This reader wrote me right before her wedding day last month, so she is now married, but could use your help. She didn’t want me to post her question, but I think she could use encouragement being a newlywed.
She’s had a bad example with her own parents marriage. What words of advice would you give her to assure her that her marriage does not have to be like her parents, it can be so much better! Thanks for your help!
My first advice to her was that communication is so important in a marriage. To not wait until Satan has let things fester in her mind for days or months before she reacts to them. Calmly communicate her feelings to her spouse.
In my wedding ceremony, we had a friend read the passage from 1 Corinthians 13
1 Corinthians 13
13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
If in every action, every thought, every gift, in everything you do for your spouse, you do it in love, even if love is not shown to you in return, you are fulfilling God’s will. Love one another is the greatest commandment of all, but love others as you love yourself was the second.
Good luck sweetie!
1) Don’t run to your mom, sister, best friend, co-worker, aunt, father, brother, or anyone else when you and your husband have a disagreement or you’re annoyed with him because he keeps leaving a mess in the kitchen. The two of you will kiss and makeup, but everyone else will take your side and they won’t shake it. It adds up and will be detrimental in the long run.
2) Who cares if he folds the towels the wrong way. Is he helping? Good! Thank him sincerely for helping. I don’t care where my husband puts the teaspoons because what matters is that he emptied the dishwasher without me saying a word. Here’s the thing, if you loDve him, praise him, thank him and genuinely enjoy him when he helps, he’ll automatically start folding your way. This works with kids, too.
3) Don’t let shame become a stumbling block. Share your sexual fantasies and desires. Explore together and really enjoy discovering each other.
I think that God can use a BAD example in our lives just as much as He can use a good one. My husband had a terrible example of marriage in his parents; they spent most of his childhood engaged in power struggles over money and how to raise the kids and then divorced when he was 12. But he is a wonderful husband and fabulous father. Of course those experienced shaped him, and sometimes they cast long shadows into our marriage, but I think that so much of the past is just learning from it– from our own mistakes and those of others. Look at your parents, see what they did wrong, and don’t do it. Don’t allow yourself to get trapped in the same patterns of destructive behavior that they demonstrated. Pray a lot for wisdom. God desires your marriage to succeed and He will give you the wisdom and the ability to make it happen, if you let Him. 🙂
For me, it has helped a lot to assume that my husband has the best intentions. I think I can give an example:
We just got married last September, and there have already been several times when I feel unloved or as if I’m not his first priority. I have a tendency to bottle things up until I’m really upset or hurt, then I say everything at once (NOT a good technique!!). Once, I was very upset because he was spending so much time working on house renovations or at his job that I felt kinda neglected! I finally said something, and he was hurt by my suggestion that I didn’t matter as much as these other things. He was doing it to show his love. I forget this all the time still! However, I’m learning to understand that many things he does are meant for me, and he’s doing it because he loves me. 🙂
Both my husband and I came from less than stellar marital examples, but we have worked hard to build a strong marriage. Look to another couple to use as your example to follow. Perhaps even find an older couple and ask them to be your mentors.