wife and husband have to be active participants. I’ve been married twice and both are/were different. In my first marriage, I was 27 and just really getting started with life. I had just taken a new job only a few years before that. We were both young and very much in love. We did everything together and were never separated. He loved The Lord so much and was my Bible teacher. My root and ground in the faith came through him. When he died, so did I. For 11 years, I was numb and didn’t think I could or would ever love anyone again.
When God blessed me with my second husband, it was initially very hard. I had been on my own those 11 years and so now I’m in my mid-thirties and very set in my ways. I did a lot of comparing between my 2nd and 1st hubbies. It wasn’t fair as I voiced my disappointments, anger at times to my 2nd husband. He felt I didn’t need him at all. I didn’t affirm him, I didn’t encourage him. It wasn’t that I didn’t love him, it was that nagging feeling in my head that somehow I was being unfaithful to my 1st. I know now that, that was ridiculous, but unless you’ve ever lost a spouse and remarried it’s hard to describe the feelings you have when you’re trying to move on.
What saved my 2nd marriage from failure was what I mentioned earlier in this post, we both wanted to participate to make our relationship work. I had to look deep inside myself, he did the same. We both had to turn ourselves over to Jesus and pray together. I had to forgive myself, I even forgave my 1st husband for dying. That might sound weird, but I needed to really and finally let go of him. I had a guy who really loved me, he wanted to be with me. I didn’t want to fail.
So, what my 2nd hubby and I did was decide to date each other. Again, something that probably sounds crazy but stick with me, you’ve more than likely heard the term, “date night”. And a lot of married couples pick a night to go out on a date which is cool. In our case, we took a step or two up! LOL! Thing is…it’s different marrying someone who has never been married before.
Both of us had been on our own many years, me: 11 years, him: 17 years. So, the first thing we had to do was learn more about each other, more than favorite colors, meals, etc. I needed to understand what my husband loves, what his dreams are and how I could encourage him. So, we’d go out walking and talking. He shared a lot more intimate details about his upbringing and even past relationships which weren’t many, good for me, huh?! And, I listened to him, not just hearing. I took it all in.
We both shared our hopes and dreams for the future holding hands as we sat on benches in parks or at the port. These were the best dates. He listened to me as I cried about losing my 1st husband. He took the time to hold me when I just wanted to be quiet. He’d wouldn’t shoot out a bunch of scriptures at me. Sometimes, he would just simply say, “it’s okay Kim“. It’s those simple things that mean so much. He allowed me to finish grieving without rushing me to “get over it.“
We’ve traveled a lot in our 20+ years of marriage and those were fun trips where we hiked, took pictures, climbed rocks and mountains, ate in many restaurants and stayed in a multitude of hotels. But the moments I love the best about our dating, is going to McDonald’s grabbing some burgers, drive to the river, eat outside watching the boats come in and out of the dock and simply talking. I love his sense of humor and he makes me laugh a lot.
When we started dating each other, our marriage changed drastically. I fell in love all over again with him. My feelings of betrayal were washed away. I felt The Lord working in me to be the kind of wife I needed to be for him. We look out for each other. We pray for each other everyday. We encourage each other but we also know when the other needs some time alone. We respect each other’s feelings and concerns and we talk about any decisions we need to make. All of this is part of our dating.
The best part is how much he loves Jesus and how committed he is to obeying His Word for us. It makes it absolutely and incredibly easy for me to follow hubby. I know in my heart that my husband will always do what it is best for us and that’s so comforting.
The Lord created marriage and when everyone is performing their best to please Him, that relationship just can’t fail. It is a daily work in progress as we, people change, our life situations also change and we find ourselves adapting to new lifestyle changes. When that happens, the marriage can be affected and it must evolve to be successful. Look at this global pandemic, it has affected all of us to the core in so many ways. For us, it’s made us appreciate each other that much more. It’s made us take each moment we have together and really treasure it. It shouldn’t take a disaster to bring us to this point, but oftentimes that’s what has to happen for us to really see what’s important. For hubby and me, it’s ensuring that we show our love to each other everyday.