Time flies when you’re having fun! Still over here amazed by the Lord’s grace in our 3 years of marriage. In case you missed it, this is part two in my series regarding things I’ve learned about marriage. You can read part one here.
Let’s just get right to it, why don’t we? Here are three things I’ve learned since the day I said “I do”.
My Husband Has Feelings Too
So this one’s freshly brewed (Terrible analogy but I love coffee so I don’t care). Most people probably arrived at this conclusion much sooner but I’m a bit slow I guess. Some of you may have read about this life lesson here: Your Husband Is Not A Robot.
I often forget that my Husband has emotions, too, and they are to be protected. There’s quite a learning curve to understanding what it is that makes your husband tick and what makes him hurt. As a wife, I’m learning to pay close attention to my words and how they affect him. This is such a vital lesson for us to learn!
What “Fully Known” Actually Means
In the latter days of our engagement I, like any bride to be, was looking forward to our wedding night where I could “become one” with my Groom. (Genesis 2:24) I was nervous and excited to be “fully Known” by the man I loved. What I didn’t know was what fully known actually means.
It’s about so much more than sex. We get this idea from Genesis:
And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:25 ESV)
Our wedding night was beautiful except for one big elephant in the room: shame. And my unwelcome friend shame followed me all throughout our honeymoon. Why are you here, Shame?! “Remember how you used to use sex as a tool to make you feel loved? He can’t possibly love you for you.” Old lies whispered straight to my heart. I slipped into old ways of thinking and began believing that my husband only loved me when we were making love. I had forgotten that he pledged his love for me long before sex was in the picture. It was at that point in our relationship, I discovered there had to be more depth to this idea of being fully known.
To be fully known means we are completely open and transparent with our spouse spiritually as well as physically. We allow him to see the deep wells of wickedness that reside in our souls, not just the springs on the surface. The more I open my heart to my husband the more fully I am known by him. And when he accepts me as I am, wicked heart and all, I am enabled to be spiritually “naked and unashamed” before him. This naturally helps us to be physically naked and unashamed as well. It’s basically a win-win if you ask me.
Allowing our husband to confront sin in our lives is vulnerable. But that is a good thing. It is also necessary. The Lord has given each married person a built-in accountability partner. My Husband can speak to the lies I’m believing like no one else. God has used him to reveal the sinfulness of my heart which has caused me to “put to death what is earthly in me.”(Colossians 3:5). It can be painful and difficult but allowing yourself to be known completely by another human being is a treasure from the Lord.
You Are Not Immune to Attraction
Boundaries, boundaries and more boundaries. I have so many boundaries in place for this very purpose. Movies and Christian romance novels have lied to us, ladies! So many of us believe once we find the right “prince,” our affections will never waver and our eyes will never wander. But that’s a lie…a pretty dangerous one in my opinion.
Here’s the thing. Saying your vows isn’t like taking a love potion. At some point in your marriage you will be tempted. We don’t like to talk about these things because we are embarrassed, but there’s truth to be heeded here. And Lord knows I can’t keep quiet. So I won’t.
I am happily married. Like the: I-miss-you-when-you’re-gone-for-five-minutes kinda happy. But I, like many women, have been tempted to want attention from other men. I was completely blindsided by this. I crumbled into a little ball of despair and rolled myself into a ditch of darkness. I felt ashamed, alone and confused. I had no warning. No heads up that “Oh hey, by the way, marriage doesn’t cure your lust for attention.” It seems pretty simple but in my fairy tale mindset it never occurred to me that it was possible to want anyone’s attention but my husbands. It is possible. And I dare to say it happens to the majority of Christian women. Kudos to you if you’re in the minority–you can thank the Holy Spirit for His work in your heart.
So why does this need to be addressed? Well, marriages have ended because of it. If you believe you will never be attracted to anyone else once you’ve found “the one,” you won’t guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23). If your heart is not guarded, there may be a day when you wonder if you’ve married the wrong person. You can be sure you’ve married “the one” if you’re married to them. God is the author of every biblical marriage. If you’re in one, then that’s where he wants you to stay. Only he gets to decide when a marriage ends. (Not speaking about marriages that include infidelity or abuse here.)
What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. (Mark 10:9 ESV)
Back to boundaries. I have learned that we all believe we are stronger than we actually are. Because of this, I think it’s essential to put up a healthy amount of safeguards to protect your marriage. Each person will have to pray about and decide what is best for her. For me, I try to never be alone with a man who isn’t my husband. I also don’t go out of my way to have a conversation with other men. I’m not rude but I don’t want to make provision for sin. Your boundaries may look different from mine, but I encourage you to think about putting some up to protect your marriage.
And when you’re tempted, know you aren’t alone. Cling to Christ and pray for the Lord to help you set your eyes and heart back on the one whom your soul loves–your husband (Song of Solomon 3:4).
Overall, I’ve learned that marriage is a beautiful union that should be protected, nourished and treasured. These are just three things to keep in mind as we strive to do so.
I really enjoy soaking up the wisdom of other wives and what they have learned. What has God taught you in your marriage? I’d love it if you’d share your thoughts in the comments!