Dear Pre-married Self,
I want to write you this note to let you know some of the things you’re going to learn over the years of your marriage. You think you know what you’re committing to but let me assure you; you don’t.
The early years will feel easy. You and your new husband are peas in a pod, and all of your time together is leisurely. Conversation and laughter flow easily as you discover the joy of having a partner with you at all times. The changes life brings isn’t so hard when you have your best friend by your side. You’ll each feel connected, content and excited about what’s to come.
As the years go on, however, the stressors in your life will change. He’ll deploy, for a very long time, and the demands of his job will increase while your leisure time together decreases. You’ll move overseas and live in states far away from your family. Eventually you’ll have children, and the added responsibilities, while bringing you so much love and joy, will also carve into your previously unlimited quality time together. You’ll experience new levels of exhaustion and anxiety and there will be days when you’ll feel like you’ve totally lost yourself. You’ll even contemplate packing up and starting over somewhere new on really bad nights.
That sounds pretty bad, right? But here’s the good news – through this marriage, God is going to lead you to being content in Him, rather than in a person. You’ll see the power of prayer bear observable fruit in your marriage, as your husband becomes a godly father. You’ll be able to really understand what it means to put another’s needs before your own, giving you a greater understanding of the sacrificial way Jesus loves you. You’ll be reminded of how much you’ve been forgiven, and therefore be able to forgive in bigger ways. Your understanding of love will grow, too. It won’t be all about excitement and butterflies and flirty exchanges. Love will become a warm, inviting place, where there is no fear of rejection. You’ll see God’s love for you through the willingness of your husband to stay home from work and take care of wild kiddos when you’re sick, in brief quiet moments after the kids have gone to bed and you can share your days with each other, and you’ll learn to hope for the future, because a mind fixed on God and His ways is life and peace.
So stay excited about this new adventure, knowing it will be one of the hardest things you ever undertake to do. God is refining you and teaching you about Himself and His ways through your marriage. He is with you all the way.
"...make my joy complete by thinking the same way, having the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Phil 2:2-4, CSB)