How many times have you been invited to a bridal shower and during the “game” time, they hand you a card for you to write your advice to the new couple? Well, I’m not an “on the spot” kind of gal in terms of being able to give advice, and often struggle coming up with something. So when I was talking to my daughter, and thought of some of the advice that would be helpful in a successful, lifelong marriage, I decided that I would write it down for others to see too.

My husband and I have been married for 30 years this September, and much of what is written down here was either something that we set in motion in the beginning or things we learned along the way. We will continually be learning how to do life better, but this is from our journey thus far.

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Pick your battles. Only “get into it” over truly important issues and then remember to have grace with one another.
  2. ALWAYS put the other person first. If the man puts the woman’s needs before his own, and the woman puts the man’s needs before her own, then both people’s needs will be met with love.
  3. Don’t deny your own feelings. Your feelings matter, and too many hurt feelings lead to bigger issues. Be gentle with each other.
  4. NEVER let the sun go down while you are still angry. Scripture says that each day has enough trouble/worries of its own. Even if the “sun” doesn’t go down until 3 or 4 am…settle things before you go to sleep. (Ephesians 4:26)
  5. Don’t borrow problems from tomorrow. Keep your head focused on what is in front of you. Prepare for tomorrow, but leave it in God’s hands. You can’t do anything to change yesterday, and as I said before, tomorrow will take care of itself. (Matthew 6:34)
  6. Don’t accuse. Nobody likes that. Use “I feel ______ when ______ ” messages rather than accusing.
  7. Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. (James 1:19)