The greatest advice I was given before marriage was that the seemingly bad things and the hard moments that happen will be cherished later. That one day, the crazy, stressful, cross-country move we did would become the best thing that happened to us as newlyweds. There were things that happened in that time that my husband and I wouldn’t change for anything. We grew, yes, but more importantly we grew together.
My grandfather gave us that advice, and if I’m honest we weren’t so certain when he said it. However, he is right. It’s true. He also told us to take adventures often, because the best stories come out of them. We’ve learned that’s true, too. You see, spontaneity comes natural to my husband, but not so naturally to me. So, we balance each other well. He has definitely rubbed off on me though! We love little excursions to get ice cream or random car drives.
The fact of the matter is, marriage is hard. Crazy happens, the unexpected happens, bad things happen. Life can hit you so hard after the “I do’s” are said. That brings me to my next point, I wish someone would have told me the first year wouldn’t be as bad as people said. We had plenty of hard times, but we had even more beautiful moments. Life isn’t all bad, you know. But it matters where you put your focus.
If your focus is on serving and pleasing God, however that looks for your life, good for you! That’s the goal, to find your joy and worth in Him. It’s out of that overflow that you then serve your man. I have found that when my relationship with God is lacking, my relationship to my husband is lacking also.
If your focus is on yourself, you need to understand you aren’t going to get anywhere that way. Certainly, your marriage won’t see any improvement with that kind of attitude either. While it isn’t a bad thing to realize your limits or take some time for yourself, it can be a bad thing when all you’re thinking about is me. The world doesn’t revolve around you, dear. There are greater things out there to do, to see, to learn. You’re just going to be holding yourself back with a me mindset.
If your focus is on the little things your husband does that annoy you, ask yourself if it really matters. Does it really matter in the big picture if you’re picking up his socks every day? Does it really matter if he slurps? You can gently remind him where to put his shoes when we walks in the door, or where the hamper is, but if he just doesn’t get it then let it go. Do not let little quirks like forgetfulness drive a wedge in your marriage. No one is perfect and we all have our own quirks that probably bother our husbands!
So take my advice, when life gets you down or crazy circumstances hit, remember the beautiful moments you have shared. Remember the first date, the first kiss, when he proposed. Realize that what you’re facing now, won’t last forever. Trust me, I know. I’ve found that what Paul wrote in Philippians is true.
“I know how to get along and live humbly [in difficult times], and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret [of facing life], whether well-fed or going hungry, whether having an abundance or being in need.13 I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]” (Philippians 4:12-13, AMP)
Though hard times certainly come, try to place your focus on the good around you. Don’t give the devil a weapon to get you down. I’m not saying this is easy! But if you want to be happy, then it is necessary. The beauty of all of this is, that one day you will look back and smile. You’ll look back and say, “That is what made us grow for the better.” Trust God with your future, and be a good steward of what you have today.
What advice did you receive before you got married? What are some challenges you faced? How did you overcome? And how did it help you grow? Share your story with us in the comments!