There he was. After all these years. Standing tall in a tux. Looking extremely handsome. And smiling directly at me.
Walking down the aisle toward my soon-to-be husband was an experience unlike any other. This was the moment I had been dreaming of for years. This was the moment I had been waiting for during our entire engagement. This was it.
Getting married to the man of my dreams was an incredible experience. And living life as a married woman for the past five and a half years has been out-of-this-world awesome.
Getting married someday is a dream that most of us girls have.
The popularity of bridal and wedding magazines confirm this fact. As girls, we love to dream about romance, fairy tales, and the “what ifs” of our future.
However, very few girls spend a lot of time dreaming about the reality of life after the wedding. And even fewer girls spend large quantities of time actually preparing for what that new life will be.
For me, the past five and a half years of marriage have been some of the most amazing years of my life, but they’ve also been some of the hardest.
On a quick side note, this blog post is a part of series of posts we’ve published in the past called, “The Hardest Thing About…”
First, our sister Rebekah wrote a post called “The Hardest Thing About Being a Christian Teen Girl.” Next, Bethany wrote a post called, “The Hardest Thing About Being a Christian Single Girl.” And now, here’s my post – The Hardest Thing About Being a Christian Married Girl.
Marriage is beautiful, romantic, intimate, and exciting. But it’s not always easy.
Unlike any other relationship in our lives, marriage is the only relationship where everything about us is completely and totally exposed. All the good, and all the ugly.
I entered into my marriage Zack knowing it would be awesome and hard, but I wasn’t prepared for something that totally caught me off guard.
For me, the hardest thing about being a Christian married girl is this: Loving my husband selflessly.
During the dating/courtship phase and the engagement phase, life isn’t reality. You’re in a romantic bubble of infatuation where everything about your life revolves around YOU. Your wedding, your ring, your bridesmaids, your future, your fiancé, your venue, your honeymoon, your apartment, your gifts, your plans, your future.
Okay – then you wake up on the other side of the honeymoon and quickly realize, “Oh wait – life doesn’t revolve around me?!” With my sinful flesh already being devoted to self, the extra self-focused mindset I had during the wedding planning season didn’t help me.
During the first year of marriage I was honestly shocked at how hard it was to love my husband selflessly.
Even though I married a really loving and easy-going guy, my selfishness took over when I least expected it. When things didn’t go my way, or we disagreed on something, I was surprised by some of my responses.
Like the time Zack and I completely disagreed on how our budget should be run (I share the full story in Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity). I thought my way was better and totally disagreed with his opinions. Instead of showing him respect as Ephesians 5:33 commands wives to do, I disrespected him and demanded my way.
Or how about the time Zack made a purchase that I thought was totally unreasonable.
Instead of having a kind and loving heart-to-heart chat with him, I crossed my arms and communicated to him in a passive-aggressive kind of way.
And then there’s the time when he wanted to go to one restaurant and I wanted to go to another. Instead of selflessly going where he wanted to go, I kept pushing harder until I got my way.
Unfortunately, selfishness runs in all of our veins from the moment we’re born.
Getting married is no exception to this sin struggle.
As a single girl, I honestly thought I would be waaaaaay less selfish when I got married. I thought becoming a “Mrs.” would somehow automatically mature me in a godly and selfless woman.
Boy, was I wrong.
Getting married has only exposed how truly selfish and self-centered I am.
My biggest advice for any single girl out there is this: don’t wait until you’re married to find out how selfish you are. Look for it now.
Look at the way you treat your siblings and parents. Look at the way you treat your closest friends. Do your interactions portray more of a server or more of a taker? Do you consistently show kindness to your parents when you disagree, or do you show anger? Do you treat your siblings with respect when they’re rude to you? Do you look for extra ways to bless and serve your family and friends?
When the pressure is on and you’re “squeezed,” what comes out?
Does your life overflow with the fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) or the fruits of the flesh (anger, selfishness, harsh words, impatience, sarcasm, unkindness, frustration, etc.)?
Who you are as a single girl is exactly who you’ll be as a married girl. Nothing magical will happen to your character after you get married. Trust me.
Marriage is a wonderful institution designed by God (and I highly recommend it!!), but it will be as hard or as easy as you make it depending on how selfless you’re willing to become.
My biggest encouragement to you as a single girl (or married girl) would be to work hard on developing the Fruits of the Spirit in your life from Galatians 5:22-23 right now. Even after five years of marriage, I’m still working on them!
If you can get a head start now, you will be well on your way to building a solid foundation for your future marriage.
The best way to do this is to build a personal and daily relationship with Christ. We can’t overcome the power of our flesh without His help. And we will never thrive in our lives or our marriages until we live to honor Christ more than to live for ourselves.
Thanks so much for reading this post! I’d love to hear your thoughts below.
- Was there anything is this post that struck you as eye opening or interesting?
- Knowing the reality of your character right now, if you were to get married tomorrow, in what ways would you struggle to be selfless toward your husband?