The Truth About Marriage

Last year at this time, October 2012, I could see nothing but the bright and brimming future. My bridal pictures were in a week and my bridal shower was in only a few days. I hadn't seen my future husband, Josh, in a few weeks and I wouldn't see him for another month and I missed him. I hadn't seen my new home and I had no idea what it looked like. I had very little of an idea how life would run for me after my 3-day honeymoon. I didn't really care about that. All that mattered to me was the present. I was getting married and I was so looking forward to my gifts and ordering dresses and decorations, mailing hundreds of invitations, getting my hair done and so on and so forth. I was going to be a young bride. I don't begrudge how excited I was. That was perfectly good and normal.

However, looking back I see something all so clearly. I had heard the stories, I had been told the truth; life isn't a basket of roses and it's not a bowlful of cherries. I believed that, knowing that getting married wouldn't suddenly make life perfect, but in my heart I believed that somehow Josh and I were partially immune. We were different from most couples, we had a deeper love, a pure trust in one another. In a way, I was right. Josh and I had done things the right way. We had kept ourselves pure in the relationship and had even agreed to covenant that divorce is not an option. We were honest and loving. All of those things were amazingly helpful in making us resilient to future hurdles.

When we got married, I felt God's presence run down my spine. I was so completely joyful in one of the happiest moments of my life. I know that God smiled down on us. But God had a lot of teaching to do.

It wasn't long after we got married and the happiness of our honeymoon wore off that I was hit with the "life" I had often refused to think about. The wedding was over and all the guests had gone back to their lives. My siblings were back in school... without me. And the honeymoon... was over.

Here I was sitting in a gray military building. I was putting on a good front, but inside I was shaking.

Dear Jesus, what have I done?!

I had been married four days and I sat there terrified like a little girl. The strong, pretty bride I had been hardly a hundred hours before was now a teary-eyed, messy wife.

We moved into our empty house. It was pleasant, though very different from my childhood home. I had never liked to cook, so even though Mama had taught me how, I hadn't practiced a lot. But I had to cook something! We had only a few dishes and so I grabbed some groceries and made lasagna. We had no table, so I placed a blanket over a tupperware container and we ate.

Josh had to go to work. I thought I would die. The house was so quiet, except for the roar of planes overhead, coming from on base. I was lonely. It mattered not when Josh was home; when I saw anything that reminded me of my family, I would crumple into a ball and cry. Josh was understanding until he felt like he was unwanted. He was sometimes resentful of my missing my family, to which our first arguments as man and wife commenced.

The days became the same. I would write all day on my book, organize, clean and walk our flat neighborhood. Josh would work and he would come home. The mind can be your worst enemy. I would often dread deployments and things as simple as cooking my next meal.

Why do I share all of this? Because too many girls and maybe even boys, have a false and warped view of life after marriage. It isn't a Nicolas Sparks novel. It is wonderful, yes. It is fulfilling, yes. But it is not perfect. And even I (note my sarcasm) was not exempt from arguments and hardships. The money was short and the fuses even shorter.

It hit me. I am a mighty selfish person. My whole life, I have looked out for me and my two best friends: me, myself and I. But then I was a wife in a miserable little town and without a piano to top it off.

Young people who are not married, I know that many of you long to be married like I did. It is something to look forward to, but I beg you not to waste your days away longing for it, because once it comes, things will eventually slow down and you will long for the next thing on the list. Wherever you are on your life's journey, look up to the One who knows all of your days and trust Him for His timing. Be content. If you wait to be content after you are wed, then you will never be content at all. I am convinced that in our contentment, God will bless us.

God has taught me so much over the last year. He has brought Josh and me so far. He has begun to break our stubborn wills, but not our spirits. We have a long way to go, but we are on the right track.

Marriage is a lot more than what I ever realized. It is a picture of Jesus and the Church. Unconditional love is a choice. It is not easy, but it is worth the effort. My parents had taught me this truth for years, but maybe it took me living it to see the truth.

Paul Washer put it this way, "You are married to a person who does not meet all of the conditions so that you may learn unconditional love. You are married to a person who needs mercy so that you learn to give it. You are married to a person who does not deserve so that you learn to pour lavishly yourself out on a person who does not respond appropriately and thus you become like the God you worship!" 

I am learning that though this grass is green, the grass on the other side was really green too. I am learning to be a good wife for my wonderful husband. I am learning to be content right here, right now.


  1. You've summed up your first year of marriage in a beautiful way. Thank you for sharing your heart. I've bookmarked your blog to share with my daughters so they might be able to gain wisdom from a godly woman that is going before them. Keep doing what you are doing!

  2. Thank you so much, Jessica. I am so glad that God is using the things I write. What an honor and blessing. I appreciate your kind words!


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