I had all the ingredients I needed, but didn’t quite understand the directions to the baked breaded tilapia recipe I googled. I really didn’t know what I was doing. The kitchen was a mess, with egg whites all over the counter, and the breading sprinkled on the floor. In the end, the tilapia was more like a spotted, gooey mess and it was not crispy at all. Yuck!
My poor husband ate it anyway. I threw mine away. But, I was so determined to not let this happen again. The following week I payed more attention to the recipe, prepared the ingredients correctly and had all the right pots and pans. This time around it turned out pretty amazing! And I’m so proud to say that Edward actually enjoyed fish for the first time.
I wish I could share all my crazy newlywed stories with you. (Like when I microwaved a METAL travel mug. Not kidding.) But this one in particular reminds me that to have a fulfilling marriage, we should follow some sort of recipe. Before marriage, I thought that if two people were in love, it would all work out. Well, now I know that it takes effort to keep that love alive.
In the last two years of marriage my ever-evolving recipe for a fulfilling marriage is:
2 Cups of Joy
1 Gallon of Grace
2 Gallons of Devotion
1 Lifetime with God
Take those 2 cups of joy and daily, laugh together. Also, don’t take each other or yourself too seriously. I do lots of silly, air-headed things around my husband. Before marriage, I would avoid doing those little quirks in front of him. Now, it’s inevitable. He sees the good, the bad, and the really silly. So I just decided to count it all joy and I learned to laugh at myself.
Pour the 1 gallon of grace over yourself and your spouse. I make mistakes and I fall short as a wife every single day. So I’m learning to give myself some grace. There is no such thing as a perfect person or the perfect marriage. The beautiful thing about marriage is that it helps you become a more grace-filled person towards yourself and others.
Use the 2 gallons of devotion to care, honor, and serve your spouse. We devote our time to our work, our hobbies, our dreams. Culture tells us that it’s perfectly fine to devote ourselves, and commit endless hours to those things. Yet, marriage is treated so casually. If we want fulfilling, long-lasting marriages, then we must take time to care for the person we said “I do” to. Let’s make time to cook their favorite meal or help them get ready in the morning or listen to their worries and burdens.
The most important ingredient is 1 lifetime with God. He makes it all work together for our good. Like the times we argue and something mean slips out. Or the times we feel disappointed. He turns those things around for our good when He’s the one we seek after. He gives us the strength, the grace, the self-control to commit to having a fulfilling marriage. At the end of the day, no matter how amazing of a relationship we have with our spouse, it will feel like there’s something missing, if we don’t spend our days seeking God. He’s the source and the main ingredient for a lasting relationship.
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:6)
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesian 5:33)
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 3:5)
What is your recipe for a fulfilling marriage? I’d love to hear and learn from you!
P.S. Happy 2 year anniversary to my handsome, super funny, incredibly caring and supportive husband, Edward.