Guys, as of today I’ve been married for a year so I am basically now an expert on all things related to marriage. Hopefully you detected the sarcasm in that initial sentenced and deduced that I was very much kidding. I know that, despite all I’ve learned, there are still a multitude of lessons ahead of me. That being said, here is a non-comprehensive list of some of the things that I have learned this past year:
- Marriage is hard, but very much worth it. Prior to getting married I heard a number of people say things like “Marriage is the hardest thing you’ll ever do” or other phrases along those lines. And it’s true, real relationships rarely work out as effortlessly as the ones in movies. But don’t let this dissuade you from pursuing marriage. The valuable things in life require effort, so (to some degree) the fact that a good marriage takes work could be a signal that it is something worth working for. And all that being said, I think overemphasizing the difficulty of marriage can work to overshadow the benefits of marriage. I am so thankful to the Lord for putting me and my wife Maddie together. I regularly wonder how I was able to survive without her, but more on that to come later.
- I’m quite a bit more selfish than I realized. Life is full of situations and relationships that accentuate areas of sin in one’s life. I’ve heard having children behaves in this way and can now tell you from experience that being married definitely does. I’ve always been aware of the fact that as a sinner, I am naturally selfish. But this awareness was often in a theoretical sense rather than a tangible awareness of specific selfish thoughts and actions. Having a person who lives with you, serves you, and is committed to being with you for the rest of life can create a situation where its easy to see the other person as a means to fulfilling your own desires. By God’s grace I’ve noticed these tendencies in my life and am desperately trying to fight against them.
- My wife is even more amazing than I could have imagined. I knew my wife was pretty special prior to marriage. After all, it would take a very special person to stick with me. And seeing the way that she has selflessly loved me this past year has been truly incredible. My wife has thrived this past year and is such an encouragement to me in all areas of life. I could go on and on about all the amazing food she makes, how hard she works at her job and school, how fun she is to spend time with, how beautiful she is, but that would literally take an entire post of itself.
- God is faithful and kind to bless imperfect relationships. It was a bit daunting getting married so young, while also both being full-time students. There were a lot of things that could have gone terribly wrong this past year, but the Lord has been so kind to not only prevent bad things from happening but to also bless us with many good gifts. From an amazing church to a supportive family to good jobs to a beautiful house, the Lord has given us far more than we deserve. And more than anything, we rejoice that He offered us salvation while did not deserve it (1 Peter 3:18) and promises to continue sanctifying us (Philippians 1:6).
These are just some of the things I’ve learned this past year. I’m sure there are others, but I honestly can’t think of them right now. My marriage has been an incredible blessing and I look forward to see how God will continue to teach me and sanctify me through it.
If you have thoughts, questions, or comments on this post, please leave a comment or send me an email. A lot of you have been married longer than I and have far more wisdom to share than I do. Thanks for reading!