1. Letting yourself go is not a wise move
I took a lot of pride in my appearance when I was single – partly because you feel attractive when you look attractive, and you feel good when you look good. When my pay check came in, I’d make sure that my hair and nails were on fleek, I worked out religiously because I was trying to keep this body tight. A few months after getting married, looking good (for my husband) was not one of my priorities. I’d make an effort when I went out, of course, because the world deserved to see me at my best; my husband saw me first thing in the morning so I felt he wouldn’t mind what I looked like, right? Wrong.
Men like pretty things and they like their women looking good too.
2. Perfection is a myth
Real life is not a fairy tale and no marriage is perfect. Marriage is a lot of work and romance takes effort. It’s really easy to take your spouse for granted because you are always with them. Simple things like “I love you” can go unsaid for days because… well, you married them, didn’t you? Oh, obviously you love them.
Eventually the burden of perfection begins to take it’s toll: the focus is no longer about ensuring that your marriage mirrors the love and commitment between Christ and his bride (the Church), instead the marriage becomes centre stage, where acts of love and service become a performance. Being consumed with your marriage, your home and your spouse being perfect only robs you of the blessings and joy which can be found in the contentment and gratitude of today.
3. Sex is not like it is in the movies
– In other words, Hollywood stays selling us dreams!
Check in your expectations at the door. Like every good thing in life, sex takes time to perfect. No one is an expert, even if you’ve had multiple sexual partners in the past. The bond of love and level of intimacy that takes place between a man and his wife during their sexual union is light years away from what Hollywood would have us believe. It’s easy to feel immense pressure to perform well in the bedroom and incredibly defeated if you don’t.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in this area, it’s that great sex comes with paying attention to your spouse and communicating effectively with them.
4. Your spouse is not God
So you’ve gotten your man, you’ve fallen in love, he’s put a ring on your finger so now you’ve stopped praying and your quiet time is virtually non-existent. You now bow down and worship at the altar of your husband, and God is still fiercely jealous for you.
Eventually you find that your husband makes a terrible God; he can’t complete you, not in the way God can.
5. One size does not fit all
When I got married everyone, and their mama, had an idea concerning the way we were to run our home. Some people told me that because I was the wife, it was my duty to cook and clean; some told me that my first year married would be the hardest year, others even went as far to tell me what my husband would be like.
Your marriage is unique to you and finding a fit that works for you is very important. How your parents ran their home might not work for you. How your girlfriend treats her husband might not work for yours. The longer you stay married the more you understand just how your spouse wants to be loved and served by you and the better you get at loving and serving.
6. There is no place to hide
I honestly believe that one of the key ingredients that every marriage needs is transparency. If you’re not ready to be completely open and vulnerable about who you are, flaws and all, do not rush into marriage. Marriage has a way of exposing your insecurities, your fears and your heart. Despite this, it’s comforting to know that your spouse will be there to love, support and pray with you regardless.
7.Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13 v 4-7 is the go-to scripture on LOVE – that four letter word that is thrown around so much that has almost lost it’s meaning. Before getting married, I thought I understood what it meant to love deeply and passionately. Once I got married, it became clear that I had completely misunderstood the essence of true, biblical love. This has been my biggest lesson and one which I continue to learn. Everyday, by the help of the Holy Spirit, I resolve to love as best as I can. I strive to be more patient and kinder; to put my husband first, forgive him quickly and occasionally bite my tongue when the words I wish to express are best left in my mind.