Dear Ladies Getting Married:

Dear Lady Getting Married,

When you get married everyone and their dog (in some cases the cat, you know those crazy cat ladies) give you marriage advice. I got every kind of advice you could think of. Biblical and sometimes not. I feel like I heard horror stories and wonderful rainbow stories about how marriage is and can I just be the first to be completely honest with you? It’s both!

I can remember when Caleb and I first got married I panicked a few times and hid in my closet to cry (one time just because he was hitting his fork on his teeth to eat and I thought, “what am I gonna do? This is the rest of my life!” Seriously, now you know how shallow I am. Anyway, I can also remember that it was the “honeymoon phase” and everything was perfect and beautiful and wonderful and you’re so in love you can’t even tell what reality is. I guess most people go through that.

For us, as we go through our marriage, I can be honest and say that we also have days that we annoy the crud out of each other. He can be honest and tell you that himself, too. We have definitely already had our share of ups and downs. Trying to have a baby and the struggle that is, is crazy! I can’t even go into the emotional roller coaster that can be. But all in all we love each other and are thankful the Lord brought us together.

Today I went to breakfast with a girl I grew up with and it was so fun catching up. Then I went to a wedding shower and on my home I was thinking about something my friend I grew up said at breakfast. She kept doting on her husband and I love that! I kept thinking, “yeah, I get it, because if you only knew how awesome Caleb is.” On the way home from the shower I was thinking (almost in la la land) about how much I truly do love him. How the Lord has just flourished this wonderful love for him in me. I can’t even explain it. It’s so crazy to think about how much you love him when you get married and you’re going through that time and you are just head over hills. Then to think when the “honeymoon phase” is over you expect to be “old farts” that live in a house together.

But that’s what I’m here to tell you about, it really isn’t that way! Especially when you allow the Lord to be the center of your marriage. He miraculously changes your heart everyday (and we do not have a perfect marriage just for the record). But everyday even when I’m annoyed or aggravated or whatever, I still love him so much. I thought today how awesome it is that I didn’t think this kind of love was even possible or maybe I didn’t even realize there was such a love. When you get married your in the head-over-hills-so-in-love you still get butterflies stage of love that you think “THIS IS IT!” But it’s not! We haven’t been married forever, just two years, but in those two years my heart has loved more than I knew possible and my brain is blown away that I can love another person like I do and be loved by another person the way that he loves me.

So, to all of you girls getting married I just wanted to give you some real raw advice and try not to be too mushy:

THERE IS NOTHING GOD CAN’T BRING YOU THROUGH AND HE ALONE IS SOVEREIGN OVER ALL THINGS. TRUST HIM IN ALL THINGS!

LOVE YOUR HUSBAND IN ALL THINGS (even when he scraps his teeth to his fork)

RESPECT YOUR HUSBAND. This was something I didn’t really know how to do and I fail daily at, but try my hardest to show respect and tell him how great he is and how great all the things are that he does are, because they are!

BE HONEST WITH EACH OTHER

GIVE YOUR MARRIAGE TO GOD AND ALLOW HIM TO TRANSFORM YOU THROUGH HIS WORD, SO THAT YOU CAN BE A WIFE TO YOUR HUSBAND THAT ENCOURAGES, RESPECTS, BUILDS HIM UP (Be the bride you were created to be).

REMEMBER THAT YOU WILL FAIL AT ALL THESE THINGS ON YOUR OWN AND YOU NEED CHRIST TO DO ANY OF THEM

REMEMBER THAT YOU AREN’T PERFECT! AND YOUR HUSBAND ISN’T EITHER!

FORGIVE YOURSELF AND FORGIVE YOUR HUSBAND ALWAYS!!!!

ALLOW YOURSELF TO FALL IN LOVE WITH HIM OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER. After realizing that God can and will deepen our love for each other and that He loves us more deeply than we can ever possibly imagine and now knowing an earthly love that is more than anything I have ever known, I can see just a little bit of a glimpse of what it truly means to not even comprehend the Father’s love for us. I also am looking so much more forward to the future of our marriage because I know that God will just continue to move and transform each of us and grow our love for each other and I am excited that for the rest of our lives that we get to fall in love over and over with each other and deeper and deeper. And in doing this understanding just a little bit more and more how much deeper and wider our Father’s love is for us.

REMEMBER THAT MARRIAGE ISN’T ABOUT YOUR HAPPINESS, IT’S ABOUT HOLINESS AND BEING A REPRESENTATION OF THE CHURCH You are iron sharpening iron and you are called to be holy as Christ is holy. You are being used to build each other up and help refine each other through accountability, vulnerability, and truth. You aren’t called to live happily ever after, but holiness brings about a joy and love that you could never experience  in a mediocre “happy ever after life.” I mean, who wants that made up Disney crap anyway? It isn’t real!