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Women In the Word Wednesday- What I’ve learned in my 12 years of marriage

I married my high school sweetheart and love of my life on July 17th, 1999. I still remember the day I saw him…..I had recently moved to his school and it was during our 8th grade graduation ceremony when I first saw my future husband. He was on stage for getting only A’s all through middle school and I remember thinking, “Wow, that guy is cute and smart….I’m going to have to keep my eye on him when we get to high school!” A few years later and with God’s intervention we finally met, became friends and started dating……all in about a week! Our first double date was with Courtney and her boyfriend (future husband) Keith. By the time the above picture was taken, Dirk and I had dated 5 1/2 years. We started dating our Junior year in high school and continued all through college.

When we first started dating we were both only 17. I feel as though I have grown up with him and I LOVE THAT! Dirk has been with me through my worst of times and best of times. I have sat next to him in high school when he was talking about colleges and dreaming of one day going to medical school. And I have continued to sit next to him, supporting him, encouraging him all the way through to completion of his dream. I love our history together. I loved every step of the process. There were of course years that were hard, when we didn’t see each other very much, when we didn’t have any money, when we were both stressed and tired but we were working toward a common goal and we were a team and you want to know something….it was all worth it. One important lesson that I learned those years when Dirk was in medical school and residency was …..don’t wish them away. Live your life NOW! Enjoy the time God has given you now. God has a purpose in every stage of your life. Don’t wish your life away but enjoy where God has you. It’s the journey of life that’s the most fun. The times of not knowing God’s plan but learning to trust Him…together are so valuable. It’s during the journey of life that God continues to mold each of you together, during the times of disappointments and times of celebrations. During life’s ups and downs, God is constantly at work making each of you look more like His Son.

As I sit here tonight thinking over the years we have spent together, now with two sweet daughters and another one coming next month, I am so thankful to my Lord for giving me such a wonderful man to share my life with. I truly feel so unworthy and so thankful at the same time. Our life isn’t perfect and neither are we, but I love seeing where God started us, where He has taken us and I look eagerly to the future with my Lord, my husband and my children.

With all that said, here are a few things that I have learned these past 12 years…

1. Be the type of wife you’d want your son to be married to.

2. Smile at him.

3. Be forgiving.

4. Be direct……but kindly. Men can’t read minds and neither can we.

5. Be excited to see him when he comes home.

6. Allow him to have alone time.

7. Be an encourager.

8. Don’t nag…honestly it doesn’t work and only hurts the relationship.

9.  Give him grace, you aren’t the perfect wife and he isn’t the perfect husband.

10. Pray for him and allow God to work in his life.

11. Remember you are not his Holy Spirit

12. There is only one “Prince Charming” and his name is Jesus…release your husband from the burden of fulfilling all your needs…..he can’t. Only Jesus can.

I read this list to Dirk earlier today and asked him which were his favorite points, his answer was: smiling at him and being excited to see him when he gets home. :)

Love God Greatly!

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  1. What a beautiful story! You both were so sweet and I think its wonderful that you ‘grew up’ together. I love your advice to wives, unfortunately, I learned these lessons the hard way.. but thank God for His Grace.. better late than never! After 21 years of marriage I, too, feel like I grew up with my husband.. not as much in years as in maturity. It IS the tough times, the trials you go through together that make it all worthwhile.. being able to look back at all the bridges you crossed with each other to get to where you are now.
    God bless your sweet family Angela and thank you for sharing them with us!

  2. p.s. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!! May God continue to bless and strengthen your union, your husband’s profession, your ministry and your family.

    Love & Hugs from over the seas

  3. First of all, Happy Anniversary! Secondly, thank you for this particular encouragement. I am the wife of a surgery resident, and he is in his third year of a five year program. He will also likely do a fellowship after this. :-( We have been married 11 years and have 2 sweet little girls, ages 6 and 2. Like you and your husband, we have been on this journey together before a career was even picked out, so we have been a team through a lot of different stages. I think the thing that helped me the most in what you wrote was that I need to be careful not to wish away the days. That is SO true! I can forget that sometimes though, as we have been in the pressure cooker for so long. We have not had a vacation or even a date alone in 6 years! LOL Holidays? No? Even Christmas? Nope. You know how it goes with the time and money in med school and residency. Some days I just want a “normal” marriage and a “real” life. LOL I never voice this to my husband, and I’m so glad I haven’t! What a complaining heart that is! :-( Surely we have a very blessed life because we have love for one another, our precious daughters, and of course, the mercy of knowing the Truth of the gospel and how that changes everything. It is easy to forecast happier, less stressful times on the other side of these many years of no sleep, even less money, and very little interaction with each other, but the truth is, we are right where the Lord has brought us in the very moment we are in, and there is joy to be had and sweet lessons to be learned. I don’t want to wish that away! I want to have a heart of thanks and contentment, and I want that to be an encouragement to my hardworking husband. Thanks for the reminder! It really helps to hear it from someone who is farther down the path.

