before Grant and I got married, I had received some advice that has proven to be wise counsel in our own marriage over the years.
So I thought I’d share them with you today. Whether you’re a newlywed or you’ve been married for a while, I hope you would find them helpful for your own marriage as well.
DITCH THE PJS
The marriage bed is one of the best places to strengthen the bond of your marriage. If you could, especially in the newlywed years, try to sleep in your birthday suit (wink wink).
PRACTICE MAKING BABIES
On the note of marriage bed, practice making babies… over and over again.
STUDY YOUR HUSBAND
I’d imagine you want to love and respect your husband as much as you can, right? The best way to do that is by studying your husband. Know what builds him up; know what he needs in different circumstances. I have a sweet booklet (for free!) that will help you study him, get it here.
STUDY WHAT A GODLY WIFE LOOKS LIKE
God has a great purpose for you when you got married. Don’t waste this privilege to reflect Christ in your marriage by learning more about being a godly wife and how you can grow in that through His Word. Proverbs 31 is a good place to start – check out our Bible study on this chapter here.
ONLY ONE OF YOU CAN BE CRAZY AT A TIME
When two sinners are in one room, they will annoy each other.
This may sound weird but if you both agree on this: that only one of you can be crazy at a time, you could save yourselves some arguments.
Here’s what I mean by “crazy” – you are acting “crazy” when you’re not bearing the fruits of the Spirit. So think anger, frustration, grumpiness, bitterness, etc.
As a married couple, you will notice really quickly when your husband is acting “crazy”. That should give you a warning sign that he is not in the Spirit right now. Instead of reacting to him angrily (which does NOT help, I guarantee), calmly talk to him, hold his hands and pray for him.
This takes lots of self-control. But if it results in a strengthened marriage between you two, it’s worth it.
FORGIVE AND FORGET
When two sinners are in one room, they will sin against each other.
When sin happens, we should follow in Jesus’s footsteps to graciously forgive and intentionally ‘forget’ his sins, meaning you consciously decide on not to use it against him in the future. This includes bringing it up to him and talking badly about him in front of other people.
This is crucial for a healthy marriage relationship and also a great way to reflect God’s grace and forgiveness.
PS – If you are in an abusive relationship, please talk to the elders at your church. Get help. Depending on your circumstances, you might even have to be separated from your husband for a while to keep yourself safe from further harm and to allow time for your husband to get help and to repent.
PRAY FOR YOUR HUSBAND MORE THAN YOU TALK ABOUT HIS PROBLEMS
When two sinners are in one room, you will clearly see the sins of his life and how he should change.
But here’s the problem in talking to your husband about his sins:
It may not be received well. He may perceive you as critical or nagging.
So instead of pointing out his sin every time it occurs, talk to God first.
Bring all your thoughts and emotions to Him.
Let Him do the changing of your husband’s heart, not you.
Ask Him for the right time to bring up your husband’s sins.
Ask for a calm and peaceful heart when you do talk to your husband.
Be the powerful praying wife for your husband and lift him up in your prayers.
ENGAGE IN A GOSPEL COMMUNITY
While your marriage is a private relationship, you need a support system that will point you to the Truth and pray for you. Being in a Gospel-centered community is how you can get such support.
There are a few ways to get community as a couple:
1) Get involved with a small group at your church – Grant and I meet weekly with other families. It has been a great way for us in our walks with Jesus as a couple and also individually.
2) Have an older couple mentor you – Having another couple to come alongside you and provide a safe place for you to share your struggles and to help you grow in a godly marriage will be very beneficial for you and your husband.
PURSUE GOD FIRST
We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). We can’t love our husbands the way He loves us if we don’t draw from the source of love ourselves.
Make it your commitment to pursue God first; abide in Him and He in you.
Even if you’re just reading for 5-10 minutes at a time, the consistency of getting in the Word will bring fruit to your life.