If I could go back and sit down with myself sixteen years ago and speak some truth into that young, naïve bride to be, this is what I would tell her:
This person is not going to complete you, even if they had you from hello. Our society teaches us how to go to school, get a career, plan for retirement, and how to get married, but they never taught us how to have a good marriage or stay married.
So all that time, money and crazy energy you are putting into planning that perfect day, put that and then some, into the planning of the kind of spouse you want to be. There are going to be times when you are THAT couple who fights all the time, goes to bed fighting, and one of you may cry yourself to sleep with your head face down in the pillow asking yourself for the ten thousandth time, “Did I marry the wrong person?”
You are not just marrying that hot, funny, amazing personality, you are marrying their insecurities, mommy and daddy issues, flaws and bad breath. This person has the propensity to bring unspeakable joy to your life (and they will), and deep pain (and they will). There are going to be times when you want to walk out. You may even pack your bag or call each other names that are NOT found in the bible.
That’s okay just know you are not alone and there are many spouses who had to go unpack a bag a thousand times or two. The whole marriage is 50/50 thing and marriage is give and take, that is a joke. There are going to be seasons in your lives where one of you may be spiritually, emotionally, or physically not able to cope with life and your spouse may have nothing left to give. When this happens, thank God, because you are now in a position and posture to learn the real meaning of marriage– servanthood.
So get up, grab a towel and basin and wash your spouse’s feet when they least deserve it. Because when you do that, this is when you are going to see a miracle not only in your marriage, but your heart.
Marriage was not designed just to bring us happiness, it will also make us holy if we will let it.
You will get much more accomplished on your knees in prayer, then in your spouse’s face demanding your own way. And just for the record, God is not always looking for who needs to change, but who is willing. Strong marriages do not just happen. They are fought over, cried over, prayed over, and turned over– to the ONLY ONE that can teach us how to become ONE.
I know you were dreaming of a fairy tale, but the reality is, you and your spouse are going to war. You have an enemy that despises marriage and he will stop at nothing to try to convince you both to betray and break each other. So, while you are picking out that perfect dress, grab some combat boots and a sword and be ready to fight. (Ephesians 6).
And if you do happen to betray or deeply wound one another please, please, please remember this: As ugly as this looks, as BIG as this feels, your God is BIGGER. Your God is ABLE. Your God is able to do more than you can think, ask, or imagine in your marriage. (Ephesians 3:20)
So invite Him in. Keep Him at the center.
Never give up and fight with everything you have. Because you serve a God who specializes in breathing dead things back to life, making all things new, and restoring beauty from ashes.