  4. Ashley T says:

    I loved reading about your history together. It was interesting to see how similar our lives are. My DH and I started dating during our sophomore years in high school, were “steady” through college, married during his medical school days, and continue to be a blessing to each other now, as we raise our twin boys. It has been a long journey, but we also love the long history we have with each other and our families. And I agree, what didn’t break us made us stronger.

    Thank you for your website and Bible studies. I have joined the last two (James and Ministry of Motherhood) on line. As my 8 ys old son watched me doing the SOAP method, he decided he wanted to do a Bible study too. So precious.

    Happy belated anniversary!

  5. Thank you, Angela, for sharing this entry. For some reason, it was just a blessing to me today. A sweet remembrance. We celebrated our 20th this year, and the time is going so fast. Your reminder meant alot. Thank you! :-)

  6. It’s funny, because I just did a blog post yesterday about top tips for marriage. Mine was based around an excerpt from Richard Baxter, the great Puritan, on avoiding dissension in the marriage. My tip would be to avoid arguing. I shared above in a link, but thought i would mention that it tied in with my blog! feel free to link up at mine, for others to see! ;-)

  7. Oh friend! For some reason this brought me to tears – tears of joy :) God has done so much in your life – wow! And the two of you have come SO far – it’s just beautiful! I love you guys so much! God knew what he was doing when he brought us together!!!

    Can’t wait to see what the next 12 years bring :)
    Love ya,

  8. Love your list! Number 11 is my favorite:)

  9. Happy Anniversary! Thank you so much for this post today. I am in the midst of watching a friends kids (3 and 1) with my 4 year old for the entire week. The jump from 1 child to 3 is a challenge and my stress level elevated. I needed this reminder! Wonderful story and wonderful tips! Thank you!

  10. What a beautiful post! Today our anniversary, celebrating 9 years of marriage. Lol I was thinking about doing a list like yours but you summed it up so well, I may just link people over here! Thanks for posting :)

  11. What a beautiful post! Today our anniversary, celebrating 9 years of marriage. Lol I was thinking about doing a list like yours but you summed it up so well, I may just link people over here! Thanks for posting.

  12. Happy Anniversary! Also thanks for sharing what you have learned. I have been married 10 years this past April, and have to say, smiling at my husband, and being excited to see him when he gets home, haven’t been easy lately. It just seems like that’s the time of day my stress level is at it’s highest. Your husband’s choices of #2 and #5 reaffirms that this is important, and I will definitely be more conscious and work hard to improve in those areas! Thanks again.

  13. **11. Remember you are not his Holy Spirit

    That’s one I’ve never heard before and something that I really have to work on. Very VERY good point :)

  14. I emailed the list to my husband, that is away for work right now and asked him which his favorite ones would be. He said that he couldn’t pick any favorites because they are all so important. Thanks for the great list! Guess I better get to work!

  15. “Live your life NOW! Enjoy the time God has given you now. God has a purpose in every stage of your life. Don’t wish your life away but enjoy where God has you. It’s the journey of life that’s the most fun. The times of not knowing God’s plan but learning to trust Him…together are so valuable” – Thankyou Angela for sharing this, and thankyou Lord for leading me to read it today, as my husband talks about searching for a new job and my youngest moves into a new stage of life. We are so blessed in having Christ as our solid rock, and thanks Angela for reminding me of that :)

  16. Excellent post! I really like #1 as a mom of five boys. I think about that point all the time. I want their wives to treat them right and I need to lead an example of what they can expect.

    How fun to see you and your husband in 1999 and then today. Very sweet.

  17. Thanks everyone for your sweet comments! Truly never expected such a response! :) You all blessed my heart tonight! :)

    Love God Greatly!

  18. Happy belated Anniversary! Thanks for sharing your story and the top ten things you’ve learned. Surprisingly for me at 19 years (20 in October) I am just learning many of these—thank God for His grace and mercy and bringing me such a wonderful forgiving husband. The ones that is the “ouch” for me is #11 and #12.

  19. Beautiful message and so uplifting!
    Thank-you for sharing it!

  20. GREAT advice! My favorite is don’t try to be his Holy Spirit, and the “prince charming” advice! It’s a never ending battle in our relationship, letting go and letting God!

  21. Rebecca says:

    Thanks so much for sharing a few things you’ve learned over the last 12 years. I needed that today as I have been working hard trying to be my husband’s holy spirit the last few days. LOL!! Let me tell you it isn’t work out so well:))
    Thanks again, and congrats on 12 years!! It will be 10 for us this year. -becca

  22. Rebecca says:

    Thanks so much for posting what you have learned over the last 12 years. I needed that today as I have beening trying to be my sweet husband’s holy spirit and it’s not working out so well. LOL!
    Congratulations on 12 years!! 10 years for us in the fall!

  23. magnificent points altogether, you simply received a new reader.
    What might you suggest about your post that you simply made some days ago?
    Any positive?


  1. [...] This post is being link to Women Living Well Wednesdays,  Building Our Homes Together with Jesus, Women in the Word Wednsedays, and Thankful Thursdays.  Please click on over and see what other ladies are doing in their homes! [...]

  2. […] What I’ve learned in my 12 years of marriage - great practical tips for wives! […]

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