Monday, October 15, 2007

Pre-Wedding Advice

So, I went around all weekend on retreat and asked married women (and widows) this question:

What do I need to know before I get married? What do you wish you had known, or what have you learned?

Here's some of my favorite answers (covering the spectrum of spiritual to funny):

* Put God first, then your husband, then your kids. It's too easy to let the kids rise to the top.
(I noticed on this one that I don't even make the list!)

* Communicate clearly about everything, from the beginning. Don't let stuff build up.

* No matter how poor you are, or how busy you are - go on dates!

* "Don't expect him to be just like Jesus. I thought at first he would be, because he loved me."

* Overlook the little annoyances. Chances are, he's clueless, not intentional.

* When you want God to change things in your husband - He'll probably change you!

* "I wish someone would have warned me - he poked me in the middle of the night, woke me up. And I was like, really? Now? I was sound asleep!"

* Laugh! Have a sense of humor!

* "Keep your mouth shut! and that's from someone who didn't :)"

* Know the difference between talking and communicating.

* There may be a day when you wake up and think, "Who are you? What am I doing here?" But push through it, and you'll come out with a strengthened marriage.

Anyone have anything else to add?? I'd love to hear from you!


Inkling said...

My grandma's best friend wrote me a letter with some advice before our wedding. She said that when she and her husband would squabble and finally come to each other willing to make up, they'd look at each other and say, "Jesus is probably sad with us right now." She encouraged me to keep that in mind. And when I told my grandma that Henry David was distressed that we were having more than one conflict a month, she just laughed and said that in more than 60 years of marriage, she has learned that conflict is normal. It's how we resolve it that counts, and it's our commitment to love each other even when we'd rather toss them off a bridge that matters.

As for my advice, here's something I'm just now learning.....Even if what you can offer in terms of food or living space is not at all grand, reach out and have families and couples over for dinner or a game night OFTEN. It builds community, and it does wonders for the relationship between spouses. I waited forever, primarily because I'm a perfectionist, and my house was never "clean or perfect enough". But now I'm relaxed enough to just put a clean hand towel in the bathroom, not worry about scrubbing the whole place, and have a fun dinner with friends. Now if I could just learn to be okay with serving brownies out of a box......

Carole said...

These are good! Thanks for sharing.

Tabitha said...

Actually, on the seminal order list you rank alongside each tier. God gives you what YOU need to sustain who you are, your husband should love and celebrate WHO you are and your children will mirror who you are, so you can see where you need adjusting.

We only lose ourselves when we fail to draw our strength and self-worth from the Source of Life Himself and stop seeking to live our lives fulfilling the destiny He has created us for.

As for advice...
Throughout my marriage I have drawn heavily on the training, wisdom and example of my parents and grandparents when I was growing up. The two most profound things being:

1. Covenant means EVERYTHING. When you get so frustrated you don't want to talk to him and you wonder how you can go on remember that the covenant you made is bigger than both of you and lasts forever.

2. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER let the sun go down on your anger! That's one we all know and one I wish I had heeded a whole lot more in my life.