8 Things I Wish I’d Known As A Newlywed

 

We walked the aisle, said “I do,” and stuffed cake in each others faces when I was 24.

I wasn’t 25 before I realized that I had absolutely no idea how to be married.

I brought a lifetime of bad ideas and bloated expectations to this enigmatic relationship, and the deeper we got into marriage, the more ridiculous some of my most basic assumptions about it proved to be.

After slamming doors and screaming matches became regular hobbies of ours, I knew I needed to put some of these basic expectations to the test.

My personal exploration hasn’t ended—and ideally, never will. But here are a few things I’ve picked up along the way that could save newlyweds at least a few hard days.

1. Happily Ever After is a Perk—Not the Point.

Our modern obsession with being happy often makes it far easier for us to love happiness more than we ever love another human.

Our modern obsession with being happy often makes it far easier for us to love happiness more than we ever love another human. And though being happy is a very real by-product of a healthy relationship, the value we put on personal fulfillment is so inflated, it’s causing us to miss one of the more beautiful purposes of marriage.

In Hebrew, the word used for marriage actually means “Fire.” And not-so-coincidentally, fire is also the element used throughout ancient Hebrew culture to represent personal reformation. In this light, marriage, and its necessary—but often unhappy—friction, is seen less as a doorway to happily ever after and more as a tool in God’s hands to help us become increasingly beautiful—increasingly our best and brightest selves.

8 Women Christian Men Should Never Marry

Man and woman marriage

Have you prayerfully considered these characteristics when choosing a potential marriage partner? (iStock)

1. The unbeliever. In last week’s column, I reminded women that the Bible is absolutely clear on this point: Christians should not marry unbelievers. Second Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (NASB). Apart from your decision to follow Christ, marriage is the single most important decision you will ever make. Don’t blow it by ignoring the obvious. You need a wife who loves Jesus more than she loves you. Put spiritual maturity at the top of your list of qualities you want in a wife.

10 Men Christian Women Should Never Marry

Men and women

Don’t be impatient when choosing a helpmate. God has the right one for you. (iStock)

Several single women would very much like to find the right guy. Some say the pickings are slim at their church while others have thrown up their hands in despair, wondering if there are any decent Christian guys left anywhere. They’ve begun to wonder if they should lower their standards in order to find a mate.

Don’t settle for less than God’s best.  You are much better off single than with the wrong guy!

Speaking of “wrong guys,” here are the top 10 men you should avoid when looking for a husband:

1. The unbeliever. Please write 2 Corinthians 6:14 on a Post-it note and tack it on your computer at work. It says, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (NASB). This is not an outdated religious rule. It is the Word of God for you today.

Don’t allow a man’s charm, looks or financial success (or his willingness to go to church with you) push you to compromise what you know is right. “Missionary dating” is never a wise strategy. If the guy is not a born-again Christian, scratch him off your list. He’s not right for you. I’ve yet to meet a Christian woman who didn’t regret marrying an unbeliever.