After Every Wedding Comes a Marriage

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Whether you're a newlywed or struggling to understand your spouse after 25 years, know that God works in His people to encourage one another.

Three years ago, I was wrapped up in the preparations for the biggest day of my life - my wedding day. It ended up going by so fast, but it was an incredibly joyous, beautiful event full of love.

And then came marriage.

Being in a military marriage comes with its extra doses of stress with things like long-distance. And, to be completely honest, there have been times I’ve struggled with those parts of marriage that aren’t so romantic or fairytale-like. 

However, I surround myself with encouragers, some of whom have been married for 60 years, some who are celebrating 30 years, and some newbies like myself. And, from these relationships, I’ve gained some valuable insights about the ups, downs, twists and turns of marriage.

Are you a newlywed? Do you know someone who is? Are you mentoring an engaged or newlywed couple? As Christians, we should join together to encourage and build up one another as we strive to strengthen our marriages, as well as the marriages and families of those around us. I invite you to come along with me as I dive into a few lessons I wish I had known as a newlywed. And, please feel free to pass these lessons along to lift up couples who may need a little insight from a three-year veteran.

Marriage Advice for Newlyweds

Different Doesn’t Equal Wrong

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV)

It drives me crazy how my husband will wait until the very last minute before getting ready. It bothers me because I like to get up, get ready and then relax with my remaining time.

When this happens, I have to close my eyes and remember his heart. I ask myself, “Is this a battle worth fighting?” and if the answer is “no” then I accept that this is just a part of who he is, and I wait patiently(even if it still drives me bonkers).  

Laugh Off the Frustrations

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22 (NIV)

Once, my husband and I planned a trip to a small local island that you could only get to by ferry. After purchasing our tickets, we decided to take a short walk. Turns out we completely missed the ferry during our walk because we got the departing time mixed up.

These types of situations in life are inevitable, and we must learn to stay positive and go with the flow. It’s so much more enjoyable to laugh off these instances rather than cry about them.

Recognize the Little Things

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:24 (NIV)

One night I came home to a clean kitchen. The dishes had been done, the sink was sparkling, and the counters were wiped off. I noticed immediately, and I was so thankful that I didn’t need to stand in there cleaning before going to bed.

Take the time to thank your spouse for putting their clothes in the hamper, doing the dishes, or giving you a foot massage – and the bonus to recognizing these things is that they are more likely to keep doing them!

Maybe your marriage has gone through some ups and downs but recently landed on solid ground, or maybe you are still struggling to understand your spouse after 25 years, or maybe you are newly engaged and a little apprehensive of what is to come. No matter where your marriage is on the spectrum, we know that God works in His people to encourage one another. So, why not organize a small group in your church that focuses on strengthening marriages or become a marriage mentor for younger couples? Just think -  if we can come together and be completely honest with each other about both the good and hard times of marriage, we could make a huge difference in the lives of those around us and maybe, just maybe, save a few hearts along the way.

by Tiffany Stroud @ DaySpring 

 

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