This made me laugh. I love my husband — a lot. I think he’s hilarious, sweet, intelligent, caring and talented. But honestly, there are days when I don’t feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And I must say that I didn’t always believe that could happen.
When Erick and I were preparing to be married, we did all those things you’re told to do. Pre-marital counseling, chattin’ up our older/wiser married friends, read a few books, etc.
We laughed in disbelief when people told us that marriage is harder than it looks. We really couldn’t imagine it being work. We were so totally in love (we still are by the way.) Erick was peanut butter to my jelly, Settlers to my Catan, and Clark to my Lois. We thought we were total rock stars.
Sure, challenges are a part of life, but we knew we’d cross those bridges as they’d come. We were even arrogant enough to think that we’d probably cross the bridge faster and better than anyone else. The day-to-day was gonna be a piece of cake.
We were naive stupid heads.
Does anyone say stupid head anymore? It was my go-to back when I was 8. I really showed people up with that one, and I’m bringing it back.
We are all stupid heads for ever believing we know it all.
Now that I’m so much older and wiser *feel free to insert an eye roll here* I know that there were things we did not fully understand. This list I’m sure will continue to grow, but for the 20 months of marriage I have under my belt — this is what I’ve got.
#1: Marriage is not all about you. It’s not about your happiness and self-fulfillment. It’s not about getting your needs met. It’s about serving God together and serving each other. It’s about committing your lives to each other even in the moments when you think the other person is ridiculous and you wonder, “why on God’s beautiful earth would they ever fold a t-shirt that way?”
#2: You are about to learn a painful lesson—you are both very selfish people. This may be difficult to comprehend during the happy and hazy days of dating, but it’s true. It shocked us, and I know it shocks many couples during their first years of marriage. It’s important to know this revelation of selfishness is coming. We’re all sinful people. As Christ followers, everyday we strive to have our lives look more like Christ’s. We’re going to fail at this — remember that your spouse has a front-row seat to your lifelong transformation.
#3: The person you love the most is also the person who can hurt you the deepest. That’s the risk and pain of marriage. And the beauty of marriage is working through your hurt and pain, resolving conflicts, and solving problems. And remember, a hug can go a long way.
#4: You can’t make it work on your own. It’s obvious that marriage is difficult—just look at how many couples today end in divorce. This is why it’s so critical to center your lives and your marriage on the God who created marriage.
It’s easy to say, “I got this!” Don’t do it. To make your marriage last for a lifetime, you need to rely on God for the power, love, strength, wisdom, and endurance you need. Who better to know what love is, than the guy who created it? Our God knows what’s up.
#5: Never stop enjoying each other. Always remember that marriage is an incredible gift to be enjoyed. Have fun with each other. Encourage each other. Do silly things and laugh at each other. Marriage allows you to share all that you are (the good, the bad, the ugly and the embarrassing) with one special person for the rest of your life. It’s really quite awesome.
For my married friends out there — what tidbits of wisdom would you share?