If you were anything like me as a little girl then you too believed the romantic fairy tales that you read. Oh how I loved Cinderella’s story! The thought that a prince would come and rescue me set my soul on fire. Sleeping Beauty and Snow White found their Prince Charming as well. I just KNEW that magic was for me too! What I learned about marriage however is that it is nothing like a Disney fairy tale.
Although I saw the messiness and pain in my parents’ marriage I wish my mom would have told me straight up that I was not Cinderella. I wish I would have known, as a child, my true prince was and always will be Jesus. He will never let me down, hurt me or leave me. Only he loves unconditionally. God alone can save a lost and broken little girl.
Aside from Jesus being the only true prince I believe there are some truths we need to teach our daughters about marriage. I believe it is also worth reminding ourselves as sometimes we forget our husbands are human.
Feelings don’t last
Feelings flood you when you begin dating someone. This is exactly why I think it’s important to give your relationship time before getting married. We think we are in love but truly it is infatuation. Once the feelings wear off you need to decide why you like that person and/or if you have grown to love them.
Yep, love grows, it doesn’t just happen. Is infatuation at first sight or attraction at first sight possible? Absolutely! Love is a verb. It is something you do. You love your husband even when there is no money to pay the bills. When he is acting like a complete jerk you love him. You love him when he is sick and broken down. Those days when you are physically and mentally exhausted because of taking care of children and housework, you still love him. When you are in the darkest days of marriage you have to dig deep and ask yourself what you love about the man you married. Write it down if you need to!
Am I saying you will never have those euphoric feelings and that marriage is all doom and gloom? Absolutely not! I love being married! I love having a partner in life to share my days and nights with. No I do not feel like a giddy little teenager at every thought or sight of my husband like I did in the beginning. However, I do still find him the sexiest, most handsome man for me, and every now and again I do get little butterflies when I see him or hear his voice over the phone.
You can’t change him
When I married my late husband at the ripe old age of 18 I thought I could change him. We had already been in our relationship for about four years before getting married and even though I couldn’t change him thus far I thought being married would be different. I’m laughing now because I now know at the ripe old age of 40 that it isn’t so. I have seen or heard this from girls too many times.
The only thing that can change a man, or boy, is God. Our all sovereign creator! God does this through life circumstances, conviction and time. Trying to change him will only cause pain. If he doesn’t change, it is the girl who is unhappy, and if he does change, it is the guy who is unhappy. Unhappy people equal an unhappy marriage. If you don’t love him for EVERYTHING that he is, then you should not marry him. If you are now married, then learn to love him for EVERYTHING that he is.
Never keep secrets
Keeping secrets are no different from telling lies. Don’t do it! Honor your husband by being open with him. If you know he will be upset if you buy the kitchen products at the home party then don’t do it and try to sneak them in. He’s working hard to pay the bills and he’s already told you not to lend your family money so don’t do it and try being secretive about it. Typically secrets turn into lies, not confessions of truth. You are showing disrespect for your man and your marriage by keeping secrets.
Here’s a big one! “Don’t tell your Dad”. Never do this, please! You are teaching your children that it is okay to lie and to disrespect their father. This is not okay!
Before buying anything or doing anything I always ask myself if I believe my husband will be upset with me over it. If there is any question in my mind about whether he might be then I don’t do it or I will just ask. I would never want him to keep anything from me so I do not keep anything from him. It’s truly that simple.
Never talk badly about him
Oh boy I think we have all been guilty of this at some point! Maybe we don’t know what to do about a certain issue or we are just needing to vent so we turn to a friend or family member. This is bad for two reasons. Reason one, we are showing disrespect to our husband’s by doing this. I cannot emphasize enough how importance it is to show respect to your husband! The second reason this is bad is because we can forgive his sin and move on but our family and friends cannot.
It is okay to seek counsel from someone who is older and trusted, preferably from the church, but never speak badly of this man who you married.
Do not use sex as a bargaining tool
Sex is something beautiful between a husband and his wife. It is a way for us to show love toward one another. Yes we connect physically through love-making but we also connect emotionally. Use sex to get what you want is very dangerous. When we use love-making as a tool we cheapen that connection. We turn sex into a chore, not show our husband true intimate love. He will also start using it against you. “I’ll do this for you if you do that for me”. Again, it’s a chore, not love. Don’t even go there!
Don’t take your eyes off Jesus
This is something I cannot stress enough! Anytime in my married life that I have seen trouble, with my marriage, it is because one or both of us have taken our eyes off Jesus. Put God at the forefront of your marriage DAILY! Lift your marriage to him DAILY! ALWAYS ask yourself “Am I honoring God?” If the answer is no then don’t do it. The way to honor your marriage is to honor God in EVERYTHING.
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