Marry your Best friend. Cliché right? But 5 years of marriage and 3 and a half years of parenting later, I realise it’s not just something that’s said for saying sake. There’s so much truth in it. I’ll tell you why.
See, marriage is not exactly a new life. Life is life. The only difference is marriage changes who you are going to do life with for the rest of your life. That’s why marriage cannot be perfect. Because life is not perfect. When we marry, we continue living but we have a new companion, a new person to bounce off ideas with, a new shoulder to cry on…you know, the whole package. At the beginning of life, we don’t have a choice as to which family we are born into. But marriage finally gives you the chance to choose your family. And it’s best to make a great choice.
In the last five years, life has happened to both of us. Great days that got us jumping, good days that got us smiling, normal days that kept us…er…normal 🤷🏾♀️. Then there’s been the painful moments. Days that get you crying. Times that get you asking God why me, why us? Opportunities that we missed because of bad choices. Months that money flows and then months that we will be counting our coins. But in all of these…in sickness and in health, for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, we have had each other. And that’s all that has kept us.
What does having each other mean? It means if I’m broken and I’m crying, he understands. I’m not shy to let him see my tears and tell him my fears. If he’s miscalculated and our budget is tight, I am not going to blame him but we’ll figure out what we can do. I may have an idea that is stupid but he doesn’t just brush me off. We can talk and later on laugh at my stupidity together. It’s simple but it’s big. Why? Just picture the alternative. I’m broken, but I cannot tell him. So I have to hide my tears and then go on to do all that a good wife is supposed to do even in my pain. Budget changes but he cannot tell me so he has to figure out every possible means to get money and he can’t even show he’s stressed when he gets home. If we don’t have each other, it’s like we are drowning but allowing the other person to push us further into the water.
Oh and then, there’s parenting! That’s a full time job for two. There are so many moving parts to this parenting business. The scariest part too is that when you mess it up, you are messing up the lives of people who didn’t ask to be here. Parenting gives one toooo many opportunities to disagree. And yes, we disagree. But when we do, we still live and laugh. And then we can figure out a good way to compromise. That’s what the gift of a best friend is when it comes to parenting together.
We didn’t get here overnight. We’ve been intentional about building our friendship right from our dating days. I wonder if we knew what we were doing when we took temperament tests together, discovered our love languages, prayed together, set guidelines (like how many hours it should take to resolve a conflict, how often we should go out etc). Today, we realise how much all of these built a foundation for the openness and transparency we need in marriage. As Christians, marriage is the only time we are allowed to get naked in front of each other. But you know? This nakedness goes beyond the physical. It’s an emotional, social, spiritual, mental…every -al form of nakedness. Just as we cannot become one physically with our clothes on, neither can we be one in any other way until we remove every clothing blocking us.
As we celebrate five years, we can only say that this journey of oneness is a step by step process. We are not there yet…not at all. But we know that we are being intentional about getting there. So no pressure. We’re not saying we have it all figured out and we are the perfect couple out here. The only question is are you being intentional about gaining that oneness, that perfection?
Genesis 2:24-25 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.
Have you left your parents? Not necessarily physically but more importantly, emotionally, psychologically etc. Are you taking more input from then than from your spouse? Are you consciously attempting to be joined to your spouse to become one? Are you allowing yourselves to get naked before each other without being ashamed?
We thank God for these first 5 years. We thank God for all the lessons learnt and all that we know now that we didn’t know 5 years ago. Our prayer for the next 5, 10, 15, 20, 50 years is simple. That we will become more of best friends with each passing year. To us, really, that’s all that matters.