Congrats Nate & Susie! As father of the groom let me offer you some fatherly advice.
Your wedding obviously reminded me of my own. I remember Papa’s speech to Mom and I. He talked about how he watched her and I throw a football to each other in the front yard of our house. So his advice to me was that I should marry that girl – which I obviously had done.
I also remember my sister Hope telling me right, after our wedding ceremony, “As good as you think things are now, they will get better.” And she was right. What she hadn’t told me was that while things did get better, they would get also get worse. And then it would get even better, and then not so good again. Marriage, as I would learn, was full of ups and downs. So be prepared for the ‘Better-and-Worse’ part of marriage too.
I also thought maybe my advice would be to get along with your In-Laws. They will be with you for the rest of your lives too. I pray each of you will have as good as a relationship with your in-laws as I have with mine. My relationships with the Dament Family have shaped me as much as my marriage to Mom has.
But what I finally decided my fatherly advice would be is to ‘make coffee.’ Yes, Nate, I know you don’t like ‘bean water’ – so let me explain:
My mornings start with the clock radio waking me up. I shower then go downstairs to let Dakota out. Then I watch the news until the day’s weather report. I go back upstairs, get dressed for work and grab my gym clothes. Back downstairs again, I start the coffee, put away the dishes, take out the recyclables, open the blinds, empty my backpack of my dirty gym clothes and repack it with my clean ones.
By this time the coffee is done. What you need to understand is the coffee I make is not for me – its for mom.
I do not bring coffee in the car. I do not bring any to work. I get my coffee at work from the same machine that our training students use. The last thing I do before I leave the house each morning is to fill Mom’s mug with coffee and bring it to her while she is getting ready in the bathroom.
I open the bathroom door and slip her coffee next to the sink on vanity and say “have a good day” to which she’ll usually responds with “you too.” I started doing this since Mom when back to work full time.
The Bible tells us we are to serve one another. I think this is pretty good advice, especially for a husband and wife. So – I’m not saying you should each make each other coffee, you should try to find some simple task that you can do for each other every day. Something only for them and that you do not benefit from. Making Mom’s morning coffee reminds me that I want to make her happy – even if we had been fighting the night before. And on those morning after an argument, dropping off her coffee lets me begin to say ‘I’m sorry’ – especially when my pride gets in the way.
So how does Mom ‘make coffee’? She rubs my back every night when we go to bed. She figured this out long before I did.
So Nate and Susie – my advice to you for your marriage is to “make coffee” for each other everyday. May you learn to serve each other as Jesus taught us. And may your love grow with these indulgences to each other.