Five Minute Friday – FIVE

Every Friday, I join a special group of writers to write for FIVE MINUTES on a one-word prompt. No editing. No revising. Just WRITE. This week, the word is FIVE. Go! //

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“Beware the 5’s.”

It wasn’t the typical advice given to a young couple just about to ‘tie the knot,’ but it has been advice that has followed me regularly throughout our 23 years of marriage.

Spoken by a dear friend, but he wasn’t telling us to be superstitious… it’s not the same as ‘lucky number seven’ or ‘don’t break a mirror.’ He was gently and kindly cautioning us to guard against the UNSAID EXPECTATIONS that silently sabotage a marriage.

What are you talking about?

Well, we all have expectations about what we want in a spouse, and what kind of marriage we are DETERMINED to have. “I’m not gonna be like that when I get married.”

He went on to explain that most divorces take place around the time of major landmarks in the marriage―5 years, 10 years, 15 years, and so on. It’s as if the wife (or the husband) suddenly realizes that “We’ve been married for 5 years and you still do THAT?!” or“We’ve been married for 10 years and you still don’t do THAT?!” (You get the picture.)

Beware the 5’s.

Over the years, this advice has often come back to my memory. I’ve noticed that it’s easy to become more critical about Erwin and the state of our relationship, and his ability or inability to make me “happy,” when we are close to a landmark anniversary. It’s then that I sense a greater danger of growing discouraged and ‘throwing in the towel.’

But we actually need to step back and // ask ourselves, not “Is this marriage gonna make it?” but rather

“Do I have another five years in me?”

THAT’S THE SECRET! Another five years of kindness and forgiveness. Another five years of selflessness and servanthood. Another five years of love and gratefulness. Five is easier to swallow than 50. Just take it 5-at-a-time.

On this side of 20 years, I can honestly say that… Yes, there are definitely hard times along the way (EVERY marriage has them), but IT IS POSSIBLE to do this well.

Choose each day to be kind, to serve quietly, and be grateful for all things! Click To Tweet

Erwin and I REGULARLY look at each other now and say,

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Yes, I’ve definitely got another 5 in me!

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// marks the start and stop of five minutes.

For more information on Five Minute Friday, check out Kate Motaung’s site!

5 Min Friday

15 replies
  1. Maxine
    Maxine says:

    August marked 30 years for my husband and I and I never really thought of it like this, but I like your take. Always easier to look at one step (or five) rather than the entire journey.

    Reply
    • Shauna Blaak
      Shauna Blaak says:

      So true, Maxine. That reminds me of the age-old adage that says, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
      I’m so glad you came by. Have a great weekend.

      Reply
  2. Joanne Viola
    Joanne Viola says:

    The word prompt took you in such a great direction. Today I am grateful that my husband & I did not quit on the 5’s or any other year 🙂

    Reply
  3. Mary Hood
    Mary Hood says:

    Great post! We can all take five; 5 minutes, 5 days, and yes, 5 years. Good practical advice you were given. And God keeps giving 5, the number for grace.

    Reply
  4. Emma Hughes
    Emma Hughes says:

    Wise words as always, Shauna! I’ll remember that the next time I’m tempted to make a big deal out of something that doesn’t require it 🙂 We are at 11.5 years right now 🙂

    Reply
    • Shauna Blaak
      Shauna Blaak says:

      Wow, Andrew. You are so kind. And thank you also for sharing my article on Twitter. You made me feel truly valuable!
      Praying for you, my friend.

      Reply
  5. Rone
    Rone says:

    LOL! when we were married 5 years, to the exact, i went to look for help… hahaha. and now, looking back, almost 2 years have passed and i can simply stand in awe to the wonders of God and how He works… when I want YOU to change, and I look to God… and i actually exchange my thoughts, for Him to capture it, and to CHANGE them to His ability… i then realize that something IN ME changed as soon as i said AMEN!!! now im EXPERIENCING God’s firm hand on our marriage and I will SHOUT IT OUT… “YES I HAVE ANOTHER 5 YEARS IN ME!” lets do this!!

    thank you Shauna!!!!

    Reply

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