My one year wedding anniversary is fast approaching and in the year since that day, a lot of people I know have and are getting married. It is the season of life that we are in and it is an exciting time. I want to share some of the wisdom I have gained from this first year of marriage.
There is no formula to a successful and satisfying marriage. There is no manual or recipe. As I’ve told a few brides-to-be, you just have to jump in there and do it and figure it out along the way. You can go to pre-marital counseling (which I recommend), you can read books (which I also recommend), and you can seek the wisdom of mature and godly married couples (again, I recommend). You can do all these things but you will never be prepared enough and know all that you need to know to make your marriage work. All that you need is a faith and trust in God, a covenant of love and commitment, and a lifetime to learn, grow, and strengthen your marriage bond.
With that said, a list of tips, wisdom, and advice never hurts. It can serve as a good reminder and a gentle nudge in the right direction.
Advice for wives:
- You cannot change your husband. You have great influence over him but you cannot change him. Pray for his heart and God will change him if necessary.
- Speak words of life to your husband. He needs to know that he’s a hunk and that he’s the only man for you.
- Obey with a quiet and gentle spirit. What he asks of you may not always make sense to you but just do it and when you must speak, speak with respect.
- Pick your battles. Sometimes it just isn’t worth it.
- Laugh at the things that annoy you (like his laundry being everywhere but the hamper and the silly little things that he does that don’t make sense). It will save you from unnecessary anger and irritation.
- Be direct. Don’t hint at things…he’ll never get it.
- Know your husband’s love language and show him respect.
Advice for husbands:
- Know your wife’s love language and lather her in the love she needs.
- Study your wife. Know her in every way you can.
- All women like flowers, chocolates, and being showered with little gifts but at the end of the day all we really want is your love, attention, presence, and approval.
- Keep the romance alive with sweet words, kisses, hugs, and random outings and gifts “just because.”
- Take the time to listen to your wife. No, really, listen. Don’t just hear words, listen with your eyes and heart as well as your ears.
- Your sex life is a vital part of a healthy marriage. Talk about your sex life and know each others needs.
- Resolve arguments as soon as possible and do your best to not go to bed angry.
- Even when there is anger, at the end of the day show some love whether that be holding hands, a kiss goodnight, or just cuddling up next to each other. It’s healthy.
- Practice patience and understanding. Remember, you are two sinners who come from different lives trying to live as one. It’s not easy for either of you so be understanding.
- Most of all, remember that marriage is a blessing and a picture of the Gospel. It is not a cure for loneliness, lust, financial issues, unhappiness, or any problems. It is a covenant between a man and a woman and it is a gift given to us by God for His glory. It comes with amazing joy and unexpected problems. It is not like the movies or the fairytale. It is better and it is good when Christ is in it.