It took me a while to realize the first and most important lesson learned in the first year of my marriage could be summed up in one word.
There is a fullness that comes with marriage, though, that I did not expect. Why? Because I was the girl who struggled with blood sugar and with overeating. My whole life, I was always so hungry. I even wrote about how hungry I was for my first post for Start Marriage Right.
The thought that God can actually do what He promised baffled me, which is why I had no fear of facing [our first] holidays [together]. My first Thanksgiving as a married woman—I couldn’t wait! So why the heck did I wake up on Black Friday to those same feelings of loneliness?” (Read the rest of the article, here).
I assumed marriage would fill me and quiet my soul once and for all. (Because once you get married life is perfect right?) What I was not expecting, though, was the loneliness. Although God did answer my prayers for a husband and in the most fulfilling (pun intended) way possible—I needed to remain hungry.
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk,so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good (2 Peter 2:2-3, NIV84).
When marriage begins–it’s new. Like a newborn baby–the husband and wife are learning and growing together.
I clearly missed the nugget that there is no fear in growth.
There is no shame in desire.
A baby desires food to grow healthy and strong just like a husband and wife desire intimacy to grow in their relationship with each other.
My whole life I had heard “don’t touch” “stay away” “guard your heart” and “don’t have sex until marriage.”
Suddenly I was married and I didn’t have to say “NO!” anymore. It was such a stark contrast that took me an entire year to understand, grasp, and appreciate.
If you are a newlywed like me and still feel those growing pains of a new relationship—be encouraged.
Growing pains are needed to force us into each others arms! The only reason to celebrate punch drunk love in Christ and in your spouse is to start drinking and keep drinking.
- Go out on dates.
- Read the Bible together.
- Attend church.
- More sex.
- Decorate your home.
- Adopt a pet.
- Cook together.
The list is endless for a reason.
There is no formula for relationships but to remain hungry in Christ.
The more you desire to grow in your relationship with your spouse the more you need to humbly come to the foot of the cross and ask for help!
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful;he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:12-13, NIV84).
Just because temptation looks different when you’re married doesn’t mean you aren’t in danger. Fullness is a good thing and yet a dangerous thing. The moment you stop craving your spouse, God, and becoming one—you stop growing!
The first and most important lesson I learned in the first year of my marriage is that it’s okay to be full and it’s okay to be hungry. This is my continued prayer for my marriage. What a beautiful paradox—to stay hungry and remain full.
Question: What is the first and most important lesson you learned about your marriage?