A wedding day comes and goes, and for many newlyweds, the planning for the day far outweighed the planning for the actual marriage. The first year of holy matrimony becomes a trial-by-fire learning experience, and I can tell you that more than a few tears might be shed. Too often, we forget that marriage is all about learning – continually learning how to love your spouse, learning to share tight quarters with one person for the rest of your life, learning to set and achieve goals together, and learning to compromise. That one will get you every time. Learning to compromise feels a lot like learning patience. The outcome is great, but the process is less that pleasant. Have you been there?
Jackie Bledsoe and his wife have. Before their first wedding anniversary, their marriage was on the brink of failure. Between the baggage both brought to the relationship, bad habits, and a brand new baby — the struggle was more than real. The need for their marriage to be saved wasn’t just something that happened to other people. It was happening to them. By God’s grace, the Bledsoes began counseling and a marriage class, and worked through the issues they were facing.
The Bledsoes aren’t the only ones who have experienced the battle of working for a marriage that will last. From their experience in both difficulty and triumph has come a helpful guide for married couples: The 7 Rings of Marriage. As your marriage moves from ring to ring, we pray that you find this guide helpful in being intentional in your relationship.
The 7 Rings of Marriage
1. Engagement RING
The beginning. Think vision – vision filled with hope, love, and possibility. You have no real clue of what challenges lie ahead, as it all seems blissful.
2. Wedding RING
The commitment. Think of your wedding day and saying, “I do.” Your lives come together as one, and you can’t think of anything better.
The real you. Think of pulling the covers off. After becoming one, sharing a home, and a lot of other stuff, you both begin ot learn things you never knew about each other. This can be good or bad.
The work. Think of the reward when you commit and work hard at something. This is why couples say, “marriage takes work!” But you’ll learn that work pays off in amazing ways.
The fixing. Think of healing and cleaning up. You both have been hurt by each other at some point in your marriage, but your love prevails, and now you begin healing and making your marriage great.
The goal. Think of happily ever after – of reaching your goal and realizing the vision you had when you were engaged. Now, after all you’ve been through, this is reality.
The payback. Think of experiencing something great and wanting to share it. You want others to experience something similar. This drives you to help other couples that haven’t experienced what you have.
Would you love a copy of this to place on your bathroom mirror so that you remember to be intentional in the stage you are in? Download that here.
What stage is your marriage? How are you seeing these rings play out in your relationship?