Barely one month before our marriage, Sheetal and I went through some really hard times. I soon realised that I was yet to know much about my future marriage-partner, much less about the unexperienced, uncharted “World of Marriage”. I didn’t want to be foolish by staying in the dark.
So I began asking questions, reading books and discussing different practical aspects of marital life with experienced folks in my church family. I appreciate everyone who played an important role in our marriage, especially both our parents, my sister, our church family in Wanowrie and in Pune at large, and various other people who genuinely cared for where we were at.
But those days, my cry used to be : “Can someone just honestly share their new marriage experience in a blog or a book, PLEASE!”
Nearly 7 months into my marriage now, which I am sure qualifies us to counsel the World-Wide Web, Sheetal and I share some of our individual assumptions and reality-checks about our marriage:
1. Our different upbringings played a big role in how we both perceived and expected marriage partners to be. For example, my husband feels perturbed by arguments that I feel are non-issues. Be ready for differences in how you and your partner perceive various aspects of life.
2. I assumed my husband would not help me with household chores. Thank God, I was wrong!
3. Your husband could compare your behaviour with that of his siblings or with that of his mother.
4. Expect differences in the way you arrange things and your husband “arranges” things at home. You could want things inside cabinets, but fully expect your husband to want a LOT of stuff cluttered on the table for the sake of “visibility”. Argh !
5. When I committed to marrying Aravind, I assumed he was someone who wouldn’t keep unwanted stuff in the house. Turns out, he is a hoarder!
6. You might love using sarcasm in jokes; your husband may not appreciate it at all.
1. Some of us Christian men might assume that the battle for sexual purity lasts only till one enters the intimacy of the marriage bed. You might think the temptation to masturbate could be a thing of the past.
That is simply not true.
After marriage, the temptation can be higher, because the person has atleast now, experienced sexual intimacy. Now is the time to guard your heart and look for help more than ever. Guys, please don’t think marriage will make you immune to sins that has devoured the services of “mighty” men of God, beginning with King David (Ps 51). God’s grace is present- so that we put sin to death (Rom 6:10-12).
Until we enter our King’s presence. Until then.. your heart must be your wife’s alone; you must make war against sin. If avoiding temptation means not sitting up late at night alone, then follow Christ by sleeping on time with your wife.
2. Married life will not be all about having sex. Think of sexual intimacy as a way to serve your wife- to give her joy, not something you grab at because “I-am-your-leader”. Ask God to give your self-control and humility here.
Also, please ask your wife what “menstruation, PMS and periods” look like in her life. It will spare you a lot of trouble.
3. Your wife’s spiritual life would usually be directly proportional to how eager you are to study the Bible and to be in prayer. If I want Sheetal to have a God-honouring life , it may not happen until I lead her by example. Now you must say, “I-am-your-leader”.
4. If your wife uses rude language, you have no right to use such words back at her. Remember our Lord said – do to others what you would have them do to you (Matt 7:12). Maybe this is a good time to remember that we deserve much more than injustice- we deserve hell. But God sent His Son instead.
5. You may have heard it said – “I love your music; I love Switchfoot & Relient K songs”. But I tell you, assume not that she shall love your brand of music after marriage. When she doesn’t want to listen, thou shalt love her by pressing the pause button, or by using earphones.
6. Thou shalt not use earphones to isolate thyself from thy wife’s requests and needs. If thou thinkest thine music or ‘mood’ is more important than thine wife’s problems, thou needest a spanking for acting like a spoilt child. Grow up into Christ-likeness.
7. Expect women to be complicated. Expect your wife’s moods to ride roller-coasters. After all, you are marrying a sinner saved by grace. If your fiancee seems understanding, caring and sensible today, please expect all that to change in major ways. Don’t be scared though, if you have Jesus as your master- you will face painful situations while on His mission with your wife- but you will have nothing to fear because He is the one overcomes the world- nothing surprises Him.
Does any of this help you?
I hope it does! Would you like to share from your experience? Please write in your comments!