As Nathaniel and I come up on finishing our first year of marriage, I know we have only grown closer. No doubt, we had our fights, our debates, and our disagreements, but looking back, I can actually say that God used everything for the better. On the day I said “I do,” I never thought I could be any happier in my relationship, but I was wrong.
I am proud that I can make that last statement, but do not be fooled: marriage was not easy. There are always hardships. But, between those hard-learned lessons and some additional Bible studies, Nathaniel and I are both learning to be loving, God-fearing spouses. Here are a few ways we have been working to do that.
The Image of Marriage
The more Bible studying I do, the more I see the representation of Christ in marriage. I have begun to understand it as God’s ministry, and this has given me the heart of desire for success for my marriage and husband.
In my understanding of God’s purpose for marriage, I understand my place as a helpmate for my husband. A wife is to have an ever-giving heart that is fueled by God. This has begun to give me fulfillment as I work to fit in my important role.
Sometimes, my husband is human. Sometimes, he doesn’t put his clothes in the hamper, or he leaves a mess at the sink. Serving God through my respect and service to God has truly helped me help my husband, even in the times I feel he doesn’t deserve it.
Men want RESPECT. They long for it; they need it. When Nathaniel is not fulfilling my needs, I often find that I have stopped fulfilling his. I have learned that our actions often reflect one another.
My husband does for me in lots of small ways. Recognizing those small things that he does- getting me water, asking me to sit with him- has stirred up my appreciation for him. I feel like its often not the appreciation that us women lack, it is the attention to the details and small gestures.
This is the single most important lesson I have learned. Whether you have problems in your marriage and need guidance, or you feel you need to step back and just thank God for your husband, prayer is the answer. This has helped me to learn my heart and guide it to the will of God.
I love the growth and love my husband and I have experienced the past year. There is nothing I would trade for the lessons that have strengthened my marriage.