Thoughts on married life: What I've been learning
Updated: Jun 5, 2018
Well first off, I am learning how much I don’t know – how much I need to always be willing to grow and change. I don’t think any woman is ever fully ready for marriage. And I think God might do that on purpose, to remind us to lean on him more than a new husband. I’ve been learning that it is crucial to put God first and let him take control. My first few months as a wife I was living completely on my own strength. I was ignoring God calling me to trust and rest in him. I was pulling out every wife-ing idea I had and thought that would make me feel successful and satisfied. It didn’t. I had to give up my pursuits of perfection and surrender to God to live freely. And of course, I still have to do that on a daily basis.
I have been learning the beauty of simple grace. By that I mean simply stopping and pondering how to give or be given grace in any given moment. I believe God calls all of us as believers to give and receive grace freely. This has been a huge learning process for me in marriage. I grew up with a fairly legalistic view of Christianity, so God's overwhelming grace is something I still struggle to give and receive. But in marriage, I've had to learn that fast. I have had to learn to forgive my husband for things I don't have time to tell him that hurt me. I have had to accept the sweet grace he extends to me when I don't deserve it in any way - when it almost hurts to believe he would love me that much! I have learned how much bitterness can ruin a day, a week, maybe even a month! God gives an easy way out of that bitterness - to forgive and move on.
When we were dating, I used to write Jacob long notes and emails explaining how he had hurt me (I know, sounds awful) because I had this idea that we had to work through every single hurt and wrong we did to each other before moving on. I had to learn to forgive, throw away those lists, and move on. I am not suggesting that we bottle up feelings and simply forget them, I've found that pretty impossible to do! What I am saying is that when we've been hurt, we need to practice intentionally addressing it and being quick to forgive. Just think, we hurt God all of the time, but he is so quick to forgive us! In fact, he has already forgiven us for everything we have done and ever will do. Amazing. Learning and working on that in marriage has helped us significantly. God has helped me love and forgive things even when it seems impossible.
Another thing I am learning is the importance of making time for friends. I thought I knew this, after years of relying on my girlfriends for so much stability and joy in life. But, after getting married I have struggled to make time for them. My schedule as a married college student has felt so new and seemingly impossible to balance. But, whenever I make time for friends, I feel so refreshed and motivated to be a better wife and woman of God in general! With that said, I am still aware that I need to prioritize my husband over everyone else, this is just a reminder to myself and other women to carve out time for each other even when married life feels crazy busy. I have been learning how much I need that time and how much God uses it. I’ve also been learning how much I value talking and learning from single, dating, and married women alike. I crave time hearing the hearts and passions of women around me. I love listening to their experiences, good and bad. I love watching how older women raise their kids, how they serve their husbands, and how they prioritize God in the midst of it all.
I’ve also been learning how important it is to make time for hobbies as a wife. Jacob is great at prioritizing his hobbies - taking care of his fish tank, building/creating things, and studying various business and political topics. I’m the opposite. I hardly ever make time for hobbies because I value having a clean house, a nourishing meal, and homework done before I can actually relax and enjoy myself. I guess those things can be considered hobbies, but I have noticed how much I need more creative outlets in my life, like writing and painting. When I make time for creative pursuits, I’ve found that they help me embrace my uniqueness and individuality as a married woman. God reminds me, through a simple work of art or rough draft of a blog, that he can use even my seemingly insignificant hobbies to speak and work through me.
I’ve been learning more and more how God teaches us through each other, no matter how long/short or how hard/easy someone else’s journey has been. Every individual and every marriage is so different that there is always something to learn from other people. Single, dating, or married – we can all encourage and learn from each other; embracing the unique and beautiful purposes that God has for us.