I have learned and loved so much about marriage in my first year with Heather as my wife. It makes me happy I didn’t read too many “reasons to not get married in your 20’s,” blog posts. Otherwise, I could have missed out on the richness of the greatest human connection of all time.
I wanted to narrow down the three biggest lessons I have learned this year as a married man and remember them as advice for myself. So I wrote them down and you are welcome to learn as well.
1. Remember why you are married.
Marriage simple, it can be hard but it is beautiful and simple. I am convinced that marriage is designed to reflect God’s love for us. So when people see my marriage, it should be an illustration of the unconditional love, faithfulness and forgiveness that God shows us. God’s love is the foundation of our marriage and when there is conflict, reflecting Christ’s love to each other and to the world must be the goal and anchor. Ultimately, as much as Heather and I love each other, there must be a third strand to the cord and for any marriage to fully come alive only Christ can be that strand.
2. View your marriage as a garden.
Viewing my marriage as a garden has been the strongest word picture from this year that I can communicate. I want my garden to be beautiful and healthy. That means that there is a time to plant and to start new things. There is a time to harvest and celebrate progress. There is a time to focus on cultivating the soil, removing impurities, and making it a healthy place for things to grow. Weeds and things that should not be growing in the garden need to be removed by the root so they do not grow into large issues that take over and bring death. Also, time needs to be spent in a garden, not just to watch over it but to enjoy it’s beauty. For anyone becoming a husband or wife, I’d challenge you to always tend to your garden.
3. Bring Security.
I want my wife to be open with me. I want her to feel safe being open emotionally, spiritually, and physically. In order to experience that openness an atmosphere of security needs to be facilitated in my marriage. I am not just talking about financial security. Heather deserves a full expression of love from me. There should be no doubt of my devotion to our relationship and faithfulness to her heart. She is the most important human relationship in my life, as your spouse should be.
Overall, I love marriage. Heather brings so much good to me and she is a precious gift and beautiful partner in life. Marriage is refining and purifying, sometimes hard, but always good for my soul.