Five things I wish I’d known before marriage

 Nikki Bray

We’re currently making some changes to FamilyLife’s Preparing for Marriage Study Guide, which is an awesome resource for couples contemplating marriage. This project has caused me to ask myself, how equipped are young engaged couples with the reality of married life? What are some things that I wish I knew before I got married?

So I’ve jotted some things down … maybe you can relate to some of these yourself:

1. The person you love the most is also the person who can hurt you the deepest …. And visa versa.

Isn’t that so surprising but oh so true. And it can take you by surprise. Marriage is a wonderful journey… you experience great highs together but it’s also a painful process at times. If we want to enjoy the blessings of a transparent and open relationship then we need to get ‘real’ : often when we get real we can hurt one another. However, the beauty of marriage is working through those pains and disappointments, and becoming more understanding  in the process.

2. The person you love will not meet all your needs.

When I got married we agreed, “I’ll look after your needs, and you can look after mine.” It seemed the ideal answer. It took me by surprise when my new husband seemed so clueless! I’ve since learned that it is unreasonable to have all these expectations. Different people in my life meet different needs, and that’s ok.

And in the area of security, significance and self esteem, God himself is the only one who can meet those needs.

3. There is so much more to marriage than love, companionship and children.

God has a divine purpose for bringing you together and our role is to reflect Him and His love to a world that desperately needs to know Him. It makes a huge difference to love, and live together with purpose.

4. Life after marriage will not always be “happily ever after”.

Life is hard, marriage will have its hard seasons. It’s important to marry someone who not only enjoys the good times but who can handle the bad times as well. Be committed no matter what, and God will bring you through the bad times and make you stronger than ever.

5. Marriage is not all about you.

Marriage means turning “me” into “we”. It’s not only about my happiness and self-fulfilment. It’s about going through life together and serving God and each other. It’s about establishing a unit. It’s about committing your lives to each other even though you may be very different in 10, 20, or 40 years from the people you are now.
And of course it’s important to enjoy your relationship, and remember that marriage is a treasured gift. Our creator God brought you into this relationship, and so cherish this person and receive them as God’s perfect provision for your needs.