Whether you are dating, engaged, or married, take a moment and think about what your marriage expectations consisted of. As a newlywed, I can speak to a few expectations Lucas and I had going into our first year of marriage. I remember thinking our days as newlyweds would consist of late night pillow talks, daily devos together, learning to cook together, Target runs galore, romantic candle-lit evenings… you get the gist. Lucas, on the other hand, had a different set of expectations--rooting for Manchester United on the weekends, waking up at the crack of dawn to excercise together (we're talking 4:45am), devos, weekly date nights, eating home cooked meals... etc. We both knew marriage would consist of romance, but how that looked was different for both of us. We both knew marriage would consist of budgeting, but the tools we used looked differently. We both knew marriage would consist of building eachother up in Christ, but how we did so, looked differently. Can't forget chores... yes marriage ment we each would do our fair share of chores, but what chores we took ownership over and determining when chores were absolutely necessary looked very differently. Very quickly we realized that a majority of our arguments stemmed from failing to communicate our expectations with one another and cherishing time with each other more than time with our Savior. From this, here are a couple tips you MUST know as a newlywed couple.
TALK. You will have conflict if you want your spouse to read your mind.
Let’s dig in a little more. Conflict is inevitable when we put too much pressure on our spouse to read our minds. Jeremiah 17:9-10 proves that only God can know our mind fully without fault:
The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately sick; Who can understand it? “I the LORD can search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds
This verse spells it out black and white; only the Lord can search our heart and test our mind. So how should we expect our spouses to read our own minds?! This topic is extremely convicting for me to write about because I am very stubborn when it comes to communicating my desires to Lucas. It's a daily struggle. I almost test him to see how well he knows me, which is so wrong. Time after time I expect him to read my mind about romance, chores, spending money, saving money, what to do in our free time, how often to make time for physical and emotional intimacy, etc. When I don’t communicate with him, I’m putting way too much pressure on him to read my mind when clearly only the Lord can do that. Do you struggle with this as well? We. Must. Communicate.
LOVE GOD FIRST. You will have conflict if you love your spouse more than God.
More important than communication is that we love the Lord more than our spouse, after all He created this thing we call marriage.
If you love anything at all in this world more than God, you will crush that object under the weight of your expectations, and it will eventually break your heart. – Tim Keller
All I can say about the above quote by Keller is: nailed it. As much as I am supposed to love Lucas, if he gets a higher ranking than God, I am putting him in an impossible situation. Lucas is great, but he isn't God. I have to remember that! How do we do this practically? You will have peace when you prioritize time with Christ above time with your spouse. Psalm 37:4 says to “delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” The days we bicker the most are the days that we neglect time with the Lord. Whether praying, reading the Word or daily devotion that points to Scripture, we both see a difference when our priorities are set straight first thing in the morning. Outside of studying Scripture, Lucas and I enjoy the following devos: New Morning Mercies by Paul Tripp, My Utmost for His Highest by Oswal Chambers, She Reads Truth or He Reads Truth... see links below.
If you want conflict in your marriage, set unrealistic expectations on your spouse to read your mind and be your God.
If you want peace in your marriage, put God first and communicate consistently with your spouse!
Have any thoughts? Comment below to get the conversation started!