It feels like not too long ago I posted this Q&A for our 3rd anniversary, and here we are, celebrating 5 years of marriage! As I went back and read some of our answers to those questions, I’m honestly impressed and proud to say that I don’t think they’d be different today.
Ruvim and I have gone through some rockier points these past few years, as any couple will (and should), but it all brought us to a place of deeper intimacy, knowing and being known by one another, and closeness on a new level. I wanted to share a few realizations, which could be advice for the unmarried or newly married, and reminders for the already-married.
After we hit our 4th year, I heard the Holy Spirit tell me we would reach a deeper level of intimacy in our marriage. This was exciting because I thought we were already “doing good.” But something I didn’t realize at the time was that it would take facing giants, going through trials, and riding the ups and downs together. Like, really, together.
I learned, yet again, that you won’t fully mature and grow without some sort of opposition. Like a seed has to push through the soil to reach the air and blossom into its potential, so a marriage must push through trials to produce fruit. People often check out when opposition and trials come. They don’t realize that they were mere inches away from reaching past the “dirt” that beat against them, that they could’ve pushed a little more to “make it work,” instead of giving up prematurely. And this goes for most other relationships as well, such as close friendships.
Facing opposition grows and matures you, and it can make a positive impact if you turn it into a positive experience. It’s okay to go through hard things (because you will), the point is to actually get through them. You’re in it together, thick and thin, and it’s up to you to keep pushing so that you can reach that new level of maturity!
Another thing I realized is how important it is to acknowledge, celebrate, and encourage growth and change in one another. We often hear and see it, especially in movies, how one spouse accuses another for changing. But the truth in the matter is that everyone changes. Everyone grows. Whichever way it is, good or bad, you’re going to evolve and change. You will not be the same as you were at 17 and thank God for that.
However, you and your spouse are accountable to each other’s growth in the right direction. You’re to encourage the positive and challenge the negative. Through encouragement, you’re able to lift one another up, while by challenging, you keep each other accountable to your values as a couple. According to your values, agreements, promises, and most importantly, your vows, it’s important to pursue growth for yourself but also to recognize in it your spouse.
Out of love and care to see the other succeed, it’s important to support, encourage, edify, nurture, and comfort one another so that you both and your marriage grow. You’re not responsible for each other’s actions and behaviors, but you’re responsible to each other (as I read in Dr. Henry Cloud’s book, and strongly recommend it, Boundaries). This brings me to my next point.
Be honest and un-offended. Actually, pursue being honest and stop getting offended so quickly! This puts you on the same page and keeps you there. I often withheld things I wanted to say or would wait for the “right time” to say something, but honestly, I realize it more each day that I could just say what I need to say. It’s not that I’m lying or keeping secrets from my husband, but that I only partially express myself. Which, in my opinion, is partial truth, making it a lie. I don’t mean to go overboard, but this could be a total game changer for so many over-thinkers. If you need to say something, say it.
Be honest but remain kind. Be firm, and remain un-offended.
For Each Other
And last, this is a point that I have to remind myself of often. It was the first lesson I had to learn in our marriage, and it’s that you and your spouse are for each other. You’re on the same team. You’re stronger, better, and more successful together. You’re loved by each other and better with each other, and it’s important to believe that.
Often, couples get over their “honeymoon phase” and, instead of looking at their differences as something cute and quirky, they get annoyed, feel challenged, and try to change one another. But that’s not how marriage works. As I mentioned earlier, it’s important to encourage and challenge growth in one another. Obviously, with pure intentions and right heart motives. Because you will face opposition and continue to change and grow, so why not make the best of it with and for each other? I believe this leads to deeper intimacy, no matter what you face in life.
These are just a few things I’ve meditated on as we reached this 5-year milestone. I hope it encouraged you and would love to hear if any of these resonated with you or what other things came to mind as you read.
How We Celebrated 5 Years
Now, I’m excited to share with you how we celebrated our 5th anniversary.
We bought a house and signed our closing documents! We are official first-time homeowners and are moving at the end of 2022, not only to a new home, but to a new city called Grand Junction. Here’s a little backstory.
In February 2021, we felt ready to buy a house. As I prayed about it then, I heard from God in spirit that we would have a house by or before our 5th anniversary. I didn’t want to overthink it and often felt like it was just my own thoughts and desires. I didn’t completely put it aside, but wrote it down in my journal to come to later (I often do this when I hear from God and am curious if it will happen). After finding this home, Ruvim reminded me of this and it was so sweet to reminisce and reflect on.
We signed and closed on our first home on the very day of our 5th anniversary!
God speaks and reveals things to come. Sometimes it really is our own thoughts and desires coming through, but other times, it’s really Him. We must keep seeking Him and familiarizing ourselves with His voice through Bible reading, prayer, and devotion (set aside time) to Him.
About Grand Junction
Grand Junction is about 4 hours from Denver. It’s relatively smaller in population, with about 60,000-80,000 people in the county, whereas the Denver Metro area has almost 3 million. Even though we currently live further from the main city, we still feel like we’re in it, which isn’t something that totally appeals to us.
I understand you can build a life anywhere, but when something feels right and all the components add up, and God is in the picture, move in that direction! Something we come back to when making life-decisions is asking if we will regret doing or not doing it in the future, and moving to Grand Junction fell into that category. If we don’t try it now, we might regret it later.
We have a lot to learn and are excited about this change! My hope (and I say this loosely) is to document this journey, especially as we learn the various sides to home-ownership, homesteading, and stewarding what God puts in our hands. I will continue to write faith and motivational posts (those seem to come more easily for me), but will try to up it in the life category.
I hope you stay tuned to hear more about our new venture! Sign up to get my monthly newsletter, which often has more details.
I’m excited to share more about this adventurous life. I hope to inspire and empower you to find transformation in every area of your life.
Thanks for reading today! ❤
You have lots of good advice here, Tanya. Happy 5th anniversary, and congrats on your new home!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you, David!!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Just found your website- you are being used by God in an amazing way👏👏👏
I live in Castle Rock. I think you will really enjoy Grand Junction. It is a joy to read your writings and I am praying God will use you in new and expanded ways in 2023‼️
I have five daughters (one in heaven) and I will be sharing your posts with them.
Blessings to you and your husband 😊🙏🏼😊
LikeLiked by 1 person
Aw! This made my day! Thank you so much for your comment and your prayers! I really appreciate it!!! I look forward to sharing more 😆