The Most Important Lesson I’ve Learned in 10 Years of Marriage

In 2015, Katie and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. Without question, my relationship with Katie is the richest blessing in my life. I have learned a ton over the years. But, there’s one lesson that sticks out from all the others.


As unromantic as it may sound, I believe marriage is just another tool that God uses to shape us into his image. When you commit to marry someone, you are committing yourself to a lifetime of learning how to be like Jesus. 

Philippians 2:3-8 captures it best…

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!

Marriage causes the sinful nature to rear its ugly head. In my (sinful) mind, Katie should do what I want her to do when I want her to and how I want her to. Marriage revealed how incredibly selfish I am. Unlike Jesus, I rarely value others above myself.

Early on, when Katie didn’t do what I wanted her to, my reaction often showed my displeasure. In other words, the way I treated her depended on how much I liked, or disliked, her actions. But, somewhere along the way something clicked. I learned…

Most Important Marriage Lesson (Quote).001

As a disciple, I’m bound to this standard…

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” 

So, the way I treat Katie has nothing to do with her. It’s a matter of obedience between me and God. I am called to humility and placing her interests above mine. I am called to be like Jesus in my marriage and in every other relationship I have. 

I am called to be selfless.

I am called to be humble.

I am called to put others above myself. 

I am called to make myself nothing.

I am called to be like Jesus. 

Marriage is not for the faint of heart. But, learning to relate to Katie in this way has been the richest blessing of my life. Not only am I learning to be like Christ, I am doing it with my best friend and enjoying the deepest, most fulfilling relationship I have ever experienced.

I love you, Katie!

What insights on marriage do you have? I would love to hear them.

  3 comments for “The Most Important Lesson I’ve Learned in 10 Years of Marriage

  1. Sue Ann
    May 19, 2015 at 9:46 am

    It may be that Gary and I married at a “more mature” age than most, but having experienced that much life we knew that the most important thing was to love God more than each other, and then to make our number one goal to get each other to heaven. And now we are teaching Emma to loke for that in any boy she should date or contemplate a relationship with.

  2. Wanda reed
    December 31, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    So very well said for one so young in the marriage field!

    • Neil
      January 2, 2016 at 10:30 pm

      Thank you, Mrs. Wanda!

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