I have had the hardest time starting/finishing this post, and I’m not sure why… Maybe because I’m not the world’s best wife, or as insightful as I expected to be about marriage when I jotted down the idea for this topic? Whatever the reason, it kind of boils down to – how do you succinctly and wittily (is that a word?) summarize a big change in your life? I'm gonna do my best, but por favor cut me some slack, ok?
My husband and I got married in January of 2017 and we’ve had a lot of fun getting used to the rhythms of married life! We have our own apartment and have mostly decorated it, we’re getting into routines of necessary household stuff mixed with fun things and weekend plans, normal stuff people do when they start living together. I think we do a good job talking and communicating with each other and we support each other really well and make sure the other feels cared for and loved (though not always perfectly).
But in some ways, life is pretty similar to how it was before. We go to work every day, and we still have responsibilities and chores and struggles like we did pre-marriage. Sometimes we argue. Sometimes I hit him in the middle of the night while I’m asleep (three times now…).
I once had someone tell me about becoming a father that, yeah it was great but the day to day was a lot like pre-fatherhood days. I remember thinking, “What?! That does not sound like he’s very excited about being a dad!” And I realized recently, about three years later, that I know what he meant!
It’s not that marriage or parenthood aren’t great things that change your life on so many levels. Marriage is wonderful! I have so much fun with my husband and we get to laugh and joke and snuggle and live together and I am truly happy to be married to him! He is a sweet gift to me and teaches me so many things – hugely, how to not take myself so seriously. And for now I will take the word of all those parents out there saying parenthood is really great as well – no kids for us yet, please and thank you.
And as for life changing, marriage is that too! I now have a supporter and friend and caller-outer available to me all the time. I know he will protect me and care for my heart as well and help make sure I’m following Christ as I say I want to. We also have to consider both of us in budget decisions and vacations and family events – life-changing considerations!
But on the other hand, there are a lot of things that haven’t changed since we got married. All my problems, worries, concerns, fears did not vanish when the ring was slipped onto my finger. We did not suddenly become perfect people and have all the answers to life’s greatest questions. And in a lot of ways, like my friend said three years ago, the day to day is a lot like pre-marriage days.
I write all this to say that marriage is great! It is also one other thing in a lifetime worth of changes that will both change your life and at times feel anticlimactic. Because who we are is not fully dependent on getting married. Sure, that contributes to who we are but it is not the sum of us – of me, of you, of him.
I believe my worth is found in my union with Jesus Christ, by whom I am made worthy of entering into God’s presence. If you’re not a Christian, know that you’re finding your worth somewhere – maybe in being loved by your spouse/children/family, maybe in being really successful at work, maybe by having a lot of money or things, maybe in where you were born or live. You can find worth in these things, but they will all let you down eventually and you will realize that with any of those as the deciding factor of your worth you will be found hurt, heartbroken, disappointed, lacking, lonely, and/or all of the above. You don’t have to believe me here – I just want you to leave warned that the things of this world so often and inevitably disappoint. This is exactly why things like marriage and parenthood and that awesome job you always wanted don’t always leave you over-the-moon happy, but make you realize there are still a lot of “before” days to trudge through to get back to those fun “after” days.
Now. Here are my tips for a fun and eventful marriage:
1. Know your story and figure out where you’re finding your worth. (And decide if you want to find your worth there.)
2. Try not to hit your husband mid-dream – even if you were trying to brush something off his nose in said dream.
3. Say I love you often. Show it often too.
4. Put down your phones. (We’re working on this one!)
5. Don’t stop dating each other. (This one, too!)
Know that you are loved! Whether you are young, old, single, married, widowed, divorced, afraid, joyful, hurting, fill in the blank – you are loved and precious and worth it!