Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor; for if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up! Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NASB
Exalt the Lord who establishes our steps!
This June I celebrated my one-year wedding anniversary with my husband. It’s been a whirlwind of a year for us: we have lived in four different states, three different time zones, and through two series of intense military training. Over the last year, ‘home’ for us has been our parents’/in-laws’ houses, a hotel, a camper, a four-bedroom rental house with a roommate and our little apartment with our names on the lease.
All of these adventures and opportunities have been catalysts for immense growth in our marriage and spiritual lives.
2022 is expected to have the most marriages since the 1980s, and as a woman in my 20s, my circle of friends is no exception. Three of my dearest friends are getting married in the next few months, and as a celebration of these holy unions I would like to share some words of advice to future brides.
Pray for your soon-to-be husband. The Lord has taught me not to pray for my husband in a laundry list of ‘build the perfect guy’ but to truly pray over his life: pray that he finds new ways to glorify the Lord in his workplace, that he is strengthened by the Spirit every day, and that God places mentors in his life to be like Paul was to Timothy, and dear friends to be like Jonathan was to David.
Grieve your plans, embrace God’s. Even if you have been planning to get married for a long time, there are still going to be unexpected changes that cannot be fully experienced until you are married. Your first holidays shared between families, your relationship with your husband becoming a priority over friendships, and even playing a role in your new family you weren’t prepared for. It is important to process the thoughts and emotions surrounding these changes to prevent overwhelm or even bitterness from taking root. Pray with open hands, surrendering to the Lord what was, then receive what is, and embrace the new and good things He has in store for your new life as a married woman!
Weigh the marriage advice. First, measure any advice against the truths and themes of scripture. Does this advice honor the Lord? Even advice that sounds Christian-ly can still be more cultural than biblical. Then, discuss with your husband and decide together if the advice is something you both want to apply in your marriage. I had many wise older wives give me advice that was well meaning, but once I put it into practice it just did not work for my husband or our marriage. Good marriage advice honors God, the husband, and the wife to be fully beneficial and effective.
Have the hard conversations. Marriage is an exercise in honesty. Before I got married, I was only fully forthcoming with my thoughts, emotions, and dreams with God. I’ve worked hard to be increasingly open, communicative, and honest with my husband, trusting his vow to keep our marriage a safe place for the messiest parts of ourselves. Being more honest cultivates a deep emotional intimacy, and for me, the practice of being honest with my husband has helped me pour out my heart to the Lord through prayer in deeper ways.
To my dear friends approaching marriage, and all other brides-to-be—I am praying for each of you. I thank God that in His sovereignty, He saw fit that we would get to walk into marriages in the same season.
Will you join me in prayer for the new marriages that God is establishing in 2022?
Lord, in your omnipotent perfection, you saw that man should not be alone, and created man and woman to join together that they may serve you as one. I lift up these new marriages to you today—that your Holy Spirit would bind these husbands and wives together and bring them into greater Kingdom purpose through their union. Bring godly and wise marriage mentors for these new couples who can speak your truth into their lives as they adjust to the changes and new roles. Give these couples times of joy and peace to enjoy the gift of marriage and build a strong foundation for decades to come. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Peace and blessings,
Communications Coordinator, National Day of Prayer Task Force