Us Against Them . . .
Why it's you and your husband against the world . . . or at least against your kids.
Effective Ways to Manage Pain in Marriage
Because throwing pots and pans is not an option.
The Truth About Raising Young Adults
Can you handle the truth?
Why Temper-Tantrum Parenting Might Just Help You Make the Rapture
Yes, being a flawed mom is OK

Seven Things I Didn’t Know Before I Married

He loves me, he loves me not.  I love him, I think he’s hot. We’re happy, let’s tie the knot!

Yeah, I know you’re going to marry the man that completes you in every possible way.  Yes, you’re marrying the woman who radiantly brightens up every waking day. You’ve had your premarital counsel and now you’re both ready to get on your way.  You know each other inside and out and there’s nothing more anyone else can say.  Well . . .

Here are 7 things that may surprise you (too) once you say “I Do”

*

7 things I didn't know before I married featured image

1 – I didn’t know that I was a pill!

I know we think we have it all together.  Don’t we, ladies?  But 20 years after I said “I Do” I finally realized that I don’t!  Not me.  Not you.  None of us do; male or female.  Even the best of us bring some real dysfunction to the marriage table.  It takes a while – for some of us a really long while – before we are able to remove the” plank” in our own eye to clearly see how we can help our spouse remove the “speck” in their eye (Matthew 7:3-4).  The more I grow spiritually, the more the God reveals areas in my life that need to be worked on.  And I thought my husband was the nut job! 🙂  Actually, the realization here is that were BOTH nut jobs!

2 – That I would have to submit to my husband – for real, yo!

I was introduced to the concept of submission a few years prior to marriage, so I thought I had a pretty good understanding of this Biblical concept.  But I really didn’t.  It would take years before I understood that my husband gets the final say on all matters regarding our family (as long as it doesn’t violate my conscience or the scriptures).

Years ago, even saying that would have driven me up a wall!  That’s a hard pill for me to swallow and I’ve chocked on it more than once (or a million times, but who’s counting?).  I have a mind, you know!  I have more education than he does (but I should add that he has more common sense).  When we both worked I made more money than he did (until he landed a job which doubled my salary and thankfully secured my status as a stay-at-home mom).  But even if these factors weren’t in play, my flesh and secular reasoning believes that I should have an equal say in things.  Yes?  No!

Yes, my husband should value my opinion and regard it highly.  He should see me as his confidant and his number one adviser.  It should pain him to make a decision that he knows I’m opposed to (a significant decision – I’m not talking about where to eat dinner here).  But if our opinions do differ, I have to roll with the punches.

Bottom line – I don’t like submitting!  It goes against my sinful nature and the know-it-all, smarty-pants that I think I am; but again, as I grow in the Christ I see there is a beauty inherent in submission, at least biblical submission – not making yourself a mindless door mat.  Each Christian wife will have to figure out where to draw her line between biblical submission and door mat.  Each relationship is unique.  Just keep relying upon the Holy Spirit.  He will lead in you in all righteousness (John 16:13).

3 – That l might actually have to live through the “worse” part of the marriage vows.

Mostly everyone takes the vow: “For better or for worse until death do us part.” but honestly, when we are standing at the alter with our Prince Charming, madly in love, heart beating wildly, thinking he’s the best thing since sliced bread the iPhone 6, the “worse” part is nowhere to be found in your cerebral cortex.  Your reasoning capacity has jumped ship!  The man you are standing at the altar with is not capable of causing you heartache or emotional pain so intense that you no longer recognize who he is.  Not possible, right?  Possible!  Way more possible than you think; and most likely probable.  Christ assures us that we will experience rain, floods and violent winds in some capacity of our lives (Matthew 7:24-27) and it’ will impact our marriage.  So, fasten your spiritual seat-belt and anchor your marriage on the solid rock teachings of Jesus Christ as you walk through the worse – because every marriage has its “worse”.

4 – That there were dimensions of my husband’s personality I was completely unaware of.

He was fairly serious and wrapped pretty tightly.  I was foot-loose and fancy-free.  He was a no feet on the coffee table kind of guy.  I was a dance on the table and try to stop me if you dare! kind of gal.  (If only he had known.) This guy was my best friend prior to marriage.  He fit me like a glove.  He was the yin to my yang.  He complemented me perfectly.  How could I not know that he was an evil and maniacal task master?  (OK. I’ve gone too far.)  But, trust me on this: no matter how well acquainted you are during courtship and engagement, there are dimensions of his personality that will unroll like an onion once you say “I Do”.

5 – That my husband and I had radically opposing views on some (key) topics.

Thankfully, there were several significant topics that we agreed upon, like how to allocate money, but things like child discipline and how to attain wealth were triggers for discord.  My husband had an entrepreneurial spirit.  He believed in making his own way in life and having his own company – an ideology that usually doesn’t come with a steady stream of income, at least not initially.  I was a big punch-the-time-clock, 401K, steady income kind of gal, so I subsequently sucked the life out of his entrepreneurial spirit – at least for the time being.

Hopefully, some good premarital counseling will help couples identify and resolve these issues (a benefit I didn’t have since I put the cart before the horse and married when I was nine months pregnant); but even the best counseling won’t be able to predict to what extent how even a seemingly minor issue may impact your marriage.  I highly recommend good Christian premarital counseling.  Still, be prepared to butt heads on some issues you didn’t know might put you at odds.

6 – That my life would be nothing like I had imagined.

After growing up in a life of relative ease and privilege, I now found myself struggling financially, fighting over how to discipline, overwhelmed domestically and struggling with marital conflict.  That was certainly different from anything I had imagined!

