This last week, I celebrated 7 years of marriage to the most amazing man I know. I remember when I was single, looking at couples who had been married for that period of time thinking to myself, “Wow! They have been married for such a long time!” I smile at the statement now because I realize that 7 years is not a ‘long’ time. Quite the contrary, it is a very short period of time.
But in this short span of years I have learned a few things about marriage. Things that I believe every girl should know before she gets married. So in honor of my 7 years of marriage I want to share with you 7 valuable lessons that I have come to learn (and still working on):
1. Throw your preconceived Hollywood expectations out the door.
Marriage is awesome. Seriously awesome. But if you have allowed movies or books to define what love looks and feels like to you, it’s not going to be what you expect. Right here and now throw your preconceived Hollywood expectations out the door. They will only set your marriage up for failure.
Too many women have compared their relationship to what they have watched on the big screen (thank you, Disney!). And because they feel like their relationship does not measure up to what they are being told love is, they question if they are truly in love.
The fact of the matter is that love is not an emotion, it is a choice. You cannot fall in and out of love. You choose to love or you choose not to. Now I am not saying that you won’t experience those wonderful light-headed moments in marriage, but those will only continue to be present if you have made the commitment that regardless how you feel, you will love this man come what may.
2. You cannot and should not change your husband.
One time I was upset by something my husband was and had been doing for a while. I had decided to take it upon myself to ‘ talk’ to him about this certain problem. Before I got the chance to confront my husband I heard the Lord say to me, ” Paige, your job isn’t to change him, that is my job.”
Oops! You see I had gotten my job description confused with God’s. He is the only one who holds the power of grace to change someone. When we as women try to step in and ‘fix’ our man it will just come across as nagging.
A nagging spouse is like
the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet;
You can’t turn it off,
and you can’t get away from it. Proverbs 27:15
Not only is it silly to think that we can train a grown man, but it is also very dangerous to a marriage. You have to go into marriage acknowledging the fact that if this man never changes you will be perfectly happy. If you aren’t, then it is not fair to him.
God is the one who should be at work in my husband – not me. What is our job as wives? Pray for him, build him up and give him the same grace God is extending to us.
3. If you want a Prince Charming, be his Cinderella.
We spend so much time daydreaming about Prince Charming, but how much time do we actually put into becoming Cinderella? We expect our husband to be all the we dreamed about and then some. But are we what our husband has dreamed about? Are we his Cinderella?
Sometimes we are try so hard to ‘fix’ our spouse that we don’t take the time to ‘fix’ ourselves. Not only do we have to let God do the work in our husbands, but we have to be willing to accept that we are not perfect (by any stretch of the imagination) and be willing to make adjustments. Sometimes the questions we have to ask ourselves are hard: “Am I enjoyable to be around?” “Do I always have to be right?” “Do I do my best to look good for my husband?” “Am I willing to put this man’s needs before mine?
A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds. Proverbs 31:10 MSG
Why should we expect him to be perfect, when we are not? Let’s do Prince Charming a favor and start working on becoming his Cinderella.
To be continued…(Read part 2)