Marriage Year 1: 5 Lessons I Learned

9:38 AM

I would be a fool to say that I have the perfect marriage or we never fight or we are happy all the time. That doesn't exist and it's not real.I am writing these words to hold myself  accountable to be better, grow in my relationship with my husband and ultimately grow in my relationship with Christ.

These 5 lessons that I learned are things that I wished I would have spent even MORE time praying on before entering into marriage.

#1 Alone Time with the Lord

So this is a big ole DUH for a believer, married or not. But I can tell you I have never struggled to spend alone time with the Lord more than ever in my first year of marriage. Why? Well a lot of it was own junk of having expectations (I will talk about that next) in marriage that didn't follow through and I was angry with God through that. 

I identified that part of my struggle was that now I had an earthly man who fulfilled all of my earthly needs and wants; he protected, provided, loved and cared for me. But he is not God and he will never satisfy my soul like the Lord will and does. 

Finally, I have realized that I need complete alone time with the Lord and myself. I have a very short attention span so I know that I need zero distractions (including my husband) to have true and meaningful fellowship with the Lord. I will always and forever be growing in my relationship with the Lord but I know when He is at the center of my heart and my husbands, it makes our marriage (and life) so much sweeter and it is what He has called us to. 

                                                   #2 Get Rid of Expectations

This is a HUGE one that I said "no problem" to before I got married. I was thinking that I had zero expectations and I had worked that out. Well that was a big fat lie to myself. I expected things from my life that I always had before and that was just not going to happen because EVERYTHING had changed in my current life situation. My home, my job, my location, my marital status, my independence and my role in life.

I expected things of marriage and my husband because it is what I had envisioned for our life. The expectations  did not come true because they were not realistic. We had to work through this as a couple and let me tell you it was not easy! Since realizing this, much as been corrected in both of our hearts but specifically mine and it has made life much more joyful. 

#3 Serve, Serve, Serve

I think I can be good at this at points but am I doing it for the right reasons? Am I serving my husband in search of recognition, love or attention. I know there are times where I am serving my husband because I am angry or frustrated or I am trying to barter something. I know there is such importance in serving your spouse and making their life easier if possible but from what place in my heart is this service coming from? 

I think this is something that I had to reroute about half way through our 1st year of marriage. I wanted to serve my husband but I knew it needed to come from a heart of SERVICE and not a heart wanting something in return. When I am serving my husband now, I have to remind myself that I am doing this because I have desire to bring joy to my husband and glory to God. 

#4 Date Your Spouse

Holy cow! Life gets soooo busy. I know you have heard this one many times before but it is so true! Make sure you are spending quality time with your significant other. What I mean by quality time is undivided attention and conversation with one another. NOT a Netflix date where you are glued to your favorite show. I am not saying that is wrong (we love doing that) BUT just be mindful that although that time may have quantity, it may lack in quality. 

MAKE time to date each other and carry out conversations and to do little love acts for one another throughout your days. Remember how you felt in dating? You can feel like that through marriage  too but you HAVE to make it a priority. 

#5 Pray for Your Spouse

This is one I am really horrible at. That is terrible isn't it? I mean he is leading our family and has a ton or responsibility on his shoulders, oh and he is the love of my life but still I fail to pray for him. Can I tell you when I am praying for my husband and our marriage that my heart reacts so differently towards him and the day to day issues that come up. 

I mean everything is not perfect in any sense of the word but when I am praying for him and keeping that in the forefront of my mind, I notice how my heart softens toward my husband and how much more numbers 1-4 are enhanced. 

I am not a pro at ANY of these! I am a work in progress in all areas of my life and I would have to think that by 50 years of marriage I will still be fighting my flesh as new storms
 arise in and through our marriage.There is a saying that I tell my Beachbody Challengers that goes... "It doesn't get easier you just get stronger". I think this relates to marriage as well. I don't think it gets easier but I do think that you grow stronger in your faith, love and partnership over time.

It is a fight to have a marriage that is centered not on earthy things but the things of above (Colossians 3:2) . I am desperately running towards the things of above with my husband, hand in hand in all areas of life. I am thankful of the blessing and gift God has given us in marriage. 

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