We just celebrated our nine year wedding anniversary and did a little interview on Instagram.
Here are the Q&As, with a few extra details!
How do you handle marriage during the newborn season?
Robert: It's okay to be in survival mode! Don't romanticize it, newborns are hard. Say "I'm sorry I was exhausted and missed you in that moment." Trust that tomorrow will be better and work towards that, over time.
Katie: Catch each other in the small moments and say "I see you and I love you!" Also important is to take your thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) instead of dwelling on how x y or z isn't fair. Satan loves to make us think we're alone and justified in our anger and bitterness. Fight against that and praise God for every good and perfect gift instead!
Also, think on Philippians 2 and the example of servanthood we have in Christ. He suffered far more than we are with a baby, and he still humbly poured himself out for others. We have the same power of the Holy Spirit inside us- pray for that strength and ability!
How do you handle date nights?
Robert: Date nights are important- we've done them with varying frequency over nine years (every Saturday was a goal at one point)- but they aren't a silver bullet. If you aren't loving each other well during the week, your one date night isn't going to fix it.
Katie: During this lenten season, we stopped watching TV at night. That redeemed time has been so good! We've connected on a deeper level, had conversations we weren't making the time to have otherwise, and have gotten just as much out of that time (or more!) as we would have on a date night.
We do have a goal to find a sitter we love and trust, but we also find value in getting takeout and snuggling up for a movie after the boys go to bed.
Our favorite way to spend a date night is getting errands done (truly, we have fun together) or going out with friends.
Tell us about working together!
Robert: We work very well and very poorly together. Ha! Katie is particular about her schedule and to-do list. If I try and go into her office and talk when she's trying to work, she's going to get frustrated.
Katie: We were having the same argument over and over again. I'd put the boys down for a nap and be ready to power through some work. Robert would see that the boys were down and naturally use the opportunity to come chat. It wasn't working and we had to communicate our needs and potential solutions.
But we do love working from home together! The flexibility is how this family functions so well. And we've also learned that it's best if we have separate roles in this company so we aren't stepping on each other's toes. He handles his things and I handle my things and then we meet in the middle to talk about them/ encourage one another/ offer insight and advice when it's asked for. And only then ;)
Do you do Bible Studies together? Spiritual leadership?
Robert: We don't. We know ourselves- we read at different speeds, need different things out of the word, and could potentially turn it into a competitive sport. Instead, we both read separately and then tell one another about what we've read and learned.
If you want your husband to have more spiritual conversations with you, be willing to have spiritual conversations with him. Love what you're reading so much that you just have to share it.
It's also so important to communicate what you need. If something isn't working or you'd love a family devotion time or whatever, tell him! Kindly, of course, but he can't read your mind.
Katie: Being "head of the household" doesn't mean that it's solely Robert's job to begin every discussion. Primarily, I need to be in the word and in prayer. Then at the dinner table or in the car, we can share what we're reading and how God is growing us.
It's not my job to be the Holy Spirit in Robert's life. I don't need to nag him to read his Bible- how ineffective is that! Instead, I excitedly share what I'm learning and spur the conversation on.
I've also learned to respect the specific giftings he's been given. Instead of trying to make him more like me, I want him to be more like Jesus. So I try to highlight his strengths and come alongside him in his weaknesses. This goes both ways.
Robert: A huge thing you can do for your husband is pray for Godly men to speak into his life!
(Robert meets with a friend every Friday to talk about the book of Hebrews + life. It's been so so good for him!)
How has marriage changed in nine years?
Katie: I learned how to apologize. I was prideful and defensive when we got married and didn't have a clue how to humble myself enough to apologize. Robert showed me Jesus by initiating reconciliation, even when it wasn't his responsibility. His love offered me opportunities to grow and improve in a safe environment.
This is a huge part of how we do marriage and parenting- creating a safe place to become more like Christ.
Robert: I learned to assume the best about Katie and give the benefit of the doubt. I'd been creating these worst-case scenarios in my head that involved her trying to make me angry, but the truth is that she was just tired/ unaware/ human.
An additional note to my single friends:
Don't look for perfection in a spouse; look for desire. We were not these people when we got married and I hope we are additionally sanctified nine more years down the road. On our wedding day, we were two people committed to following Christ and growing more in our relationship with him. And that is all that matters, ultimately. He'll grow you + take you where he wants to!