This Friday marks 8 weeks of marriage. Holy smokes, where did the time go?
This past week, Blake and I learned something very crucial about marriage, our relationship, and each other. After this “aha” moment, Blake looked at me and said, “No one shares about these moments, these lessons learned. Rarely, do we see such transparency on social media- we only see the best versions of ourselves on Facebook and Instagram.” Well, I would have to agree. It’s rare to see other couples share about the difficulties in their marriage, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I don’t think we all need to air out our dirty laundry on Facebook, nor do I expect it. But, I think moments of raw honesty are good, too.
This is why: The ever-popular, yet deceiving ideas of marriage and love. “The Notebook” version of romance. Without transparency, we portray these perfect lives, free of flaws and hardships, which simply is a lie. And what good is that? These false portrayals make us question our own realities, as if their not good enough.
Luckily, God gave us the blessing of community, in order to learn, to grow, and to encourage one other. Let’s not waste this precious gift. We should invest in each other, inspiring each other to do and be better through honesty and openness.
I, a wife of 7 weeks, am far from knowing everything about marriage. In fact, I know very little. But, I do know the power of transparency, the importance of marriage, and the purpose of community. Blake and I love marriage, God-honoring marriage. And we love our community. So, why not help others strengthen their own marriages by sharing our own mistakes and lessons learned?
Let me set the scene for you: It’s Thursday morning. Blake and I both have a little extra time before going to work. My mind immediately begins to make a to-do list, strategically planning how I can get the most done before leaving for the day.
Laundry. Dishes. Cleaning.
I thought to myself, “This morning, I’ll earn an A+ in wife duty by finishing the laundry and tidying up the apartment. Surely, Blake will be happy he doesn’t have to do it later.” This was my way of serving and honoring Blake, but he had something different in mind.
Blake offered to help me with my to-dos, but when I denied needing any help, he patiently waited for me to finish scurrying around the apartment. He was expecting to spend a few extra minutes with me, before we both needed to head out the door. I’m sure you can see where this is going.
Obviously, we all have differences. But in marriage, these differences become real clear, real quick. Point and case, Blake and I are different in the ways we feel loved and cared for, as are most husbands and wives.
It’s likely you’ve heard about the Five Love Languages. Well, it comes to no surprise that Blake’s love language is quality time and mine is acts of service. The unfortunate part is, it’s our tendency to act according to how we feel loved, not how our spouse feels loved.
I expressed my love for Blake by performing acts of service: laundry, dishes, etc. Blake wanted to show me love by spending quality time together. Truth is: we both knew how to show the other love and how to meet their needs. This shouldn’t have been much of a surprise. But in this moment, we were unintentionally focused on meeting our own needs and desire for love, instead of each others. We expressed love in the way that we wanted to receive it.
This was vital moment in our marriage of almost 2 months, and I am so thankful it happened so quickly. It was a necessary reminder of our innate desire to be selfish and greedy. But more importantly, it was a reminder that we’re called to be selfless and generous with giving, especially as we serve our spouses.
Marriage is full of mistakes, but lucky for us, mistakes don’t define marriage. We define our own marriages by how we learn, grow, and respond to those mistakes, being slow to anger and quick to listen.
I hope these words don’t fall on deaf ears. I encourage you to never stop being a student of your husband or wife, understanding their needs and valuing them before your own.
I love marriage. But, I really love my husband. Being married is such a gift, so it should be treated as such.
Did you catch my post about our wedding?! 8.18.17 has all the important details and our favorite photos from the best day ever.