The first few months of marriage were quite honestly the hardest of my life. There were a lot of hurt feelings, miscommunication, unmet expectations, etc. I would not want to go back and relive those months!!!
Marriage has taught me that the only expectations we should have are ones that we find in the Bible. If you have realistic expectations then life becomes more enjoyable! Realistic expectations are that we will have trouble in this life, you married an imperfect sinner who will disappoint you every day, you are a fallen sinner who is also in need of grace from God and grace from your spouse. Marriage requires sacrifice and intentional work, etc…(they aren’t glamorous expectations… but they are true Bible-based realities!!)
We are in a place now that we haven’t been before in our relationship. We are finally at a point of exhausting our own wisdom, “techniques”, and ideals. God has lovingly allowed us to fail and come to the point of giving up so that we turn upward and seek His way for living our marriage. He has been teaching us how our relationship is to be such a glorious picture of the Gospel and His relationship with the church. Marriage today is much different than it was a few years ago. We are much more vulnerable and humble as we recognize flaws and seek to submit to God.
We work very hard to communicate openly and not allow hurts and wrongs to build and gain footholds. We are also very transparent about our relationship journey. We don’t try to sugar coat life and appear perfect. Everyone is human and if our testimony (embarrassing as it might be at times!) can help another couple, then we are willing to be honest and open.
We only read one book while engaged and that was “Love and Respect”. We’ve found that book to be quite accurate, but having knowledge doesn’t translate into the application of truth. I think that reading books is great, but it isn’t until you hear truth in a timely fashion (i.e. When life has brought you to the the end of yourself, God has been working on your heart, and you’re desperate enough to give up on your own way) that is when it makes a difference.
It is the best thing in the world to have your dearest friend with you every day! I love making memories together and never having to be alone! For my personality, it is a huge relief to not be the one “in charge”. We talk about everything and make decisions as a couple. Especially in child rearing, I value my husband’s leadership more than I can express. He is strong in ways I’m not. And when he is attentive and loving, I feel like the most beautiful woman on the face of the planet. That’s a nice feeling!
We’ve not had a “normal” marriage and were faced with many difficulties right off the bat. My husband is in the Navy and we were separated for all of our dating and engagement. We got married then we’re separated for a month before I moved to be with him. We spent maybe 7 months together. During those months he was gone often and worked 12+hours days doing shift work at nuclear prototype. Then he left for a 10 month deployment. He got back, and we immediately moved to another state where we had no family or friends.
The next year he was gone for weeks at a time or working 12 hour days. During that year, I was pregnant with our first child and that made everything more challenging as well. It’s been almost a year since life has calmed down a little.
Like I mentioned, we are just now in a stage of true growth and surrender to God in our marriage. We weathered those first 3 years by sheer stubbornness. Neither one of us was willing to quit on each other. Looking back, we could’ve handled it very differently and in a way that glorified God… but it is part of our testimony and God makes everything beautiful in His time.
I think that the longer you’re married your love changes, simply because you see your spouse for who they really are. Flaws, imperfections, morning breath, etc. Love will grow if you choose to live unselfishly, but it will also wan if you choose to live for yourself. I’d love to say our love has grown deeper every day because I choose to love my hubby like Christ loves me. Unfortunately, too often I choose my way over God’s. I can say for sure that my love has become more mature and realistic since we got married!
Marriage has opened my eyes to my many failings, and how gracious and compassionate God is. I’ve been learning how to live in desperate need of grace, and passionately pursue my King for my every need and desire. If not for marriage and my husband’s kind patience, I would not be the Christian God is growing me to be.
I want girls to know that—
Real love is the most life-changing beautiful thing we can experience. Real love is passionate, committed, unrelenting and unconditional. Real love inspires and motivates. It makes you beautiful and lovely!
Also, real love is only found in Jesus Christ. After you know the reality of His love, then you can seek to love others in the same way. If you live life SEEKING true love vs seeking to GIVE and SHOW true love, then you will never be satisfied.
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