I have been married to Mr. Smith for a whole year now. It went by both quickly and slowly–you know how that is. I thought this would be a good time to reflect on what I have learned.
1. If I don’t want him to eat my dinner, I should cover it with mushrooms.
My husband can’t stand those. Actually, this reminds me of a lesson that was hard to learn that first month: “What’s mine is yours, and what’s yours is mine.” Anything that I eat or drink or possess is not really “mine,” but “ours.” When we got married, we joined our hearts, but we also joined our bank accounts. It was like I was a kid learning to share all over again, constantly being reminded that there is nothing I can really call “mine.” This is true of our Christian walk, as well. Everything we “own” is given to us by God, who is the Great Provider. This is a reason that married life is like being a monk, who can’t say he owns anything either. Every time my husband was thirsty, I would let him drink from my cup (and he didn’t mind me drinking from his). Everything we have is meant to be shared with whoever needs it.
2. There is no more hiding.
I am an emotional person. I also don’t like to get in other people’s way. So sometimes I hide my feelings or opinion because I want to save other people from dealing with my crap. That doesn’t work when you live with someone. Especially if you are married to that someone. I can’t cry without him seeing and persisting until I tell him what is wrong. I can’t be down in the dumps without him wanting to help. No more pity parties for this lady. I can never face something alone again, because I have this man who will fight for me.
3. There is no more pretending to be perfect.
All of that stuff, all of the crazy, all of the wierdness, that you were able to hide when you were just dating, comes out in the open when you get married. The Tourettes Syndrome tics that only come out when he is at home, I married those. The anxiety and IBS problems I have, he married those. Your spouse becomes a mirror that shows how you really are. Every time you would rather choose the selfish option instead of choosing to love reflects the darker tendencies that a lot of people do not get to see. But it can be a blessing. Married people every day have the choice to grow in holiness, to choose love, to become more like Christ. It is rough, yes. It is real, yes. All of the ways I would rather be passive-aggressive and not deal with problems–my husband loves me too much to let me pick that route.
In other news, I get to officiate my first wedding next week! I am such a fan of marriage, especially when it is entered into not “unadvisedly, but reverently, discreetly, and in the fear of God” like Nazarenes like to say at weddings. When a couple thinks and prays hard over a period of time, and mentoring Christians in their lives think it is a great idea, and when the couple is passionate about serving and glorifying God–it is a beautiful thing. That is the kind of couple I get to pronounce husband and wife next week.
All of you married folks! What are some things you have learned in marriage?
You single folks! What are some things God has taught you in being single?