The first year of marriage is a time of learning the most intimate thoughts about the one you love. It means discovering that he hasn’t yet learned to put the toilet seat down and she doesn’t roll up the toothpaste tube. Maybe we should skip over that year altogether. However, if we did, there would be no growth – no give and take – no learning.
During that first year there will be so many things to discover about your spouse, even if you’ve known each other for most of your 22 years. You find out it isn’t all about you anymore. I knew before marrying my husband that he loves hunting. I got accustomed to seeing dead birds in the refrigerator with rigor mortis already setting in. He had to tolerate going to bed with a woman with rollers in her hair and sweat socks on her feet. Gone were the days of trying to impress. Now it was a matter of putting up with each other’s reality.
Each of those tiny adjustments were just the beginning of a lifetime filled with them. Compromise is right up there with laughter in importance. You must put aside your own personal needs and take on an attitude of selflessness, but still maintain the same personality that drew you together in the first place. Not always an easy task.
We can never fully mirror the love that Jesus has for us, but we can use His servant attitude as an example. When you’re fully devoted to the one you love, you put them first. The second year is a little better, but by the third you’re introduced to a whole new element – another life which God is knitting together within you. You share crackers in bed first thing in the morning. You compare waist sizes. You cry at the silliest things, while he tolerates your mood swings.
As years pass, you become more and more of one mind, despite some disagreements, but every step brings you closer together and closer to your Creator.
By the time you’ve shared a lifetime together – created a family – built a business – watch it fall and try again – put your faith in the God of heaven and earth – you finally realize you are no longer two individuals, but one connected by that same God.
Anyone that enters marriage without placing the other person before themselves, will probably not be successful. If that same couple chooses to marry anyway and forgets to include the tie that binds – God – there is a lot of pain that will go along with it.
Every marriage will encounter difficulties, pain and tests which can either strengthen your life together or cause it to fail. The point is that there is work involved in the process. Don’t expect any less. Anything worthwhile is worth working hard to preserve.