First year of marriage in the books. I’m an expert now, right?
To some people, we are experts. To those that are dating or engaged, we seem to have it “figured it” or at the very least we have experienced a year of it. To most, however, we are not experts and that’s okay. I still feel the need to share what I have learned because it helps me reflect. Whether or not you find something useful here is completely up to you.
Hana and I have been married for one entire year. It flew by. Time has flown by. Life got busier and more tiring in this past year. We learned a lot about each other but more than that I think we’ve realized that there is a lifetime worth of learning to go. As we grow so does our love, so do our goals and aspirations. I’m not married to the same Hana that I was a year ago and she is not married to the same version of me from a year ago. We have changed and we will continue to change. That’s what is so fun about this marriage thing.
Out serve the other. Some days this is harder than others but if both parties show up each day trying to serve the other better than the day before then you’re off to a good start. There have been times where I choose myself over her and it feels like a missed opportunity. An opportunity to serve her means to love her. When I act selfishly I can’t get that back. Choose the other before yourself.
Lower your expectations raise your level of commitment. I heard this a few months ago and it stuck with me. It means when I serve I should not expect to be served in return. We should hold ourselves to a standard but to hold our significant other to the same standard will rarely turn out well. For me, I can’t control her actions so expectations are pointless. It creates resentment in the heart when something doesn’t happen like you thought it would. Here’s a practical example: If I cook dinner I could expect my wife to clean the kitchen. But what if her day was tough and she’s tired? What if the real act of service would be for me to cook AND clean? If I held on to the notion that me cooking counted as service and then expected her to clean in return I could’ve missed the chance to serve her. Does this sound ridiculous? Exhausting maybe? It definitely could be, because no one said things were 50/50, or easy. We are never in the same place as our partner and that’s okay. We are here to pick the other up. I can assure you that over the long haul things will be very close to 50/50 simply because service leads to service, but we don’t need to wait for it. Let it be organic.
I hope this makes sense. In my head it certainly does. The goal is to, in a healthy manner, out serve your partner. At least that is what we have learned so far. Next year I may write something completely different but for now, this feels right and wholesome. We serve each other, we pray for and with each other and we love each other every day, no matter what.