Drew and I have been married for a whopping 7 months, yay us! And although this may not seem like a lot to some of you, I’m proud that we can look back and see our relationship progressing. We’ve been putting in the effort to make this relationship work, while continually getting to know one another. However, it hasn’t been without a few “strong” discussions, tears, or misunderstandings. Without further ado here are the 10 lessons I learned in the first seven months of my marriage.
1. Marriage will not only reveal things about your spouse but about you too
This might be an understatement. In the past seven months, I’ve learned so much about myself it’s crazy. Some of it I like, and some of it I was a little reluctant to acknowledge. For instance, I found out I actually do have enough discipline to stick to a household budget. However, on the other hand, I’m pretty nonchalant when it comes to tidying up the house. I’ll leave little odds and ends in the living room, or I’ll have different products out on my bathroom sink. This absolutely drives Drew crazy, bringing me to my next point.
2. If it bothers your spouse, fix it
Continuing with the example above, Drew is very tidy and gets uncomfortable when he is in a cluttered or unclean environment. I, on the other hand, don’t seem to mind a few things scattered here and there. I like to think it makes the space real, it’s evidence of living. So throughout the week, I’ll end up scattering things throughout the apartment. This absolutely drives Drew up a wall. He feels that everything has a place, and that’s where it should go.
My point here is that I shouldn’t disregard my husband’s discontentment, just because I may not understand or don’t share his perspective. He has a right to be comfortable in his space, just like I do. Therefore, I have to make an effort to let old habits die, swallow my pride, and put my stuff away at the end of the night. If your spouse cares about something and you couldn’t care less, honor them and submit to them in that area.
3. I cannot submit to my husband if I’m not truly submitted to the Lord
We were at our newlywed church small group and I expressed to my mentor that I was having trouble submitting. What she said in response rocked me a bit, “If you’re having trouble submitting to your husband, you have to ask yourself if you’re submitting to the Lord”. Talk about a thought-provoking question!Click To Tweet
For all intents and purposes, I would classify myself as a new believer. And while I was going through the motions of looking like a Christian, I wasn’t cultivating a real relationship with God. How could I love and submit to someone I didn’t know?
Soon after that conversation, I decided to truly go after a relationship with the Lord. I joined our church and corporately fasted for 21 days, which allowed me to dig into God and his word. Although my spiritual journey will never be over, Andrew and I have already noticed a difference in my behaviors and attitudes. Being submitted to my husband is not something I do to please my husband, it’s something I do to please God.
4. There is no “i” in team
As mentioned above, I’ve learned a lot about myself these past seven months. And admittedly, I am also very selfish…surprise, surprise. I think the fact that we’re all inherently selfish in some way is eye-opening to every newlywed.A good marriage is where your selfishness goes to die. Click To Tweet
Andrew and I both found out the hard way that a good marriage is where your selfishness goes to die. Being like Jesus and sacrificing your wants and desires for your spouse and the relationship can be very challenging. However, in the midst of that challenge is where we find Christ-like love, growth, and true intimacy. Putting our spouse’s needs ahead of our own and allowing God to work in our marriages takes all the pressure off.
5. My spouse has my best interest
The enemy likes to lie to me and tell me that my husband only has his best interest in mind. However, I know in my heart that my husband is for me, he loves me, and he only wants God’s best for me. We have to guard our hearts against the enemy’s attacks and not let his lies get into our spirits. My husband is a God-fearing man, and he must answer to the most high for the decisions he makes for our family. I must have both faith and trust in my husband and our God that everything will work out as it should.
6. I understand why there is a 50% divorce rate
Marriage is hard, and if anyone tells you it’s not they’ve either never been married or they’re lying. If God is not in the center of your lives and marriage it’s extremely hard to make this relationship work. A lot of people go into marriage thinking if things don’t work out they can get divorced. However, this is not God’s plan for us, whether you marry the right person or the “wrong” person. It’s tempting to call it quits in the midst of marriage trials. However, if you both lean on the Lord to get you through you’ll be able to sustain and strengthen your marriage covenant to last this lifetime.
7. Don’t sweat the small stuff
I have to admit, I have learned this lesson a couple time now. However, it’s still hard to apply it every day. The temptation to be petty, unforgiving, or prideful can be so strong, let me tell you! However, picking your battle, forgiving your spouse quickly, and turning the other cheek isn’t always easy. As Christians, we are called to be led by the Holy Spirit and not our flesh. Ask the Holy Spirit to come into your life and marriage, then receive and walk out his wisdom. This is how we bear fruit! The fruit you bear in marriage is the sweetest because you get to share it with your spouse and children.
8. love is a verb, not a noun
This is especially true for my husband whose love language is “acts of service”. The “feeling” of love will ebb and flow seasonally. However, you can choose to love your spouse every single day, regardless of your feelings.
The best example we have of this is our Lord and Savior. We sin daily, we have issues, and we’re not always pleasant. Furthermore, we can be distant, lack faith, and selfish. Through it all God loves us! He sent his son down from heaven to die on the cross for our sins so that we may have an everlasting relationship with him. Talk about true love that knows no bounds.
9. Put on grace daily
I am far from perfect and so is my husband…that’s no surprise. However, we’ve both been guilty of expecting things from each other that we don’t always deliver. I have come to realize that my husband is not God, therefore he is bound to miss the mark, fail, say hurtful things, and disappoint me at some point; the same goes for me. To combat these situations from burrowing deep and injuring our relationship I choose grace. As mentioned before, it’s not always easy. However, our grace is renewed daily in Christ. As followers of Jesus we are called to walk in his ways, even when it’s difficult.
10. My marriage is Not for me
On your wedding day, you’re so happy and full of love, it’s such an amazing feeling! You can’t believe you married the love of your life and you’re going to spend the rest of your lives making each other happy. Fast forward three months and you might be asking the Lord why you married this person because they’re literally making you crazy.
Newsflash! My marriages is not for me, it’s for the Lord. When we made the decision to surrender our marriage to the Lord and use it to glorify him there was a shift. Marriage is both trying and beautiful. However, it’s true purpose is to show the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord through two imperfect people trying to become more like Christ.
Wrapping it Up
I hope this list of lessons blessed you. The main lesson I want you all to take away from this is that God can and will do great things in your marriage if you allow him. There will be hard times and glorious times, and with God’s love and grace, we can have a thriving relationship that grows us both.
With lots of love,