Disclaimer: We are so blessed to have several, hand selected, young-at-heart wives in our Young Wives Club Facebook Group (Click here to join!) to occasionally offer insight into various, difficult situations. As it is our goal to uphold a confidential environment, we have been careful to only invite mentor-figures who are not connected with any of the other members in the group. Amy is one of these young-at-heart wives and we are honored to have her share some wisdom with us today.
I have a few confessions to make to you Young Wives.
First, I’m not young. The questions I ask my OB/GYN are about the latter half of her specialty. My nest is empty and my hair is gray (until Clairol comes to the rescue). I started dating my husband when I was 15 and got married when I was 20—but that was back in the 80’s. Our wedding cost $2,990 (I still have the handwritten list of expenses) and my first car payment was less than my current cell phone bill.
Second, I’ve been reading your mail. As a member of your Facebook group, your hearts and hurts have been filling my feed for several months now. I’ve spied on your sexual questions (and learned a lot… ahem…) and taken your surveys. I know what you had for dinner, your middle name, and when your husband drives you crazy.
Please permit me to use my ancient perspective to bust a few marriage myths and old wives’ tales that are believed by young and old alike.
- Don’t put your husband first
Putting your spouse first is a surefire way to undermine your marriage. The only way to ensure your marriage stays strong and sweet is to put God first. This is a promise from Matthew 6:33 you can take to the bank: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
There have been times in my marriage when I allowed other priorities to slip in before my relationship with God. Sometimes I had good intentions and just became overly busy taking care of my family, working at my job, or serving at church. Other times I was just a rebellious brat, like the 20 years I ignored God completely. Both scenarios were equally disastrous.
I have only found peace in my heart and home when I put God first. For me, this means spending time talking to God, reading His word, and seeking His will for my daily decisions.
- You don’t need more “me” time
God comes first, and sorry, ladies—but we don’t even come in a distant second place. That spot is reserved for our husbands.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4 NIV
There will be days when “your needs aren’t being met” and you compose long lists about all the ways you’ve been wronged and have long, loud imaginary arguments with your husband… or maybe that’s just me? The only way I’ve ever managed to get myself out of this funk is by doing something nice for someone else. Confession: this isn’t fun and I don’t always do it with a smile. But it works.
(It’s worth noting that I’m married to a great guy who responds to me in a loving way. If your husband is angry, abusive, or addicted, you just might need some “me time” for your safety and for your husband’s sake, too—it is not loving to enable bad behavior.)
- Your mother-in-law is right
Maybe you read these words at your wedding or have them displayed in your home:
“Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” Ruth 1:16
These words are not for your husband. Not only was this spoken by a woman to another woman, it was from a daughter-in-law to her mother-in-law!
It’s hard to underestimate the impact your extended families will have on your marriage. These people were part of your husband’s life long before you, and they will be around long after your children have left home. They can make your lives heaven… or not. It’s a true gift to your husband if you can keep peace with both sets of parents and however many step parents you may have to manage.
This doesn’t look like giving in to their every demand, letting them rule your family, or putting up with abusive or mean-spirited people. It does look like praying for them, being kind and respectful at all times (i.e. keeping your mouth shut sometimes), and setting healthy boundaries for your family.
- There’s never a good time to have kids
Kids are inconvenient. They cost a lot of money, and they suck all of your time. All. Of. It! From the moment of conception, you will never have a moment when you aren’t worrying about your kids, wondering about your kids, or working for your kids.
Jesus has a special place in His heart for young moms:
“He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.” Isaiah 40:11
It’s no use waiting until you have your perfect starter home, enough money in the bank, or that dream job—having kids will destroy any sense of preparedness you so carefully established. You will not know what to do with their crying little souls, you will question every burp and stinker, you will be certain you are screwing them up for life.
Your kids will be OK, and you will be a good mama.
In the spirit of being completely truthful, I should tell you that I’ve fallen for every single one of these myths—and that’s why I can confidently bust them for you. It seems the entire world has changed since I was a young wife, yet within our marriages things are very much the same.
Final confession: I haven’t even met you, but I already love you. I read your posts with awe and amazement. You’re doing it, girls! You’re loving your husbands and running your homes and raising your families with grit and grace, determination and skill. You’re responding to one another with wisdom—real truth, straight from the mouth of God and your own hard-earned experience.
Psalm 101:6 says, “I will search for faithful people to be my companions.” I call these women my “good Godly Girlfriends” or gGg’s. You’ve found them here in this group, and I am humbled to be among you (even if I never comment on your posts).
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