Ladies Night Out with my Sunday School girls happens the first Tuesday of each month. The location changes, and we do different types of things together. This past Tuesday we all gathered at my house to just talk…but with purpose. I had a few ideas of topics and other gals brought up things on their minds. It was a good night. We even got to hear someone’s testimony, which brought us all a little bit closer to her and opened our hearts a little more to hers.
Near the close of the evening, I asked each girl how long they have been married. There were a couple of 16 years and 17 years, lots of 13, 14, and 15 years a 7 years and 4 years with a few others. By no means was I sharing out of sooooooo many years experience, but for this room of gals, it was ok to simply share some things I have gleaned in my short 14 years and 2 months of marriage. And I enjoyed hearing their input as we talked through the list.
So if you’re a newlywed wife and would like some advice on marriage, I hope you’ll read my list. It isn’t exhaustive, but I’ve hit some of the highlights.
1- Remember, you and your husband are on the same team!
Josh has used the “same team” analogy on me multiple times. I suppose that’s what I should expect marrying a guy who played team sports his whole life. I used to pout or get real quiet when I was bothered by something….I’d do anything except talk to him about it. Well, he would have none of that. He would have me sit on the couch, looking at him, and he would tell me we were going to talk. “We’re on the same team!” And he was right. It’s so easy to let life’s circumstances drive a wedge between you and your husband instead of bringing you together.
2- Remember, you’re not always easy to live with either—forgive often, seek forgiveness and live humbly.
3- Never do anything alone that you couldn’t do with your husband’s ready approval. It may put a damper on your Target trips, but it will keep you accountable!
4- Love believes the best about someone. I remember a season when I thought Josh must be out to get me…he always had shoes in the living room, he would hang clothes on anything but a hanger in the closet, or he would leave his dish in the sink after I had cleaned the kitchen. BUT, one day the Lord convicted me about my thoughts and sometimes my words about Josh. I was NOT believing the best about him. I was telling myself that he didn’t care about the work I did at home, etc, etc. In reality, those thoughts weren’t true or loving.
5- And connected with number 4, I also realized that I had started grouping my husband in with my kids. “Y’all always leave your shoes everywhere.” “Does anyone know how to put their clothes away??!!” See, it is indeed a lot of work to keep a house in good running order! No one is debating that. (But remember that it is also hard work for him to earn a living for his family!) Take caution not to let the line get blurry between our husband and our kids. I’m training my kids to become independent and have less need of me. And as the kids get older, I can let them know that they can put away their own clothes. They can put away their own shoes and clean that dish they just tossed in the clean, empty sink! And I can serve my husband with joy. I’m not his mother; I am his wife!
6- Marriage is intended to be a picture of Christ and the church. What are you showing your kids, your family, your friends or neighbors about Christ by how you treat your spouse? I want my kids to supernaturally see the gospel when they watch Josh and me. I don’t completely understand how that happens exactly, but I believe it does. They should see unconditional love, faithfulness, commitment through all types of circumstances, joy, encouragement, purity, patience, graciousness.
7- This may be just me, BUT a red flag goes up when I start a sentence to Josh with, “I feel…” Now I’m not saying I never tell Josh how I feel, but many times that sentence goes on to be a bit dramatic, so for me it’s a red flag. Is what I’m about to say true and sound or am I being overly sensitive?
8- Think of your three closest friends. Is your husband one of them? How can you be a better friend to your husband? There’s no one on the planet I love to spend time with more than Josh!
9- Intimacy is a good thing—a gift from God to be enjoyed all your married days! I mean, not every single day, but lots and lots of days throughout your married life!
So there you have it. My little list. Marriage is hard work, but also the most fun thing I’ve ever been a part of! I’m extremely thankful for the gift of marriage!