The Best Marriage Advice

Hi friends! I hope you had a wonderful New Year and are keeping up those New Year’s resolutions and goals. I’ve been focusing on getting back into a routine after the break, but I’ll be posting my 2020 goals soon.

Today is our four year wedding anniversary and time has flown by so fast. This marks nine years together and we have learned a lot about ourselves and each other during that time. While we have received a lot of advice about marriage, I wanted to share the best piece of advice we got because I have gained so much perspective from it.

In our junior year of college, Matt and I started taking some intentional steps for preparing for marriage. We decided to attend our school’s first marriage conference for those who were married or preparing for marriage called Going Deeper Together. At the time, my biggest question about marriage was “How we were going to make it work with two very different people?” Not only did we have totally different hobbies and interests, but our personalities are about as opposite as you can get. I wondered how this would work out in the long run without having those things in common, so after one of the sessions we asked Dr. Chris Grace, the director of our school’s Center for Marriage and Relationships. His response was simple, but has stayed with me ever since. He said something along the lines of this:

“Think of your marriage like a vase with a bunch of materials you put in. There’s some sand, which represents things like what shows you watch or where you want to vacation. There’s some pebbles, which are things like your main interests and your career, friends, etc. Then there are rocks, which represent your faith, worldview, beliefs, etc. If you put the sand in first, then the pebbles, then the rocks, it won’t all fit in the vase. Put if you put the rocks in first, then the pebbles, then the sand to fill in the cracks, it all fits.”

The point is that for a healthy marriage to work, you have to prioritize the right things. There are core things that you need to agree on, otherwise your marriage will be really difficult. There are secondary things that it’s nice to agree on, but not necessary, like hobbies and interests. The other things just don’t really matter in the scheme of things, but if you prioritize those when looking for a partner, it may be easy at the start, but there will be hardship ahead.

As I look at the marriages of people around me, I see the successful ones have their priorities right. They don’t agree about everything, but they do about the important things. And when they do butt heads over the smaller stuff, they can let things go more easily because they know it doesn’t really matter much in the end. If you’re in a relationship now, I encourage you to talk about the things that are important that you’re not willing to compromise on so you can be set up for success!

Regardless of your relationship status, I hope this piece of advice was as helpful for you as it was for me. If you’re interested in learning more from Dr. Grace and his great relationship advice, check out The Art of Relationships podcast!

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