So, maybe you realized that your Prince Charming was really Shrek in disguise {think Disney}?  That you had more kids than you wanted, or you weren’t able to have any at all.  Maybe you’re waiting for the heart of your prodigal child to return home.  Perhaps infidelity has breached your marriage borders or you’re dealing with the wreckage of a failed marriage.  Painfully, sometimes you look in the mirror and see only the ghost of a person that used to be – and you find yourself wishing you could have a “do over”.

We all have an image in our heads about how things are supposed to be, and sadly our expectation may be the source of our sadness.  Yes, life’s thrown us all a few curve balls, but we should learn to expect less and be content and open to where God has us now.  Don’t be a hostage to your “plan”.  Remember: “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps (Proverbs 16:9).” We won’t always understand how God is working in our life, but with Christ, hopefully, one day we’ll look back and be able to say: “It didn’t go as (I) planned, and that’s OK.”

7 – That God could redeem everything!

I should have gone down in flames marriage-wise, but I gave the Lord the brokenness of my marriage; in return, He gave me wholeness that could only be found in Him.  I gave the Lord my rags; He gave me the riches of salvation.  I gave the Lord my “survival mode” life; He gave me life abundantly.  He takes situations that are lifeless and breaths life back into them and makes something unbelievably beautiful out of them.  He does this because He loves us, and He, alone, should get the glory.

God is a Restorer (Joel 2:26) and a Redeemer (Colossians 1:13-14), and He is constantly working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).  We have to give Him time to work things out without us jumping ship!  And by the way, redemption isn’t cheap!  It is paid for with the precious, atoning blood of Jesus Christ (Matthew 20:28, Ephesians 1:7).

Here’s to your best marriage ever!

xo Tiffiney

I shared this article at these amazing faith and family linkups.

Comments

  1. A Christian marriage is such a beautiful picture of the gospel message. The examples you’ve given here all point to laying our lives down for each other. It’s not easy, but God didn’t leave us on our own to work it out. He’s there to strengthen us and guide us. I love what you wrote here.
    Thank you for linking with Grace and Truth last week!

  2. Oh, yes, Tiffiney, these things are true! But very worth working out together. The greatest lesson I learned was that God would fulfill me fully and completely and my hubby could just enjoy the wife God had given to him! Thanks for linking up with Grace and Truth.

    • Hey Aimee! What a gift that is to give your husband: a wife who doesn’t look to her husband for only that which God can fulfill. Thanks for stopping by and please come again!

    • Hey Sandy! Thanks for stopping by. I’m looking forward to visiting you over at Creating Kilter. Please come again soon!

  3. Hilariously true! I never even imagined some of these… well I have heard and read, but I didn’t think it could happen to me.
    No. seven is the consolation, God is so real and a great redeemer.
    Great and honest post, made me giggle too, thanks for sharing.
    Do have a super blessed day!
    Love
    #WeddedWednesday

    • Hey Ugochi! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post; and so glad you got a giggle in your day. Please come back again soon for more faith and laughter. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Thank you for these awesome words! I especially appreciate your words on Submission. This is such a misunderstood topic, especially among wives. When done right on both sides it’s one of the most wonderful things we as wives can do.

    My hubby and I have been married for 6.5 years and have seen over half of our friends’ marriages fail. It’s heart breaking to see them go from so in love and together to broken and apart. The more we can spread this excellent advice to young people the better. Love is an action, not a feeling; you have to work at it every day! Marriage is hard, but it’s worth it!

    • Hey Bre! I’m so sorry to hear about the failure of many of your friends marriages. I see the same thing every day. My husband and I should have been the couple to “go under” marriage wise, yet, many couples in my church who “seemed” to be doing swimingly at the time are no longer together. Yes, it is only by God’s Grace that we are still together, but we have had to work at it, and I have had to work at submitting. :o) Hard work,yes. But soooo worth it!

      May God richly bless your marriage. I pray it be a showcase for His glory!

  5. Spot-on truths here. There’s so much we just can’t understand until we’ve jumped in with both feet! I’m so thankful for a Holy Spirit who teaches willing pupils. May we always be ready learners in our marriages! Thanks for sharing your insights with us at Grace & Truth.

  6. Tiffiney, you are spot on with these! I am such a huge proponent of pre-marital counseling…Christian pre-marital counseling. I believe that my husband and I could have saved ourselves a LOT of heartache had we taken the time to do it. With that said, the Lord has preserved our marriage when, humanly speaking, it should not have survived. Praise Him. Stopping in from Grace & Truth.

    • Hi Leah! Eventhough neither of us has had premarital counseling, the Lord is still keeping our marriages alive and thriving. Let’s keep reminding ourselves that it’s not how we start…it’s how we finish! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by from Truth and Grace.

  7. People give up too quickly on their marriage. I could have done so and really had good reason to do so. But some do so for selfish reasons. I’ve been married for 25+ years now. It’s better now than when we were first married. I don’t think we could have done it without Jesus. He brought us through and blessed us mightily.

    • Hi Debbie, I salute your perseverance in staying when things got tough. I agree with your observation…Christ makes the difference. In him we triumph! Thanks for sharing!

  8. I totally love this! Number 1–“I didn’t know I was a real pill” is SO TRUE. Seriously, in all humility (ahem) I thought I was a pretty good catch. Lol! Umm…turns out I am a bit of a basket case and not always the easiest to be married to. So weird! 😉 Yet in the midst of the mess there is so much blessing, beauty, and as you said, redemption. So glad I came across this post! 🙂

    • Hi Summer! It’s great when we can admit our short comings and acknowledge that we are not perfect. I’m sure it gives our husband’s hope. 🙂

  9. Amen! I’ve learned lots these years, struggled to be submissive, and found my plank time and time again. Thanks for the cheerful honesty of this post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *