Four and a half months in
I would like to tell some of the things I’ve learned over the course of the last few months. These are things I wish I had known about going in and have had to learn the hard way.
In their latest book Love & War: Finding the Marriage You’ve Dreamed Of. John and Stasi Eldredge say how surprised they were at all the difficulties they faced in their marriage. We too were surprised that this is hard!
Necessary Ingredient #1: Trusted Advisors
I have found that I needed other married men to discuss things with. There are neighborhoods in my mind that are too dangerous for me to visit without someone else along. My advisors have been invaluable to me in reasoning things out.
Necessary Ingredient #2: Willingness
When things are tough, it is easy to blame the other person for our pain. But I have found that trying to focus on the other person doesn’t get me anywhere.
I have to be willing to realize that my pain is caused by my issues and brokenness. We all have baggage/issues/areas we aren’t proud of. We may already know some of them. Marriage will bring out a whole new set of “character defects” that will cause us pain and our spouse pain.
We have to be willing to face ourselves, admit when we are wrong, and make amends when appropriate.
Necessary Ingredient #3: Courage
I’ve had to have courage to be willing face making changes in ourselves.
Necessary Ingredient #4: Love the Lord Your God with all your Heart, with all your Soul, with all your Mind, and all your Strength (Matt 22:37)
Most importantly, we must have a strong relationship with God. I firmly believe that I cannot do the things I need to do in my own strength. I have too many changes to make. I cannot figure out any of this on my own. It is only my relationship with Our Lord that enables me to move forward and know that by seeking His will, I will stay on the right course.
What have you learned that you would pass along to those of us who are new?