“What’s for dinner, darling?” Joshua asked a few months after we got married.
“Well,” I answered, “I was going to make lasagna but we don’t have any lettuce.”
He looked at me puzzled. “What do you need lettuce for?”
“For salad,” I answered, surprised at his puzzled expression. “We can’t have lasagna without salad!”
In the twenty-one years leading up to that day, I don’t recall ever having lasagna without salad. They go together so well and the thought of eating one without the other was like trying to imagine a PB&J without the jelly. Apparently, lasagna and salad are not generally considered as inseparable as peanut butter and jelly and we had a good laugh about it.
“How did you transition between singleness and marriage? Was it difficult? Were there some things about marriage that surprised you?” These were the questions that prompted this post.
Joshua and I had a wonderful courtship (read our story here) that helped make the transition from single life to married surprisingly easy.
Still marriage, like life, is full of surprises. Surprises about your husband, about yourself, and about the road you are now traveling together.
Many of the surprises were humorous ones that arise whenever two backgrounds or cultures meld into one: like learning that you can eat lasagna without salad.
Some of the surprises weren’t so funny.
We got pregnant less than a month after our wedding, and though thrilled about the pregnancy, my hormones had never been on a more exhausting roller-coaster. I probably cried more those first three months of pregnancy than I had in my entire life up to that point… and generally didn’t have the faintest rational reason for the tears.
Joshua was so patient and loving, but I’m sure he occasionally wondered what on earth he’d gotten himself into. I was alarmed at myself and worried that I might never again make it through an entire day without randomly bursting into tears. (Don’t worry, I have.)
Marriage is a new adventure in the journey of life. Surprises are part of any good adventure and help us learn and grow to become more Christ-like, if we let them.
In another twenty or thirty years I might be ready to start giving solid marriage advice, but looking back on the almost seven years of marriage we’ve enjoyed so far, there are a few lessons I’ve learned (or am learning) from the surprises of marriage.
Lessons learned from the surprises of marriage
- If you wait for your very first kiss until your wedding day, with an audience of over five hundred, and it isn’t all you’d dreamed, don’t despair. Your second kiss will be much better and your second thousandth kiss even better.
- Be honest. Honesty requires vulnerability. Sometimes it’s much easier to say “Oh, nothing’s the matter” than to choose honesty. Choose honesty anyway. (Something I’m still working on!)
- Honesty is great, but it’s possible to be honest and rude or whiny at the same time. That isn’t so great. Temper honesty with respectfulness and humility.
- Rejoice in your differences. God uses our differences to help us grow.
But if there were only one thing I could encourage young brides, it would be this: make sure your expectations and trust are grounded first in Christ, not your husband.
Joshua is faithful, thoughtful, smart, and one who beautifully lives out Christ’s love toward me. I am incredibly grateful that I get to be his wife. But Joshua, like all men, is still human. So is your husband.
Our ultimate hope and trust and fulfillment don’t belong on the shoulders of a man. They belong at the foot of the cross.