Marriage is two people with two different pasts, likes, dislikes, hurts, family traditions, work habits, personality types, cravings, and desires, trying to live together in harmony. I don’t even have harmony with myself sometimes; how can I have harmony with another person who isn’t even like me? Glory to God, for only He can take a cube block and a rectangle block and make them both fit inside a cylinder block.
Having gone to several weddings over the years, and having seen many a couple get engaged and get married, I realize how much a marriage is affected by the environment in which it grows. Friends and family can literally make or break a marriage, especially if the husband and wife do not adopt a team mentality. I’ve seen friends bet on how long the couple would last together, during the pair’s first dance! I’ve heard family members tell wives that their husbands are dirty lowlifes who do not deserve to be married to them, and those wives have gone on to divorce their husbands. Do you want to help your newlywed friends/family have a miraculously successful marriage, or do you want to watch them crumble and fall right before your eyes?
If you want to be the one to encourage a godly relationship instead of try to tear it apart, here are the best gifts that you can give newlyweds during their first few years of marriage:
- Prayer: Even though I’ve only been married for a little less than eight months, I already know that the hand of God is on my relationship with my husband. God has literally stopped us from fighting just after we prayed. True wisdom comes from knowing and obeying God. To help us out, send us an encouraging Bible verse, and pray for us. I’m sure that we can speak for a lot of couples when we say that we have prayer requests! If you want to help us out, close your eyes and bow your head in prayer to God. And be around to watch what God does because of your prayers!
- Support: Divorce and separation seem to be the norm these days. Although we can’t fix every marriage, I know for certain that trashing a marriage with our words definitely does not help it last! Talk nicely about the newlyweds you know. They’re trying to figure it out, and the last thing they need is for you to tell them that they are doing it all wrong. What they need instead is for you to tell them that life is a process, and that eventually, they will figure it out (and while they figure it out, go back to point #1 and pray for them!). And if either of them–which could be your son/daughter, sibling, or best friend–come to you to tell you something bad the other one did, do not take it personally! Although you want to protect your loved one, you need to protect the commitment that he/she made to the love of his/her life. Support for the marriage can be the best gift you can give the ones you love.
- Patience: The most difficult part of marriage for us has been keeping up with all of our families. We both have big families, and all of our family members are scattered across the tri-state area and beyond. Every holiday, the question stands: Where are we going? Of course, all of our family members want to see us, but it is literally impossible to have all of our family members together under one roof…and I don’t want to spend every holiday running around so that everyone else is happy while I’m a tired nervous wreck. One of these days, I even want to spend a holiday with just the two of us! So we have to compromise, and that usually means telling one side of the family that we can’t see them. And we hate that, so so much. We are trying to make time for everyone, but there are only so many hours in the day. Have patience with us. We will reach out to you when we can.
- Example: I am a firm believer in practicing what you preach. Do not try to give me marriage advice without showing me how that works in your marriage. But on a more positive note, if your marriage is working out, tell me why it’s working out. In a society that promotes divorce and separation, we want to see proof that marriage can end in a happily ever after.
- Space: When newlyweds are in that honeymoon stage, all they want to do is spend time with each other. This is not only important physically, but also emotionally. When I’m at work, I sit at my desk and think about how I can’t wait to go home and talk to my husband about my day. We usually play a game or watch a TV show or eat dinner together after a stressful day at work. Although it’s hard to be “replaced” by your son/daughter/best friend/sibling/cousin’s spouse, this phase (I’ve heard) does not last forever. It’s not that we don’t care about you; it’s that we need time for our relationship to grow. So please, encourage us to spend time together, and watch our love flourish. We will come to you (I say that from my own experience; on this point, I cannot speak for all couples).
Thank you for taking the first step in supporting the newlyweds that you love! Newlyweds, let us know if there are any other gifts you would like to add to this list.