I’ve heard people say that the reception is their favourite part of a wedding, so I know I’m somewhat strange. Church is my favourite part. Where most people can skip the church part and go straight to the reception, I’d rather be at church and skip the reception if I had to choose.
I find myself looking forward to the exchange of vows, and I get so emotional just watching the couple’s faces and listening to the words. And I sometimes catch myself remembering my own vows and praying for the bride and groom, that they always find grace to help them honour their vows.
Beyond the wedding, I thought I should share some practical affirmations that can be avowed and reaffirmed not for an audience, but for the privacy of their own space, to help a couple live out their vows.
Affirmation #1: We will give our marriage what it needs
What it means: Whatever your marriage needs to thrive, be it quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, or physical touch, be sure to never run out of them. Whatever makes each person feel loved, supported and appreciated, should be priority. Identify what infuses your marriage with joy, and let those things take precedence. Sex, as essential as it is to marital bliss, cannot replace these; without them, sex becomes hollow, in fact.
Affirmation #2: We will be proactive
What it means: Protecting your marriage and preventing cracks is much easier than trying to remedy and fix issues. A stitch in time really does save nine, so take your vitamins. Don’t wait until things get bad to start paying attention. In fact, it’s best to never let things get bad. Always be gentle with your marriage, as you would be with a child. If there’s something to talk about, talk about it. If it’s going to hurt, pick a time, style and place that will reduce the hurt as much as possible. If you’re not sure about something, seek clarification. Remember to be kind to yourself, and your partner.
Affirmation #3: We will not give in to monotony
What it means: It’s tempting to fall into a rut in marriage. Doing the same things every day for years can take the spark out of a marriage; variety truly is the spice of life. Routine is great, and so are family traditions, but the line between routine and monotony is thin. Resist the pull. Stay creative and keep things fun in bed and out.
Affirmation #4: We will avoid the D-word.
What it means: Some couples form the bad habit of threatening divorce whenever there’s conflict. This really weakens your marriage over time, even though you can’t see it. Marriage is not without challenges, just like life. Putting in the work is not always easy, but it sure is worth it. There are many couples who have dashed to Registry at the first sign of conflict, only to regret it later. A divorce should be a well-thought-out decision. Once you’re divorced, you really are, so don’t take it lightly.
Affirmation #5: We will not compare our marriage to others’
What it means: As our faces are different, so are our marriages different. Different blends of personalities and different backgrounds, coupled with different experiences and tastes, make each marriage so unique that what works for Kemi and Toju may not work for Kevwe and Tochukwu at all. Your union is unique, so celebrate it. It’s nice to emulate good example, but copying is a sure way to kill your marriage. Instead of trying to do what the next couple is doing, or lamenting what you don’t have, work with what you do have, and make it awesome!