(So much has happened since my last article on Geeks Under Grace… Do I even remember how to write anymore?)
Well, then. I’m a married woman now. Three months strong, just about.
It’d be too difficult to keep myself condensed on every pre-marital and marital experience I’ve had these past months. Still, even though the institution of marriage is nothing new – especially for a newlywed “spinster” 30-something like myself among long-married friends and relatives – I can’t help compiling a list of lessons I’ve learned along this romantic way.
So here are “Amanda’s Relationship Revelations”, numbered for your convenience.
1. Weddings are super fun.
Not like I’ve been to boring weddings (well, maybe a couple), but I didn’t think I’d personally enjoy mine as much as I did. I’m not too big on being the center of attention and definitely not interested in over-orchestrating the events of one day in my life. But the important moments happened beautifully, I had an amazing crew who smoothed the day and let me enjoy it, and I married a man who seeks to honor God alongside me. In the end, I’m thankful to say I didn’t elope. ;-P
2. There’s psychology behind being “unequally yolked”.
I might be stating the obvious here (in a super complicated way), but when you spend so much time with a person, in such close proximity, your thought patterns begin to mold – nearly imperceptibly – to accommodate and mirror that significant other. I’m not even talking about the obvious changes you make for each other as you communicate your needs. I’m talking about the most gradual yet significantly altering change in personality. I suppose any marriage counselor worth his/her salt will make you aware of the way you and your spouse will reform to accommodate each other, but noticing it happen so subtly between my husband and me has been its own experience.
It’s no wonder to me now why Jesus cautions his followers to guard against pairings between unequal positions of faith. Even the subtlest slips can add up over time, and you might find yourself pointing in a Christ-opposite direction without even realizing it happened.
3. Satan will attack you and your marriage from the get-go.
Let’s be real: Satan will attack you no matter your social status. He found plenty of ways to push me down while I was single, too. Whenever you have the opportunity to witness for Christ through your life circumstances, you’d better believe he’ll be there to disrupt you.
There’s so much in marriage that can make you happier, healthier, and have more of a zest in life. In my 20’s, I admit I thought those who were married had an upper hand and better life than those who were single. Oh, how the devil pits us against each other with all that “greener grass”. In truth, the struggles are different, but there are still struggles. The difference I’ve seen so far is, while Satan would personally attack me in my singleness, he attacks the institute of marriage. He always seems to find the little crack where he can wedge in the subtlest discouragement: “Can you really help this marriage succeed?” It’s been a new exercise in prayer and will to nip those criticisms in the bud.
4. Marrying later in life has its own positives and negatives, just like any marriage at any age.
Years ago I read an article discussing the concern of finding a spouse while older, because with every year you add a little more “baggage” to yourself that a potential significant other will either accept or spurn. All hope is lost once you hit 29 with no prospects; quick, get married to someone before you’re completely undesirable!
What I figure – I had “baggage” back in my 20’s that would’ve been difficult to bring into a marriage, and I don’t even worry about it now. Likewise, there are ways a decade of singleness makes some adjustments more difficult for me than they would have been years ago. Time shifted my perceptions, but it never ruined me for marriage. Should a Believer ever begin to think they could be “ruined” for anything? It’s God who decides our worth, not our spinsterhood, wifehood, or any-ol’-hood.
5. Your spouse can’t be your everything.
Okay, I was aware of this way before getting married; give me some credit, please. But it’s weird how, no matter what your brain knows, your feelings still persuade you to seek every need and want from this mortal person who falls short just as much as you do. In the same vein, I tend to put more pressure on myself to be everything he needs me to be, and you can figure how well that turns out.
We’re reminding ourselves marriage is an opportunity to turn to God and seek His provision and guidance. A book we’ve been reading asks the question, “What did you get married for?” If it was for the good feelings, there’d be no reason to stay longer than those feelings last. If it were for comfort, it’d last until life stopped being so comfortable.
Early on, when those desires to be wholly satisfied would crop up, I’d ask myself, “If Marco is never able to satisfy this particular want in my life, would I still choose him to be my husband?” And I’ve emphatically known: yes. God miraculously and undoubtedly put him in my life – not only for my own joy, but for my growth in Christ as well.
And I think that’s about it for the time being. Even while things feel new, exciting, and challenging, it’s funny how normal married life became after I’d been single for so long. Stay tuned: I’m sure my article on “What I’ve Learned from People Always Asking Me When We’ll Have Children” is just around the corner.
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