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13 things to know before you marry a farmer

Holly Spangler Tractor with "Just Married" sign driving down street
MAKE IT WORK: Work hard together, pray together, sort livestock together (last one is optional).
Twenty-three years in, and we’ve learned a thing or two here about what makes a farm marriage work, no matter who the farmer is — here’s a look!

A good farm wedding is hard to beat in these parts, but a good farm marriage? That’s even better.

That’s because we know how hard those marriages are — when the cows are out, the market’s down, two kids need to be picked up from two different places in town, there’s a load of hogs coming, you can’t buy a rain/rain won’t stop, and you only maybe vaguely remember who you were at that June wedding so many years ago. A couple of kids back then, we were!

So for the kids tying the knot right now? Here’s a short list of what we’ve learned:

1. Don’t let the world define what your marriage should look like. Most people don’t understand the sacrifices farmers and their wives make. That’s OK. But you should.

2. Sorting livestock will be the greatest test of your marriage. Give it a go before the wedding. If you’re still speaking at supper, it’s meant to be.

3. Really: Work well together. Back when I first brought my husband home to meet my parents, Dad said we’d need to be able to work together, which I thought was crazy because this is all about love, Dad! Turns out he was right.

4. Figure out what makes them happy, and do more of it.

5. When she’s pregnant, actually drive to town for Dairy Queen when she wants it. She’s not kidding.

6. Every day, leave something unsaid. Not every thought needs a voice.

7. Don’t run with a puking kid.

8. When they’re sick, take care of them the way they want to be taken care of, not the way you want to be taken care of.

9. Hold their fears closely and their dreams tenderly.

10. When the chips are down, fight for them. Sometimes that looks like protecting their time from the 826th committee. Sometimes it looks like drawing up a list of health problems and making the doctors look at it. Have their back.

11. Kiss in front of your kids.

12. Be prepared to be the strong one. Be ready to put your needs aside for a season and focus on their well-being, especially if it’s usually the other way around.

13. Pray together. Thank the Lord every day for something, especially each other.

TAGS: Farm Life
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