When you were a little girl what did you dream about when you got older? Did you play dress up and pretend you were getting married? Did you dream about being a mommy one day and practiced mothering your dolls (or younger siblings! 🙂 )? Maybe you were more of a tomboy?
Growing up, believe it or not, I was more of a tomboy! I could hold my own climbing trees with my brothers and playing football in the street with my brothers neighborhood friends. My older brother and I were close and I always wanted to be with him! It didn’t matter what he was doing!
I had thought about getting married one day but I didn’t think much about it really until I was older. As I grew older in my teen years, I only wanted to be a wife and mother, never did I have a career focused mind. God just didn’t wire me that way!
My husband and I met at college and I can honestly say he is the best thing that has ever happened to me! I used to day dream about our life together and honestly, this life together has been much better than I could have ever dreamed up! It hasn’t been perfect, I don’t want to lead you astray in thinking that, but it has been wonderful.
As we approach our tenth wedding anniversary and I look back on our decade together as a married couple I am extremely thankful for these years together. I truly believe God intended marriage to be a gift, not a drudgery. Not something to complain about. Not something to speak poorly of, but a gift to be unwrapped and enjoyed each and every day.
I know I haven’t been married nearly as long as some of my readers, but as I was pondering my marriage I just wanted to share what has helped me in my marriage! I’m still learning myself but any way that I can encourage you in your walk, that is exactly what I want to do!
I think one of the greatest pieces of advice I can give to a new wife or a seasoned one is to pray passionately, boldly, and daily for your man and yourself! Pray for God’s protection and blessing over both of you. Pray for each of you to put on the entire armor of God daily so that when Satan shoots his darts of temptation you both are able to deflect those darts and gain victory over them. Satan is real. Temptation is real. Our spirit may be willing, but we all know how weak our flesh is! Keep short sin accounts with God. The Psalmist tells us if we regard iniquity in our hearts the Lord will not hear us! (Psalm 66:18) Keep a heart that is pure and right before God, daily!
Second, is to get in the Word of God! How can we expect to be the kind of wives we need to be if we are not daily soaking up the encouragement and challenges that God is desiring to give us? We cannot extend grace if we have not yet accepted it for ourselves. We will grow stagnant in our marriages if our relationship with God is stagnant.
Third, never speak badly of your man to anyone and protect his heart. Your husband is a precious gift from God to you! He was created to be your husband! When God was forming him in his mother’s womb years and years ago, God was forming and creating him with you in mind! Isn’t that crazy wonderful? Treat your man how you would want to be treated, as Matthew 7:12 states. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If it would break your heart to hear someone speaking ill of you, then don’t speak ill of him! If you and your husband get into a tiff, that should not be the tale you tell at the mommy play date. We should praise him and speak highly of him to others, not the other way around.
Fourth, seek his good and be his best friend. Proverbs 31:11-12 says, “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” The Lord has convicted my heart to pray that God will continue to turn my heart to that of my husband. As a mom it is so easy to get distracted, especially during the rather needy years of having little ones. Yet, aside from my relationship to God, my relationship to my husband is the most important relationship! I’m not saying “abandon the crying babies to focus solely on your man”, but what I am saying is remember he has needs as well. Meet his needs, take time to nurture that relationship with him. Seek to do good for him, find ways to ease his load, leave little love notes where you know he will find them, plan a special date night in if a babysitter is not available, let him know how impressed you are with the size of his muscles 😉 Get the idea? Let him know he’s your hero! Don’t just post about it on facebook, tell him!! Keep working on your friendship with him and go have fun together! (Yes, my man was LAUGHING at me in that picture on a roller coaster as I screamed my head off! 😉 He knew just where the camera was;) )
Fifth, remember what drew you to him, minimize his faults and maximize his strengths! As we grow in our marriage sometimes it can be easy to flip flop this last point. We can easily begin to maximize his faults and minimize his strengths. How horrible would we feel if we knew someone was knit picking everything wrong we did throughout the day? Putting our daily life under a microscope and every single day the person scrutinizing us said, “Failed again”. Is that not what happens when we maximize failures? None of us are perfect. None of us have it all together. Everyone is learning and growing and just because we are Christians does not mean we are perfect, it simply means we have been forgiven by a gracious God! A God who knew all the sin we would ever commit before we were ever born and yet still chose to come and die on a cross and conquer death so that we could be forgiven! Grace! Oh what grace! When we stop and think about what God has done for us, how can we refuse to extend grace to the love of our lives? How can we so easily extend grace to others (friends, co-workers, church members) and yet withhold it from our beloved? Remember what drew you to your husband, maximize his strengths and minimize his weakness.
Oh there is so much more I could list, but my kids are up from their quiet time and I am about to become a referee 😉 My last words would simply be this, enjoy life with your husband! He is a good and perfect gift! As Proverbs 14:1 states, “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” If we aren’t building our homes, our husband, then we are more than likely pulling them down with our hands. Ask the Lord to help you build your husband up! Don’t be like the foolish woman and pluck it down. God longs for us to enjoy our marriages!
I don’t have it all together and I have a lot to learn still about being a wife and helpmeet, but I surely am enjoying this journey with my man! He is so gracious when I mess up and offers quick forgiveness. I am beyond blessed and extremely thankful for this man I get to call mine!