Marriage. According to Webster’s dictionary, marriage is the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship (historically and in some jurisdictions specifically a union between a man and a woman). Some people get married for several reasons. Those reasons may be for business purposes, more money received in the military, love for someone, lust, arranged marriages, etc. I’d like to say I got married because of my love for my significant other, and I could truly see myself being with him forever. As I’ve read about marriage and studied its true meaning, it’s so much more than just getting married to someone you love, raising a family, and being together. These are the top 8 lessons I learned being married and young for 3 years.
The TRUE meaning of marriage
Marriage is two people coming together for God’s glory. It’s not about fancy dates, cute pictures, etc. It’s important to have feelings and affection for the person you will marry, but marriage is truly a representation of Christ’s covenant relationship to his redeemed people. Verses such as Ephesians 5:25 is an example of this, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”
You can be a GOOD mom, but not a GOOD wife
Ouch. This isn’t really talked about much. One of my character traits is that I’m a very caring person, but it can sometimes cause my husband feeling neglected. As women, we nurture our kids and their needs first. We make sure they have everything they need and focus a lot of our energy on them, that we forget to focus our energy on our husband. Do you greet your husband with a warm welcome the way you greet your kids? Do you ask your husband how his day was? It’s important that we show attention to our husband and not focus just on the kids, because when the kids leave, it’s just going to be you and your partner. If this means saving up to make sure you go on dates every 2 weeks, then it’s an investment you should make in your marriage!
Happy Wife Doesn’t Mean A Happy Life
Many people give this advice about marriage and I think this is terrible advice. So, you’re telling me, I should only care about my happiness while my husband is stressed out, which will cause him to die faster from stress? Um, no thanks! I believe it’s important for the wife and husband to be happy. We can’t continue this philosophy where the wife is happy the husband is quietly unhappy. I don’t want my husband to sacrifice his happiness for years and after 25+ years of marriage, I find out he was never happy.
Age Is Irrelevant, Maturity is Everything
Many people don’t have much faith in young people that get married because they believe they need to work on finding out who they are first before they commit to being with someone for life. I agree with this to a certain level. An 18-year-old couple can be married and get divorced within a year while a woman who has had a lifetime of experiences, get married in her 30’s and she’s divorced within a year. What matters your maturity, mindset, and willingness to change to become a better spouse. Some people get married to someone and expect things will get better because there is a title, when the reality is you truly can’t change anyone. If two people commit to fighting for each other and share the same maturity, and values, they can go a long way in a marriage.
Be kind and respectful to your spouse
It’s imperative to be sensitive to the needs of your spouse. As mentioned earlier, I can be a very kind person and I’m used to focusing on others first and myself. This can cause problems in marriages because you can put other people’s satisfaction over your spouse because you want to make everyone happy and you know your spouse will always be there. You should never take advantage of your spouse’s unconditional love and always practice putting their needs first. In addition to this, it’s imperative to be kind and respectful to your spouse. This means speaking kindly, not sounding condescending, and continuing to let them know you appreciate them with your words and actions.
YOU have the power to make yourself happy
Your spouse can make you happy, but, you have the power to make yourself happy. Happiness is temporary, and you have to realize you won’t be happy every single day. There will be days when you are upset and frustrated, but the good always outweighs the bad and you come out with a stronger marriage! You can be mad because you constantly remind your spouse to put the toilet seat down. Instead of being upset, grace your spouse and just put down the toilet seat. There’s no need to cause arguments over unimportant things unless it will be a problem later.
Marriage won’t solve all your problems, so there’s no rush
As a person who was single most of her life, I couldn’t wait to get married! Although I love being married, I see so many people who can’t wait to be married and it’s all they think about. Live your life, learn how to cook, serve other couples with children, and enjoy the season you are in! Everyone isn’t called to be married so you must be content with who you are as a person. If you aren’t happy now, then I promise you won’t be happy when you are married, because you will just think of another problem that’s causing you to not be happy.
Communicate AND Listen
The last lesson I learned in marriage is that it’s so important to communicate and listen to what your spouse is trying to say. This may be through non-verbal and verbal communication. Listening is one of the most essential skills to have in marriage. One of the reasons I believe Jabari and I continue to have a good marriage is because we communicate our feelings, listen to each other, and immediately try to work on changing our actions to the best of our ability. This has helped us in our marriage tremendously, as well as being transparent even if the truth hurts.
These are some of the 7 lessons I learned my 3 years of being married. I pray this helps couples aspiring to be married and currently married. It’s so worth waiting on a good husband that meets your standards! I will leave you with a quote I read from this blog post.
“If happiness is our primary goal, we’ll run or get a divorce as soon as happiness seems like it’s never going to be possible or we will want someone else as soon as our husbands seem less attentive…But if our marriage is to Honor the Most High God and be a living example of his love in us and his creation we will be on our way to a healthier perspective of marriage and in that we can be happy”!