Kate says . . .
Many times have I thought to myself,”I wish I had known that when I was first married.” To be honest there are many times I say to myself, “I wish I had been proactive in asking other Godly married women with a solid marriage, to tell me like it is. To talk openly and honestly about all aspects of marriage, especially sex.” But I was timid and arrogant at the same time. Embarrassed to ask the hard questions and felt like I had it all figured out and marriage was gonna be a breeze. I knew there would be hard times, but I had no clue how challenging some of them would be.
My dear friend Debi over at The Romantic Vineyard started this trend by putting a voice to those thoughts we would like to go back and tell our about to be married self! Thank you Debi for the inspiration and the challenge. So here you go, 21-year-old Kate, about to marry the most handsome man on earth (that part is still true)!
So you are about to marry the man who has changed your life in a way no one else has. Let me tell you sweetie, you are in the ride of a lifetime, a journey like no other. I would love to share a bit of what I have learned and hope that God will speak to your heart in His way and timing.
Does your heart know how much God loves you?
Understanding God’s love with a heart knowledge is one of the best gifts you can accept and it will bless your marriage. I know you are entering marriage unsure of yourself in many ways. I remember feeling that God’s love was conditional on how well I obeyed him. I gave Him an all too human definition of loving. It has only been in the past couple of years that I have a heart knowledge (meaning not just saying it with your mouth and believing it with your mind, but soaking it up in your heart) of God’s love for me and for others. Two great books to check out on this very heart subject are God Knows My Name: Never Forgotten, Forever Loved by Beth Redman and The God Who Sees You: Look to Him When You Feel Discouraged, Forgotten, or Invisible by Tammy Maltby. Read and soak up His love for you.
Respect your husband from the beginning
What does it mean to show a husband respect? You have been finding ways to do so while you were engaged, but do you understand what men generally need in regards to respect? Yes, I’m talking about sex! I did not understand this in the beginning and therefore fell short of respecting my hubby. Especially when he was a new hubby, he needs to know that you respect him, greatly!!
Sex is so much more in every way
You waited so long for sex and then it was . . . confusing in so many ways. I want you to know that sex is so much more than physical and emotional! Sex is part of your spiritual intimacy too. Find a couple you can talk to about 2-4 weeks before you wedding, about sex. Talk about how a man’s desire for sex starts as physical and turns emotional, and how women’s desire start as emotional and turns physical. These are not always true, but seeking to understand how God created us is so important on all realms. Then when you have a hurdle to get over in sexual intimacy (and everyone does), you can ask that couple you talked with before you wedding.
Remember that your marriage is the ONLY place you both can go to for sexual bonding and fulfillment. If things are hard and neither of you understands why, seek help and pray! God will be there!
He knows my every thought -NOT!
Once you say those sweet vows to one another, you somehow think that God has also imparted the ability to read each other’s minds. At least we would like our spouse to be able to do so and anticipate our every need. Shocking, I know, but that does not happen. Be willing to share in a grace filled way what you desire and need. You are both learning and bound to miss some cues!
Give up the control
Marriage is a merging of two lives and hearts. It’s also the joining of two different backgrounds, likes, dislikes, finances, and much more! It is easy to think that you are going to blend easily. That is until you are in the thick of it and you are used to what you are used to. There will be times where you need to step back and give up control. I found this a particularly hard lesson once we had children. Control issues will rear their ugly head many times throughout your marriage, don’t let it take control! 😉
Go forth and multiply
God said it, so we should do it! Just keep in mind that your children, no matter how then entered your marriage are a product of marriage. Keeping your kids from taking over your hubby’s priority slot is hard, but so important to your marriage. No husband likes to feel like now that kids are in the picture, he is on the bottom of your list. Protect his place as second (behind God) in your life and in your heart. When I stepped up to do this, my sexy hubby stepped up to help me out in so many ways. Instead of feeling resentful, he was saying, “Kate protects our time, how can I help her in ways that will allow us to have more time together?” Works like a well oiled machine.
Lift him up as leader
He is the leader of your family, which the Bible is clear about. But he is also a man who gets stuck in his own insecurities. You as a wife will have the unique opportunity to be his biggest fan and to encourage him in his daily leading. Show him respect, pray with and for him, encourage him and thank him for all his hard work. Give him down time and make sex a priority. There are many great ways to lift up your new husband, just don’t forget that he needs it!
Find a Godly couple with a solid marriage
I mentioned this above and it is such a great thing. Find a couple who has a solid marriage (not perfect, but real and willing to share) and ask them to mentor you, before and after your wedding. Let them be the safe place that you can come to with any marital questions. Ask them to pray for you and with you. God has designed us to do life together, so find a married couple to do just that!
May your heart soak up God’s love and always find your husband’s arms-home!
Kate, age 36
What do you think?
What would you say to your newlywed self if you had the chance?
Let us know in the comments