Sunday, March 17, 2013

I felt it was a little bit ironic when asked for marriage advice for my sister, considering how Sgt G and I have been separated.  I can't say "well here's what worked for me".  I am not a good example of a perfect marriage (which I don't think exists). I can however say what I have learned and hope they make it work for them.  At weddings people are full of advice- often one liners.  "Don't let the sun go down on your anger" "spend time together" "be each other's best friend" etc.  I don't have any witty advice but I do have personal experience.  So J and M, I hope you cherish each other.  Bumps in the road are going to come.  Maybe sooner than later, but they are just bumps.  The main point is to keep going- together.  Don't let go of each others hands when the going gets tough.  I love you both dearly and yesterday was a truly perfect wedding!

Here is my take on two classic pieces of advice given at weddings.   

Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Your Anger
    Ephesians 4:26-27 is an often quoted Bible verse about anger.  Newly married couples are often told to "not let the sun go down on your anger".  I always assumed that meant literally we had to hash everything out before going to bed.  I don't think that is the point of the verse.  If we step back and look at the entire verse, this is what we see- "Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity."  First, we are told that anger is okay.  As Christians, married or not, we are not guaranteed a perfectly happy life where we never get angry.  Even Jesus got angry.  I believe the point of this passage is "yet do not sin".  Don't do something  you will regret later just because you are angry.  Take a walk, have some quiet time, do whatever calms you down.  There were many nights when I took the verse a bit too literally.  I would want to stay up and solve the problem.  While sometimes that would work, the majority of the time both parties are exhausted.  I thought we had to stay up or we were bad Christians.  The advice to couples to not let the sun go down on their anger is not a hard and fast rule.  I think you should try and work things out that same day, but sometimes you just need to sleep on it.  Everything looks better in the morning (usually).  In the morning, you can get a cup of coffee and sit down calmly to talk about whatever it was that happened.  Maybe the verse can be interpreted as don't let two suns go down on your anger.  Talk about things as soon as possible, but as soon as calmly possible.
Spend Time Together
   Another common advice to couples on their wedding day, is to spend time together.  I completely agree with this!  There is a quote that says "love is a four letter word spelled t-i-m-e" and its so true.  Spend time with your loved one.  I always appreciated that Sgt G would come with me to the yarn store.  Not because he likes yarn as much as I do, but because we could spend time together.  Hang out together, cook dinner together, watch a movie, go on a walk, etc.  I would also challenge a couple to take individual time too. Have a girlfriends night, or a guys poker night.  Its ok to be away from your spouse for a couple hours.  In fact I think it strengthens the relationship.  As long as its not every night, and nothing "wrong" is happening.  Don't leave your husband or wife at home to go drinking with those of the opposite sex.  That's asking for trouble.  Personally speaking, twice a month on Sunday I would go to knit night with my girlfriends.  Sgt G has poker nights once or twice a month.  Neither one of us has to worry about the other while they are away.  Time apart is important because it gives you a chance to miss the other person.  At the end of knit night, I would go home to a husband eager to hear how it went.  That made all the difference.  It doesn't matter to Sgt G how many rows I was able to knit.  He just cares about my day, and I about his.  So, spend as much time together as possible with a few alone nights sprinkled here and there. 

Welcome to the family M!

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