What can I honestly say about marriage? For one, I won’t sit here and say the usual “It’s great, and I love it so much!” that you may hear from a lot of married couples. I mean, some of them may actually be telling the truth, but most of them are lying to you. Sad to say, but true. I don’t want to stay on this topic for too long though. I would much rather speak from my point of view.
Since my hubby and I are coming up on our first year of marriage (woohoo!), I thought what better way is there to celebrate than list a couple of things I have learned throughout our course so far??
So…ya’ ready? 🙂
1. Change takes time
My husband and I have been together for 5 years now, and I have recently realized this fact: I cannot change him. No matter how much I try, nag, or suggest—it just ain’t happening. At least not when I want it to. I think– and feel free to exclude yourself out of this fact if needed 😉 — a lot of women paint this picture perfect image of their spouse and get disappointed when they don’t reflect it.
But before you give up on him altogether, realize that change does not happen overnight. What also has helped me become more patient with my husband when it comes to growth/change is viewing the areas that I need to expand on. The way I see it is this: how can I expect him to be my superman when I still have baggage that I need to let go and work on?? I have found that encouraging him and placing my focus on the right instead of the wrong has helped him grow in many ways.
2. Think before speaking
Okay, so although I am still growing in this area, I feel the need to discuss my experience and improvement because I know a lot of women may struggle with this, too.
Just last week, my hubby made a mistake that caused a mishap. I won’t go much in detail, but it has caused a change within our daily lives. In the past, I would have been really quick to point fingers and place blame on him. And now that I think about it, I used to condemn him by bringing up his fault in the situation until my aggravation subsided. But not lately. God has been teaching me how to not only think before I speak, but give grace as well. Instead of “going off”, I simply comforted my husband because no one is perfect. Although I was disappointed, I didn’t take my frustration out on him or point any fingers. I instead pondered the situation, took it to God, and let him know how I felt. I even went as far as asking God to help me keep my cool during the conversation that my husband and I needed to have regarding what had taken place.
I’ll spare you the long, drawn out story by saying that the conversation went extremely well! God told me that he knows my husband a lot more than I do, so I allowed Him to guide me during our conversation. In return, my husband owned up to his mistake (without me even pointing it out) and we are gracefully going through the situation together.
3. Love is a choice
As I stated earlier, my husband and I have been together for 5 years. So, I’m being honest when I say there are times when I am just not fond of him.
For many years (even before I met my husband), I thought love was merely a feeling that you get. And when I didn’t feel those butterflies in my stomach or get an increased heart rate every time I saw him, I figured the love was fading away. But as I have grown closer to God, I realize that love is not just a feeling, but a choice. It’s a choice that I have to choose over and over again (as God does for me), especially through those tough moments within our marriage.
Love is such a strong word, and should not be taken lightly. I have learned that when I love, I cannot just show and say I love him when he is doing everything right. No, I have to choose to love him even when he make mistakes or annoy the crap out of me. LOL! Besides, love conquers ALL, right?!
4. We’re in this thang’ together
I enjoy doing life with my husband. Unfortunately though, it has not always been that way. There were several times when I constantly nagged him about the smallest things ever. As I look back, I seriously wish I could slap some sense into myself. But thank God for his mercy, because I have finally allowed Him to do it for me 😀
I didn’t realize the damage I was doing to my husband by bringing up every little thing he wasn’t doing right in my eyes, until one day he told me how it made him feel. It made my ears bleed because not only was I bringing him down by my discouraging words, but I was going down along with him. When I said “I Do”, we became one. So what I do and say to my husband, I ultimately do and say the same to myself.
Throughout our first year of marriage, I have realized and taken on the responsibility of being his wife. I refuse to constantly nag, discourage him, or show disrespect. My job is to encourage him, build him up, have his back, love on him AND his flaws, and continuously pray for him. Of course, I am not perfect and still have my days where I slip up, but I believe to be on the right track for the most part.
5. Submission isn’t an option
Before my husband and I got married, we lived together for a little over three years (oops!). But during our engagement, you can best believe that I was “that woman”. You know, the woman who refused to fix his plate and bring it to him, do his laundry, or any other husband privileges. Yeah…that girl. On top of that, I had a strong willed and stubborn attitude.
Now, don’t get me wrong– It wasn’t like I didn’t want to give him those privileges because I did. But in my mind– since we were already living as a married couple– I wasn’t ready to put the icing on the cake until we made it official. I know it doesn’t make much sense, but in my mind it made me feel a bit better.
For some reason, I believed that everything would fall in place once he became my husband. I pictured myself having a godly submission towards him. Well, it was the complete opposite, actually. And to say the least, it wasn’t pretty at all.
It took many, many failed attempts and a whole lot of prayer, but eventually (with ample help from God and patience from my husband) my mentality switched. I no longer have that strong willed mind (for the most part lol) and I enjoy submitting to my husband by making him feel loved, valued, and trusting him to make decisions.
To know that submission to my husband ultimately honors God make things even better. Now, I am not saying that I am perfect at submission because sometimes it is really hard, but I have learned to try my best each and every day.
6. Broken together
Neither one of us are perfect. We both have flaws and make mistakes. In God’s eyes, we are both broken with sin. By realizing this, it helps us to understand each other better and offer grace and forgiveness. We support each other’s growth—whether it’s slow or not—and give encouragement along the way.
My husband is my partner in life and I love him AS IS. Of course, there are areas I would like him to improve in (and vice versa), but it would not make me love him any more than I already do if he had it “all together”.
In conclusion—to answer the initial question I asked at the very beginning of this blog— marriage isn’t about perfection, but rather a beautifully flawed communion. It’s about growing together in wisdom, loving each other through change, offering forgiveness even when I don’t feel he deserves it, and extending grace.
We have had our ups and downs, and I am sure we will have plenty of obstacles to come our way. But ultimately, we are both willing to learn as we go. So, cheers to our first, beautifully flawed year of marriage!
I only listed a few of the many things I have learned thus far throughout our marriage, but I pray it gives a little insight (whether you are married or not). In the meantime, what have you learned during your marriage/courtship thus far? Let us know in the comments below!
-Marie Lewis ♥