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Squeeze the Toothpaste from the Bottom

Often, at weddings, bridal showers, and engagement parties we are asked to give the newlyweds or soon-to-be weds some “marriage advice.” I’ve seen this “advice” collected in a variety of ways from written on Jenga blocks to popsicle sticks, wishes in a jar, and of course, even in the guest book.

I can’t help but to read the advice left by the guests before me.

The advice always seems to span the spectrum, from the silly “squeeze toothpaste from the bottom” to the serious “never go to bed angry” even to the advice that causes one to blush.

Before I was married, I would stand at the table pondering what advice I should give the couple, usually trying to conjure up something funny I had heard in a movie, but now this request is easy to fulfill. I give the same advice I have given every couple since the day I was married, including to all of my non-soliciting NFP students.

This same advice was given to my husband and I by a very wise man during our wedding preparation. He asked us to write a marriage prayer together and pray it every single night before we went to sleep. To hammer home the point, he jokingly said “embroider it on a pillow and laminate a copy and carry it with you.”  We did both.

For the past 11+ years that pillow has sat on our bed, that laminated card tucked in my husband’s wallet, and that prayer passed over our lips nightly.

The prayer is simple but very meaningful to us, as it was written together as we prepared to say our vows. In this prayer we thank God for our marriage and ask Him to continue to bless it. We pray that we always show the other how much they are loved and that we remain faithful, honest, and patient with the other. We also prayed for children, and now that we have children, we pray that God will bless and protect them. We ask that our home be filled with love and laughter and that we will all grow closer to each other by growing closer to Him.

We have an amazing marriage and I believe that is, at least in part, due to this advice we received. It was the best gift we never knew to register for!

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Erin Boelkens

Erin Boelkens is a devoted warrior of Christ, wife to an amazing husband, mother to 3 beautiful children, a leader in the tech industry, and a lover of efficiency.

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