6 months ago I married my best friend, my rock, my steady, my wonderfully introverted husband.
We decided to celebrate our 1/2 anniversary as if it were our actual 1st anniversary, because on January 19th, 2014 we’re expecting to have our baby in the house! (The ‘half-iversary’ was entirely Ben’s idea. He really swept me off my feet! He planned a truly romantic and thoughtful weekend getaway and kept it secret until we arrived at our destination. Wow!)
By God’s grace, we have enjoyed a lovely first 6 months as newlyweds. Before our wedding many people warned us that the ‘honeymoon phase’ can end before the actual honeymoon. For a number of reasons, we were graciously spared that disillusionment. We did our best to make sure we were walking into our marriage with our eyes wide open, Ben is a godly man who understands what it means to lead our family well and we don’t expect each other to be perfect, but rather to be made perfect through Christ. As the song we chose for our wedding reminds us, our hope is found in Christ alone.
Here are six things I’ve (we’ve!) learned in our first six months of marriage.
1) It’s Not All About You
Our premarital counselor advised us that nothing will reveal your selfishness quicker than marriage. He was so right. As I’ve written before, we have learned it is far easier – and infinitely more rewarding – to love freely and throw out the scorecard.
2) Fight For Togetherness
Ben and I were not anticipating how quickly our schedules would change! For some reason, we’ve been living life at a breakneck pace since we’ve been married. Lots of weekend trips, packed weeknights, and crazy work schedules. In the midst of the chaos we have seen the vital importance of fighting for togetherness. You’ve got to make that time to reconnect, whether it’s for an hour or an entire evening. We’ve been getting into the habit of syncing our calendars every week and that has been a wonderful way for the both of us to practically demonstrate that we take time together seriously.
3) Expect The Unexpected
If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know that I’m 3 1/2 months pregnant. We certainly didn’t expect to be 3 1/2 months pregnant 6 months on this side of the altar, but we are. And you know what? It isn’t all that terrifying. Sure there have been the occasional freak out moments (probably a few more to come) but preparing to be parents has been such an opportunity for us to grow in our faith and obedience to the Lord.
4) Serve God
If you’ve attended a Christian youth group for any length of time you’ve probably heard the analogy that a marriage is like a triangle – the closer you grow to God (at the tip of the triangle) the closer you will grow to each other. Cliche, but so very true. I’ve come to appreciate Ben as a Christian man and brother in Christ. I can’t encourage you enough to think of your marriage with a Godward focus.
5) Love Each Other
We had a certain kind of love when we were dating. An even different kind when we were engaged. And, now, as a married couple Ben and I have ample opportunities everyday to love each other with a self-sacrificing, generous, ‘daily grind’ kind of love I’ve never known before. That ‘daily grind’ love looks far different (and is far more difficult) than chocolates and roses, but unbreakable bonds are formed in the trenches – not in the gardens.
6) Have Fun
Marriage has been tons of fun. Really, it has been! I don’t think I’ve laughed harder or more often than in these past few months. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and are quick to giggle at life’s ridiculousness. I wouldn’t say that laughter is the key to a healthy marriage, but I think it must be the hallmark of one.
Are you married? What have you learned from your marriage? If you’re not married, what have you learned from other married couples? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!