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8 "I-Wish-I-Would've-Known-This-Sooner-Marriage Lessons"; Part 2.

8 "I-Wish-I-Would've-Known-This-Sooner-Marriage Lessons"; Part 2.

Last week I introduced the first part of these lovely marital lessons I wish I had known a little sooner. (Read part one here.)

Why do I wish I had known them sooner, you ask?

Well, because they’re practical, wise, and simply put - they work. I’ve collected these truths through a ton of reading, learning from people who have thriving and God honoring marriages, and let's face it, lots of trial and error – I can’t make this stuff up, people!

While my list is short and will be ever-growing, sharing information that will benefit not just you, but also those around you, and bring glory to the Designer of marriage is my favorite – because marriage is my favorite, and I want it to be your favorite too!

Image by Ben Rosett.

Image by Ben Rosett.

8 "I-Wish-I-Would've-Known-This-Sooner-Marriage Lessons"; Part 2.

5. Learn and learn to appreciate what the Bible says about your unique role in marriage. I know that this can be a challenge to those who may still question whether or not the Bible has the final word.  Or if you believe that the Bible’s depiction of a marriage may have worked for that time, culture, or context but is no longer relevant today. I’m here to say, that it most certainly still is.

We simply can’t achieve a harmonious marriage when we have both parties fighting for the presidential position. There is such a beauty in each individual role and we miss out because we want to prove that we’re capable to play the other’s part. Let’s keep in mind that when we don’t fight for each other’s position, we’re both freed to help each other become what God originally intended, and if you know God, trust that His way will be the most fulfilling and the most natural.

God loves his people and he loves his glory. Therefore, when we follow his idea of marriage we are most satisfied and he is most glorified.
— Barbara Rainey. Letters to My Daughters; The Art of Being a Wife

6. Remember you’re a team and your arguments aren’t against one another but alongside one another. Let’s face it, arguments will arise. And if marriage is supposed to depict the relationship between Jesus and His Church, then of course the enemy is going to try and sabotage any image reflecting God’s abundant love, power, and grace.

It’s important to recognize when darkness is trying to invade your relationship. Now I don’t want to give too much credit to the enemy for his craftiness because let’s face it, we’re human and our own selfish nature can get in the way. But in times when you can shed some light and truth in the heat of the moment, allowing yourself to see a little more clearly, you’ll realize setting aside your pride and not giving the enemy what he wants – which is your marriage – your anger can shift from your spouse to the one who’s coming in between you two. In fact, protection mode may set in, strengthening your bond and you’ll use your most powerful weapon, prayer. And hopefully, you’ll pray together making it all the more powerful.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood (AKA. our spouses, or any human for that matter), but against the spiritual forces of this dark world.
— Ephesians 6:12 (Paraphrased)

7. Another thought on when arguments arise: Designate safe havens for when you and your spouse need to vent and seek trusted counsel. Now I know you are your spouse’s best friend and I’m sure your spouse has a sturdy string of friends they can share their hopes, dreams, and even struggles with. However, when it comes to the delicate and sacred nature of your marriage, you want to be cautious with the amount of details you decide to divulge. Predetermine with your spouse who these go-to people are.

Here are a few things to consider when you two are choosing the trusted few:

   - Faith. Is their faith in Christ the same as yours? Are they living faith-filled and fruitful lives? You want people who will speak graciously and truthfully.

   - Relationship Status. Consider seeking marriage advice and accountability from people who can relate.

   - Sex. The gender of the friend you wish your spouse to run to when things aren’t great between you two is of the utmost importance. (DUH!)

   - Familiarity. Choose those who know and love both you and your spouse equally. Perhaps someone or another couple who met you two as an established couple. Biases are real, so you don’t want to turn to family or friends who are likely to choose sides or taint their perspective of your spouse. (I repeat: NO FAMILY)

Remember, this is about protecting the individual reputations of you, your spouse, as well as your union, and maintaining discretion for your marriage. You want people who are safe and trustworthy to pray with you and point you and your spouse back to Christ, and to each other. We weren’t designed to live out our marriages in isolation but in healthy and holy community.

8. Marriage is a gift to be enjoyed! While marriage was designed to make us holy, holiness and happiness are synonymous in that when we walk through marriage in obedience and with the right perspective, we will reap the most joyfully abundant lives together!

When you can consistently view your spouse as a literal gift from God, then your perspective of their differences can shift to pure appreciation. Think about it, gifts are usually given to add value, to enhance your quality of life, to increase in beauty or vision, to intensify or spark interests, hobbies, and abilities, and ultimately to bring joy! At least, that’s my thought process when gift giving. Now picture, when the Giver of Life gives gifts, it’s going to be perfect, grand, and complete with divine intentionality!

Enjoy your gift by prioritizing time to unwrap and appreciate their unique qualities daily. Always thank God for your spouse, this will keep them fresh in your mind as an undeserved gift that adds value and doesn’t take away. And enjoy uninterrupted quality time, married with children or not, to date your spouse! (For some thoughts on the importance of dating your spouse along with date ideas check out these posts: “12 Dates of Christmas” and “What Makes a Date Night Count”.)

A Marriage Mood Board!

I really pray - whether you’re single, newly married, or have been married 50+ years – that these lessons have met, or re-met you, in a place of humility and excitement that you too can tap into God’s excellent and perfect plan for your marriage - a marriage that can celebrate for a lifetime!

Which learned lesson most resonated with you this time? Comment Below!

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10 Must Reads: Marriage Favorites.

10 Must Reads: Marriage Favorites.

8 "I-Wish-I-Would've-Known-This-Sooner-Marriage Lessons"; Part 1.

8 "I-Wish-I-Would've-Known-This-Sooner-Marriage Lessons"; Part 1.