There is a lie from our culture that says that once we have a husband, everything is going to be okay. We struggle with sin, and we feel ashamed and unworthy, but once that Prince Charming comes on his white horse to pick us up, we’re clean and we no longer struggle. Friend, my Prince Charming came a long time ago, and His name is Jesus. I didn’t need my husband to rescue me, and even if I did, he did not (and cannot) make me perfect.
Even after you’ve found what our culture calls your “Prince Charming,” your marriage will not instantly be a happily ever after.
When my husband and I were planning our wedding, we had a lot of internal (between the two of us) and external (from other people) conflict while planning. I thought that all the conflict would be resolved once we crossed the finish line into marriage.
But it didn’t go quite like that.
Once we made it back from our honeymoon, once the drama of wedding planning was officially over…we looked at each other and thought, now what? Although the Bible says that two become one flesh when we get married, we still felt like separate people. We still had our own agendas, our own habits, and our own traditions to maintain. Where did this whole marriage thing fit in?
On Sunday, it will be our one year anniversary. The other day, we were thinking about the past year. I realized how much we had learned in just one year. What was difficult for us before was still difficult, but it is a lot easier now. What was impossible for us before was now thinkable, and we know it will only get better in time. After one year, we now communicate better. After one year, we now have shorter fights. After one year, we now strategically pray for each other and know how to ask for what we need. After one year, we have realized more about becoming one flesh.
We should have a strong foundation in Christ when we go into marriage, but we should not expect that everything will go according to plan. We don’t have to worry if we make a mistake in our marriage, as long as we learn from them to improve for the future. It’s not the end of the world if we fight and use words that we, according to pre-marital counselors, should never use. Our marriage isn’t going to fail just because we skipped out on date night. We’re not terrible people if we go over budget every once in a while. Our habits, conflicts, and communication styles can change, because God is constantly changing us. While we seek to do everything right in our marriage, when we fall short, we can rely on God’s grace to keep us together.
Now that we’re nearing the end of our first year of marriage, we can look back and see all that God has done in our marriage from the beginning. But we also understand that we’re not marriage experts. Looking back on our first year, we can plan ahead for the next year. How can we communicate even better? How can we make our quality time even more meaningful? How can we resolve conflict in such a way that we both win? How can we make better decisions that accommodate both of our needs?
Marriage does not make everything better. As a matter of fact, marriage exposes the flaws that we have so that we can work toward making them better. Marriage takes time, and time takes patience on the part of both the husband and the wife. Celebrate your successes together, while also looking at how you can both improve.