Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What I've Learned After 5 Years of Marriage

This Friday, January 17th, is my five-year wedding anniversary. These past five years have been full, fast, and filled with both great joys and great sorrows.

After being married six short months Jason and I moved to Downtown Orlando, in July 2009, to plant a church. God took us on a much different and more winding path of ministry than we had planned. During the same time I was unemployed for eleven months while Jason got offered a job without even trying.

In October of 2010, we reached the point that most everyone does...It was our line-in-the sand moment. That time in marriage where you are forced to decide if you'll keep going or throw in the towel.

I don't remember 2011 very well. Perhaps because it would prove to hold the least tragedy of all our years of marriage? I did begin this blog as I finally discovered what my part in Downtown ministry would look like.

2012 was a hard year that included unemployment again, along with depression, and a devastating personal trajedy.

I'm still processing 2013. I oddly have a somewhat positive perspective following another very hard year that left us suffering two great additional losses.

So what have I learned?  


In October 2010, by God's grace we made the decision to honor our commitment to one another and keep moving forward. It wasn't easy. It took lots of professional help and we still have lots of work to do. But I'm so thankful God saved and redeemed our marriage.

Eventually in every marriage (if you're honest with yourself) you'll come to a place where you must decide whether to continue or not. You'll ask yourself if the positives really outweigh the negatives. As someone who has come out on the other side my answer is a resounding, "YES!" It will not be quick or easy but it will be worth it.

If you're feeling particularly brave today, I'd love to hear your story, in the comments below, of choosing to continue with marriage even when it would have been easier or even acceptable to divorce. What have you learned during your years of marriage?

(Note: if abuse or infidelity exists in your marriage please seek a trusted friend, a professional, or the proper authorities.)


  1. How to get to 55? I dunno. We're only at 34! :) I think the best you can do is cultivate a godly life each day...and the years add up. The goal is not to stay married. The goal is to be holy. I know that sounds stuffy, but for me it's survival. There have been a lot of losses and bewildering pain for us. There have also been some significant times of joy. Mostly, there just day to day life and some of it kind of boring. I've lived a lot of years wanting to be happy and that goal (surprisingly :P) didn't work well. Some things that have worked well: Be humble; Ask for help; Ask for perspective; Be verbal about acceptance and appreciation; be willing to be wrong; make other friends who pursue God; Read a lot about healthy relationships; Read a book together; Be giving and forgiving; Be grateful for every.little.thing. It's normal to have to really work hard at this. Remember that you are brother and sister in Christ and treat each other with love and respect. Good question to ponder, as there's so much more to add here! :D

    1. This is all so good and helpful. Thanks, Kris.

  2. oh, Joy..the better question would be what haven't I learned? the only truth I ever learned about God, men, or myself has been on this side of marriage. I have chosen to stay so many times and the deciding factor was "to God be the glory". in which decision would He be most glorified. I hope God blesses us both with a good year coming. Bless you, roomie.

    1. "To God be the glory," is a great decision making paradigm. Thanks, Shannon.

  3. I read once, and I can't remember who it was, an author that said he always laughs when people ask him how he stayed married. He says he answers, "I just stayed married." I think it is that hard and that easy. Almost all feelings eventually change. I think the most important thing is loving yourself first, so you can come to each other whole.

    I do believe in divorce, but I think most give up way too fast.

    1. Great quote and great point about loving yourself first. Thanks for weighing-in, Renia.