Eating, laughing, and enjoying one another’s company for some Christmas cheer, I was surrounded by eleven married women. Their ages ranged from twenty-five to fifty-six years old and the number of years married ranged from less than a month to over thirty years. It was girls’ night; yes, the beloved, girls’ night. We were celebrating Christmas. As if there needs to be an excuse for girls to get together. We love girls’ nights. They’re filled with memories, famous and inappropriate quotes, and the rule is always that what happens at girls’ night, stays at girls’ night. Our gracious and glamorous hostess posed the question, “What is the most important thing you’ve learned in marriage?” I grabbed my journal out of my purse and began writing frantically as the wisdom flowed. I didn’t want to miss a word of this. Each of these women is a role model to me, an incredible wife who loves and serves God, and a dear friend. Like a sponge absorbing all they had to share, I was blessed to be surrounded by them. My dream is to be married and have a family. It hasn’t happened YET, but I’m praying and believing it will happen very soon. And these women are on my side praying and believing with me. I want to grow and learn as much as possible about being an incredible wife, and what a great opportunity here before me. As I’m reading what I wrote in my journal and typing it out, I hesitate as to what order I should write each thought in. There isn’t one that’s more important than the other. Each thought has enough strength yet vulnerability and transparency to stand on its own. 1. Be your husband’s friend. Be supportive, listen, and don’t interrupt when he’s sharing his heart. 2. Let your husband make decisions and be patient while he’s making the decision. This will build confidence in him and he’ll feel respected by you. 3. Choose your battles. Not everything you’re thinking needs to be a discussion. 4. Have sex more times a week than you wash your hair. 5. Do the hard work even when you don’t want to. Don’t bury your head in the sand to issues. Confront them and resolve them. It’s alright to go to a counselor to get things taken care of. 6. Suck it up even when you don’t feel like it or you’re tired. If your husband wants to have fun, take advantage of it. The one to two hours of sleep you’re sacrificing is creating a memory that both of you will remember and cherish. 7. Respect your husband and have deep belly laughs with him every day. 8. Pray. Pray. Pray. 9. Forgive quickly. Support your husband no matter if you think he’s good at what he wants to do or not. You’re his biggest influence. Make sure it’s a positive influence, not a negative one. 10. What you focus on will grow. Whether it’s negative or positive, it will grow. Choose to focus on the positive. 11. God put you in your husband’s life to compliment him. As a wife, you need to let him shine. Remember, Christ is the only one who can satisfy all your needs. Don’t look to your husband to meet all your needs or you’ll end up very disappointed. Don’t forget he’s your treasure too. So often we think of the woman as being the treasure, but the man is also a treasure. So the same way you expect him to treat you like a jewel, treat him like your treasure. Don’t vomit all over him about your day as soon as he walks in the door. Take some time to buff him and shine him. He’ll be more apt to hear all about it if he feels valuable to you. Marriage is doing life with your best friend in the best and worst of times. So put on your big girl panties and enjoy the ride. From the moment you say, “I do,” the enemy is working overtime to destroy your union of marriage. He hates it and will never stop trying to destroy it. Marriage is supposed to exemplify God’s relationship with His bride, us. The enemy hates successful marriages. Why do you think the divorce rates are so high? He does not want people looking in from the outside of your marriage and being pointed to a love relationship with Jesus Christ. When I’m married and someone asks my husband what he loves about me and why he married me, I’d like his response to be this, “God made my dreams come true and gave me the treasure I was hunting for all my life.” My prayer is for God to make me that woman. Stacy McVane loves to share with groups of people; to Inspire you to dream big, to Empower you to become better in spirit, mind, and body; and to challenge you to Share what you’ve learned with others. Some of the topics she’s passionate about are: health and fitness, relationships, leadership, communication, and conflict resolution within any environment. Stacy loves to mentor young women and is available for one on one mentoring or small groups. She has been on staff at her home church, Shoreline Church, in Austin Texas since 2002. She is the Event Planner. Stacy McVane in a nutshell: Challenging. Leader. Mentor. Humorous. Loyal teammate. Credible. Competent. Straightforward. Candid. Courageous. Uncompromising. Witty. Health-loving. Sparkling-water-drinking. Minister of the Gospel. To read more material by Stacy McVane go to www.stacymcvane.com.