It's been a hot minute since I've regularly written in this space. Our wedding and honeymoon were in early June, and I wanted to settle into newlywed life, enjoying every minute with Charles before heading back to the blog. But lucky for you, dear reader, he loves when I write and is my biggest encourager. I am so thankful for him.
We are officially one month into marriage—I can't believe it! I'm by no means a marriage expert (LOL), and I have a lifetime of learnings to do. But in the past few weeks, I've learned a few things worth sharing with you.
1. Marriage is no greater than singleness in the eyes of God.
While I was single, I remember a married friend sharing with me that marriage is absolutely amazing but that it's not the ultimate end goal. She said as a wife, she could be easily distracted by her husband rather than focused on the Lord. Paul echoes this in 1 Corinthians 7:32-35:
I now understand what my friend and Paul mean. I quickly run to Charles first because he's right here next to me, and I look to him for empathy, prayers, solutions. Being able to do this is a blessing. But as believers, whether married or not, we're called to run to Christ first. That's why Paul said to the unmarried, it is better for them to remain unmarried like he is (1 Corinthians 7:8).
To all my single friends: I'm not saying you need to stay single for the rest of your life. What I am saying is you are valuable, you are worthy, and your singleness is an honor in the eyes of God.
2. Sex is a gift.
We didn't sleep together before marriage. And we agree it was one of the hardest and best things we've both ever done. Whether you've already crossed this threshold or not, it's never too late to make a new start. We can honestly say this decision has given our marriage more life and passion than we ever imagined. Waiting means way more excitement, more value placed on the act, and a greater closeness with God than I thought was possible. We had to run to Him when tempted and remember that He loves us even though we are weak:
Not having sex with each other and not living together before marriage was also the biggest witness to our faith. People often couldn't believe we weren't living together, let alone not sleeping together. But it was never something we felt embarrassed or self-conscious about.
I think that was the Holy Spirit empowering us in our decision and helping us stand firm in God's clear direction for relationships. Saying no to sex before we were married showed us sacrificial love—a sliver of the sacrificial love God has for us.
3. Pride will destroy your marriage.
I want what I want when I want it. For the past 28 years, I've been doing life my way. Trying to meekly follow The Lord, yes. But also doing it my way. I don't like to be wrong. I don't like to be challenged. I don't like to not be in control. That's where my sinful inclinations lie.
Now I have a husband. This isn't a 50/50 relationship. We are each called to give our marriage 110 percent every day. We're called to love each other, serve each other, and sacrifice for each other. That is no small task, especially for someone like me who enjoys being in charge. We also have to be quick to confess and then quick to forgive. Me stubbornly holding a grudge gets us nowhere, except me being more upset.
Without humility, joyful servitude, and constant sacrifice for each other, our marriage won't work. No marriage will.
4. There are few things better than sharing homemade breakfast sandwiches and coffee with your husband.
Especially if you're still in your PJs. One of Charles' top love languages is "acts of service," and I'm so thankful he's chosen to utilize this with food! Whether he's cooking or I am, there is something so special about sharing home-cooked meals at the table together.
(Want to up your breakfast sandwich game? Buy bread from the local bakery and invest in some quality butter. Mmm, mmm, mmm.)
5. Sleepwalking is real.
My husband has dealt with insomnia for years, and his back issues complicate sleeping even more. But his sleepwalking was a strange surprise two weeks into our marriage. Sleepwalking exists, and I've learned this firsthand. I've also learned the power of forgiveness and patience.
Since returning from our honeymoon, we've had to temporarily sleep in separate beds, until we move apartments and a new king mattress arrives.
I can't get mad at him for insomnia and sleepwalking—two unfortunate habits he'd much prefer didn't happen at all. And that's the thing: We're all human. We all have quirks. When you get down to it, sleepwalking (or sleeping soundly) has absolutely zero influence on our character and holiness. How we respond is much more important.
So when Charles is feeling exhausted, we pray God would give him rest and refresh him. When I'm feeling annoyed at the disrupted sleep schedule or at his worn-out demeanor, we pray for patience. God hears our prayers and is faithful.
6. Iron truly does sharpen iron.
In the words of Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation, "The thing I love about Tammy is she calls me on my crap. Every guy needs that!"
Really, though. Except in biblical marriage, we can call each other out and then graciously point the other person to Jesus. Marriage isn't an excuse to belittle the other person or maliciously point out wrongs. Marriage was created by God to reflect His glory and to help bring us closer to Him. Marriage is sanctifying.
7. There's no one else I'd rather go on this journey with.
I love Charles with my whole heart. We are two broken humans divinely brought together to live out God's call for our lives and help the other look more and more like Jesus with each passing day. He's my partner in ministry, my love, my best friend. There's no one else I'd rather do this life with.
If you want to talk more about Jesus Christ and faith and what-the-heck-is-all-this-stuff, shoot me a message. I love meeting new people, whether virtually or in person, and gabbing about life.
And if you'd like to know more of my story, you can read my testimony here.
Truly, He makes beautiful things.