Having been married only three and a half years, my husband and I are by no means an old married couple. We have, however, already grown our family by two children in those first three years, so I feel as if we have already lived a lot of life in our short marriage! Even though folks who have been married for 50+ years would likely view us as practically still being newlyweds ourselves, there are nevertheless several things I would go back and now say to my truly newlywed self.
Check your expectations at the door.
Hardly anything does more harm to a marriage than unrealistic expectations. “My husband will always complete me”, “He will always be a total Prince Charming”, “He will never be anything less than truly romantic.”, “He will never raise his voice to me,” “We will never argue.”, etc. are all examples of some of the unrealistic expectations that can be entertained in the minds of young women as they approach marriage. And while our husbands will be wonderful and marriage will be beautiful, we are nevertheless marrying sinners who will sometimes act like sinners. How much better off we would be as wives if we loved our husbands as Christ loves us – in a way that “does not seek its own” (1 Corinthians 13:5), but instead is patient and kind. Rather than harboring unrealistic and unfair expectations about how your husbands should act, you should instead…
Focus on yourself.
I don’t mean this in a selfish way, either! 😉 Instead, what I mean is that we should focus on our own sins, failures, and shortcomings and think about how we can improve in these areas. If we would pay more attention to the log of sin in our own eye rather than the speck of sin in our husband’s eye ( Matthew 7:3-5), just think how much better off our marriages would be! We would find our homes to be far more harmonious if we simply paid more attention to where we need to improve rather than focusing on where our husbands need to improve – after all, we are not responsible for our husband’s actions, but we are fully responsible for our own. The love chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 goes on to say that love “keeps no record of wrongs” (vs. 5). Now that’s something I could have been better at as a newlywed (and even now!).
To read the rest, head to the Young Wives Club!