30 Things I learned Before My 30th Candle
No! I’m not having marital issues and no I’m also not bitter! But why would You want to marry??? Why marriage???
B and I sometimes wonder what the best age to get married in is. I don’t think I would have managed getting married at 23. I didn’t know myself and would have lost my identity in marriage.
On the other hand, getting married at the age I got married in, I was set in my ways. So was B. We were happy with how we did life and it was a challenge to adjust to starting our own culture as a couple.
Is there a right age to marry? I don’t think so. The truth is, marriage is for the matured and the forgivers. Not in any way am I assuming the immature are the ones who will not marry, what I mean is, it takes maturity and forgiveness to go through the marriage journey.
Another thing is, it’s good to equip yourself with listening to marriage sermons and reading books about marriage before you marry but, I tell you this much, that contributes only 10 % towards your marriage. Nothing can prep you for marriage. You just have to be married to experience marriage. You can associate with those who are married whilst single to learn a thing or two, but not every marriage goes through the same challenges.
In the two years of my marriage, I would like to share a few lessons I have learned.
You need God
B and I are both in love with God and we’ve always involved Him in our marriage. We do devotions together 2 times a week and have Holy Communion every month on our anniversary as a significant act to continually remind ourselves what God did for us on the Cross, and a reminder that He’s part of our marriage.
Having said that, we’ve went through challenging times in our lives where we’ve expected friends and family members to act in a certain way. We found ourselves disappointed and hurt that our loved ones didn’t meet our expectations, when it was our fault that we shifted our focus from God the Source.
You need God in your marriage and the revelation that only He will never leave nor forsake you. He’s there for your marriage and He’s there for you as an individual.
You need a friend to talk to
I know! Your spouse is your best friend bla bla. Not disputing that at all, but you need a same sex friend who you can talk to.
When you marry, your spouse doesn’t become your best friend over night. They won’t just open up to you and become vulnerable. In fact, it’s easy for women to open up, but it’s not the same for men. It’s a work in progress.
B didn’t open up to me the first day of marriage. Even as he does now, it is still not his second nature. Don’t be offended thinking your spouse doesn’t trust you enough to open up to you about what’s going on in their lives or challenges they are facing.
As you both grow in marriage you learn that your spouse is the closest person to your space after God. So you will learn to be naked and vulnerable to your spouse.
It is the big part of a relationship. You need to decide what really matters in your relationship. What is your bigger picture?
There are things your spouse will do that are annoying such as not helping with the chores or leaving a wet towel on the bed or maybe the outfit they chose to wear for your work function.
Then there are things your spouse will do that will make you harden your heart. Stuff like not being priority in his/her life, not having the same values that you disagree on how to raise the kids, cheating, habitual liar or how he/she keeps getting you in debt. These are a few mentioned marriage issues that can make you harden your heart, be bitter and live with unforgiveness.
Life throws at you challenges that you least expected. Whether you decide to stay in marriage after your spouse cheated or got you in debt, what matters is moving forward knowing you have forgiven. Forgiveness is a choice you make everyday. It doesn’t cause you to have amnesia that you forget what happened. Forgiveness is remembering the choice you made to forgive, despite how you feel. It is when thoughts of what happened come to mind and you experience the same emotions you experienced but, remembering you chose forgiveness.
I have heard great leaders say if you want to be a great leader, check who is sitting at your table. You need a cheerleader, a mentor and a critique on your table to be a great leader. Same applies for marriage, you need mentors to help guide you. These are your marriage counselors. You and your spouse will not always see things the same especially because you were not raised the same and the fact that you are different. Yes you are one, but you are still different. You need accountability in marriage. You must be constantly counseled and guided.
You and your spouse need a couple who can call you out when you make wrong decisions or when one of you is losing the plot. One vital lesson I learned is, you never share your spouse’s mistakes with your family because your family will always have your best interest at heart and will always take your side. You don’t need them disrespecting your spouse because they know something that exposes his/her flaws. However, you can’t be protecting what might destroy your marriage, and that’s why you need a married couple who will counsel you through your marriage journey and hold you two accountable.
Why would you want to get married? You are not being questioned, but you need to be honest with yourself on why you would get married or why you got married. Have you wondered why Jesus return is likened to a wedding? a celebration? Why He is the bridegroom and we are the bride? Think about it…
It’s because it is in marriage that you can show mercy, love and forgiveness over and over again just as God does to you. It is in marriage where you practice being patient and gentle. It is in marriage where you learn more about fellowship and intimacy. It is marriage where you get to be selfless an do away with the I.
I trust your reason to marry is bigger than the challenges you will encounter together. Marriage is beautiful. Whatever God brings your way, you are already given the grace to handle it. Let your why continue to pursue your spouse, and if you desire to marry, let your why encourage you to trust God to bring the one you will effortlessly do life with.
“Forgiving a person simply means that you release them from your judgement concerning a wrong they have done to you. It also means in no way you will punish them for wrongs done. It just means regardless of your spouse’s response, you are going to make sure your heart remains pure.”
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