I’ll start with that its the hardest thing you’ll ever do… and I’m just 6 months in 🙂
But I’ll end with that its the best decision I ever made…
Being married is hard, harder than anyone really tells you. When you are engaged and planning your wedding, life seems to hold still for you and you get to be in this… dream state. All that occupies your mind are hopes and dreams for the future. Not that hopes and dreams for the future are ever a bad thing, but when the wedding is over and life begins, that’s when the work of becoming a wife begins too… and all that time spent on hopes and dreams doesn’t seem to prepare you for what marriage is really like.
I had no idea what I was doing. My mother was one of those very intellectual, independent women and that was all I knew how to be. It was her way or the highway and I honestly thought that behavior was normal. Being around Jared’s family and getting to know so many God-centered relationships showed me otherwise. Marriage was about compromise, sacrifice, and dying to our own selfishness. These were all very foreign concepts to me.
Its been a long 6 months, but what I’ve learned and how I’ve changed are inconceivable. I hate to say you’ll realize when you get there, but in large part, every woman’s journey to becoming a wife is different and you will all change in your own ways.
However, I have come up with a list of ‘truisms’, so to speak, that accepting and embracing have truly changed my new marriage.
1. “Happy wife, happy life” is a lie, don’t believe it. You can’t be that wife who goes into her marriage thinking its all about making you happy. I did that. It was disastrous to my marriage and to my relationship with God. A happy life consists of two people, in a bound partnership, working each day to be better for one another and to be more like Jesus Christ. It is NOT getting whatever you want whenever you want it.
2. You can’t be the lover and the fighter. What I mean by this is you can’t be the caretaker of your home, the lover – AND be the protecter of your home- the fighter – that is your husband’s job. For the longest time I wanted to lead. I was better at leading and it felt insane to just give up control and let my husband steer our lives where he saw fit. But I’ve seen that the more control you give up and you start living the way God intended, life makes more sense, as does your marriage. You, as the wife, are COMMANDED to respect him as the leader of your home… its commanded because it is so very hard. Just like God has commanded your husband to love you as Christ loved the Church, He has commanded both spouses to do what is hard and in this He gives each spouse what they need. Women desire to be loved, more than anything. It is not a weakness, it is how God created our character. And men, all men, desire to be respected. God commands these because the more you get to know your spouse the harder it becomes to do these things. I find myself wanting Jared to earn the right to be respected… that’s wrong. I am to give it to him unconditionally because it is what is commanded of me. In this same way, Jared is to love him, even when I am deemed unloveable. You have to give up control. You have to trust God. And the sooner you accept your biblical role, the happier your life will be. Truly.
3. Your life will not be perfect and you will not be happy all of the time. I think there is this very infectious deception that once you’re married all is right with the world. Movies would have us believe that its the end of the fairytale and life just goes on perfectly once the knot is tied. Wrong… wrong wrong wrong. Do not be fooled into this. You’re life will only get harder, but it brings greater joy to struggle through those hardships. Personally, every time Jared and I get past a new hurdle it feels like we are closer than ever… and its because we are. We really didn’t know each other when we got married, and to tell the truth, no one does. You can’t really know someone until you are out of your euphoria bubble and struggling through real life. You HAVE to go through all that hard stuff to have a love that endures. And your life won’t be perfect. Things will go wrong, life will get stressful… but life is BETTER because you have a partner through it all.
Everyday Jared and I get to be a little bit happier. Each day is filled with just a few more smiles and a couple more giggles.
I think the fear of parenthood has put our marriage on hyperdrive and we have never worked so hard to come to one another and work on being better for each other. Its pretty magical really. This baby is already so loved and cherished and its hard to believe we have to wait another 6 months to get to meet it, but it has changed Jared and I, to what feels like at the cellular level. Life feels different, our love feels different, and its so much easier to admit our wrong and ask for forgiveness.
But most of all it has made me cherish being a wife more than I ever thought possible. I get this amazing, front row seat to my husband’s changes and its beautiful. He has become more of a man, more a husband, and more of a father in these last 6 months than I ever could have imagined. Its Gods work, and I get to watch Him work up close.
Its so true that being a wife is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but boy, is it worth it.