I know what you’re thinking, three years, that is nothing! In the grand scheme of things, yes, that is a short amount of time, but believe me, there is a lot to learn in that first year. Guys, except for maybe the first month, these have been the best three years of my life, but it takes a lot of work. Here is what I have learned:
- I am so incredibly selfish.
- Nothing will teach you more about your selfish tendencies like living with someone every day, sharing a bank account, and having to communicate your plans constantly. You are not your own anymore. I feel like single people romanticize marriage (I know because I was one of them), and focus solely on what kind of romantic gestures they will get out of it. They want to be loved and have someone tell them how great they are.
- From a believer’s stand point, marriage is not about me, and it is not about him, but it is about Jesus. God gave us marriage to give us a glimpse of His sacrificial love for us. I constantly have to refocus my heart and ask myself “how can I serve him/make him happy” and not “what has he done to make me happy.”
- The good news is, if he is also believer and understands these truths, then you should feel loved and cared for as well.
- If we are being honest with ourselves, we can all be jerks. Which means at some point your spouse will be a jerk. We are human and imperfect and that is just how it goes. That means when when he is a jerk, you get to realize he is just being imperfect and extend grace to him. Let me be clear, I’m not talking about abusive behavior (physical or emotional). Don’t respond to his behavior with immediate anger, but step back and try and find the source.
- Your reaction to his behavior has the ability to escalate the situation or resolve it.
- Proverbs 15:1-4 (ESV) A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
- I have been so incredibly astounded by the number of women who have told me “I can’t tell him that,” or “No I haven’t talked to him about this situation because I’m scared.” And I’m always genuinely shocked by this. Now, I am an extremely open person (um hello, I’m blogging about my life), so it is hard for me to understand when people don’t want to spill their guts, but this is your life partner and best friend. Being transparent with each other is the only way to know where you stand. I know I might get some grief for this, but why would you marry a man you can’t be completely vulnerable with?
- Women. Stop playing the game. You know the one I’m talking about. When you’re really upset about something and instead of talking to him about it you just act really ticked off until he ask you whats wrong and you say…”nothing” or “I’m fine”. Because we all know he should know darn well what he did! And then if he takes your response at face-value (which most men do), then you get extra ticked off. Believe me, this game never ends well. He never figures it out, and I always just end up super upset for way longer than I needed to. We all do it. I still do it from time to time when I’m feeling extra moody. Just tell the man what’s wrong…calmly.
I’m not claiming to be a marriage expert by any means, but I do believe I have an incredibly healthy marriage. We will have hard seasons ahead we will have to weather together, but if we both have our eyes fixed on our perfect example, we will not sink.