The end of June will mark one year of marriage for my wife and I. One year of new – new schedules, new habits, new meals, new ways to do laundry, and the list goes on.
To be brief, at this point of our married life, it’s been exciting and so very enjoyable. A new challenge and adventure awaits us each day. We like to take them head on together as one united couple. To be honest, most days consist of morning routines, heading off to work, and planning our dinners for the week. We look forward to weekends and family functions. So, it’s a typical marriage.
Here are a few things I’ve observed this year and how I am learning from them:
No matter how in love you are with someone, you are still different.
This is magnified in marriage as you are with this person every day and night. Morning and bedtime routines were the first obvious difference. Realizing the way we are both wired, this could take a toll on our relationship if there wasn’t some type of compromise. Even though I may like to stay up later, I should make efforts to head to bed at the same time as my wife. She recognized that if she stayed up a little later I would be a little more tired and willing to come to bed as well. This hasn’t been a perfect solution but definitely a help to us.
Family time is a big deal, and our families do not function in the same way.
Her family likes to be together as a whole group often. My family is more at each other’s disposal when needed and run into each other from time to time. We both had to adjust our views on family time and how different families operate. Neither is wrong, just different. We will value both ways our families do things.
With that, comes holidays. How do you split holidays? In short, we felt strongly as a couple that if we are making a real effort to spend quality time with our families, then it will be okay if we happen to miss a holiday every once and a while because of a scheduling conflict. We will get back to you on that later when we see how our families react to that view, but Alyssa and I agree.
Spiritually, God has designed us and wired us differently. God speaks to me and uses me well the more I serve. Alyssa needs more quiet time alone with Him. Yes, we both find value in serving and quiet time, but He uses both discipline to minister to each of us.
I didn’t expect a marriage that was putting God first to have spiritual differences.
Yes, I knew we would have different views, different interests and different ways we went about our daily lives, but I didn’t know that our spiritual walks would move at different paces.
In the book of Matthew, Jesus tells His disciples that whoever wants to follow Him must deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him.
Denying ourselves. That’s what I have learned most in year one of my marriage.
In each moment of conflict, I must deny myself, think what Jesus would want, and try to see the perspective of my wife. God gave me her, and I will honor Him by the way I treat her.
Here is to year two and, by the grace of God, many more.