What to Expect When You're Expecting to Marry
Happy Valentine's Day! Today, the world shines a huge spotlight on romantic love — to the intense delight and equally intense chagrin of millions. Whatever side of the fence you find yourself on, we can all probably agree that God prepared the ideal place for romantic love to flourish. That place is marriage.
When done right, marriage is one of the most fulfilling relationships that we can experience in this life. But doing marriage right isn't easy. Newlyweds often enter marriage with certain expectations only to find that reality is quite different.
There's a reason why pregnant women pour over the book "What to Expect When You're Expecting." Nobody likes to feel totally unprepared for a momentous change. Recently, my dear husband delivered a wedding sermon, and, at the end, he gave the couple a brief list of "what to expects." With his permission, I'm going to share those with you, plus a few of my own.
Expect more of yourself than your spouse
At times, you will feel like you're pulling more than your fair share of the load. In fact, there may be times when you have to carry your spouse during difficult times in your marriage.
Expect your spouse to go through things that don't make sense to you
A bout of depression. Unusually high stress at work. A chronic illness. There are many things that affect only one spouse, while the other is left wondering what to do, how to help. These are the critical times when your spouse needs to know that you will stand by them and love them no matter what.
Expect to be the first to reconcile after a disagreement
Be quick to draw your spouse back to you. Satan wants to place walls between you and your spouse. When you feel those walls rise, don't wait for your spouse to smash them down. Have the courage to be first.
Expect to sacrifice some of your freedom
You aren't on your own terms anymore. You and your spouse are a team. Expect to consult your spouse on decisions of all sizes. Expect to check in with your spouse before making commitments. This isn't a "ball and chain." It's respect for someone you dearly love.
Expect outside forces to pull you away from your spouse
Well-intentioned family members. A full church calendar. Your own wayward eyes. If you feel like the whole universe is drawing you further from your spouse, that doesn't mean something is wrong with your marriage. It's normal. Expect it, but don't allow it. Protect your marriage, and make it a safe haven from chaos and temptations.
Expect to stay
As humans, we change. We desperately need a love that doesn't change. That's why we need God and Jesus Christ to supply us with strength to love our spouses in the same unconditional way that the Creator loves us. The most beautiful love isn't necessarily the most passionate. It's the love that endures.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.