There would never be enough time or room to write all I love about my husband, love about being his wife, and all I've learned or am learning through marriage.
But here's one predominant truth that's always on my mind: Humility must be the foundation as well as the structure in a Christ-centered marriage. (And I'd venture to say in any marriage wanting to survive.)
There is first this life-saving need of humility before God. Only the Holy Spirit can do this work in us, change our hardened hearts so that we come to a staggering recognition of our need for the Lord's loving grace and mercy.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God you will not despise. Psalm 51:17
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matthew 23:12
And then, that must become our reality in marriage. My husband and I will never outgrow our need to approach each other with humility, and a prideful perspective that believes anything different will result in destruction.
As Jesus says about all of life, the same is true in marriage: The way up is down. The foot-washing spouse will be the most joyful. The one who humbles himself or herself, throws off need to be defensive and stops exalting their own virtues will be blessed.
I think this feels contrary to the way most of us would naturally react. Heart-change takes continual reliance on God's Holy Spirit, along with the self-discipline and hard work for which He will provide you the strength. Care and attention, commitment and perseverance are needed to truly craft love.
There is obviously much more required for a loving marriage, and every couple has their own story and own set of difficulties and joys, but this is one of the vital constants. From my husband, I've learned much about humility. He displays it well in our marriage.
Number 64 as I begin again in a new year of 1000 gifts:
After almost 8 years of marriage and over 12 years together, he still gives me butterflies.