life + marriage

1st 365 Days of Marriage – Part 1

If I were to have written this blog post before marrying my husband, I could say with absolute certainty that what I am about to tell you would have been so, so different. At that time, if I had put together a “what to expect” or a “what you will learn” article it may have been “factual” at best…but not true. It would not have been through the eyes of life experience. So, in honor of our first year of marriage, I am so excited to share my personal ten “lessons” learned, along with the growth I’ve experienced through each lesson. It will be split into two parts, and I hope it will be of value to you!

My husband, David, and I were married on August 25, 2018; it was an oddly chilly day for the end of August but everything was perfect. It was the beginning of the best days of our lives together.

As the bible says in Ephesians 5:31

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” – NKJV

I don’t think I fully understood what this scripture meant until we were probably nine or ten months in – crazy right! I say that because I didn’t realize that despite walking out life side by side with my husband, there were areas in my life that I hadn’t fully given to “us” (I could totally relate this to our individually walk with Jesus, but I’ll leave that for another blog).

I can attest that during the growth of this past year the Lord has downloaded these nuggets of truth and revelations in our marriage. Truly life changing! I want you to know that these ten personal “lessons” are not made up or fabricated in anyway but were truly lived and walked through, some with breeze and others with a few tears and in the raw. It’s not always easy to be vulnerable, even with the very person you are meant to be vulnerable with…but I do know that great things come from it.

Whether you have been married for years, newly married, engaged, or desire to be married, I truly believe you will see the value of these lessons and strengths within your marriage. I cannot say enough about how beautiful and sincerely good marriage is! God created marriage, and marriage is awesome! I encourage you to embrace the truth of the lessons and scripture that I share below, and enjoy the awesomeness.

So here we go!

1. You can’t have pride and work together

This was a major realization for the both of us this past year. No one really sees himself or herself as prideful but most of us tend to have it hidden until you step into living life with your husband or wife. As obvious as it sounds, you go from talking on the phone and hanging out at café’s or going to movies to sharing the depths of life and sleeping in the same bed – you simply see more of one another.

“Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!” – Romans 12:16 (NLT)

Pride can have you subconsciously or even consciously looking, thinking and acting as if you are the only person in the world that matters. It can make you believe that you could never do any wrong. We’ve all been there. It wasn’t until we realized the scenarios in which our pride would arise most – (during disagreements, times when we would neglect each others physical needs, being overly defensive against constructive criticism, not wanting help with something, finding faults in each other without looking at ourselves first) – that we were able to check the direction of our thoughts and conversations by reminding ourselves that “it’s not all about me”.

“Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant.” – 1Cor 13:4 (AMP)

As you may have heard a thousand times over a key aspect in marriage – is Love. It wasn’t until we changed our thinking and language from “I” to “we” that we began to see any movement away from pride and toward selflessness.

Some other Bible verses concerning pride: James 4:6 (NTL), Proverbs 11:2 (NLT), Proverbs 13:10 (NLT)

2. You’re on the same team

Teamwork makes the dream work!

Please excuse the cliché, but when you have a great team like the classic Kobe and Shaq from the LA Lakers, you win NBA Championships! They had a winning streak from 2000-2002 and they could not have made it happen without faithfully working together.

Kobe Bryant & Shaquille O’neal 1999-2000 LA Lakers Championship

I’m sure we have all heard the phrase there is no “I” in Team? That’s because in order to create a team there has to be more than one person striving for the prize.

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NLT)

The first few months of marriage I was so independently minded that I didn’t really share many of my goals or ideas because I wanted to do it all then bring back the good news and success. That didn’t last long.

We recognized that the arguments that were taking place only inhabited us from moving forward – from winning together! It became so clear to me how powerful the two of us being a team was when I realized we were actually going after the same thing – our dreams, our future! Not only personally but for our home. We realized that the only way our future would be as bright as it is meant to be was by creating it together in Christ. There is no better teammate than Jesus!

Some other Bible verses concerning teamwork: Eph 4:2-3 (AMP), 1 Thes 5:11 (AMP), Eph 4:32 (NKJV)

3. Let Him Lead

This topic may get some controversy but it’s biblical and I love it!

“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as [a service] to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as Christ is head of the church, Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives should be subject to their husbands in everything [respecting both their position as protector and their responsibility to God as head of the house].” – Eph 5:22-24 (AMP)

How beautiful it was for me to know that God will lead my little family through the covering and leading of my husband. Before David and I were married he showed evidence, ownership, and confidence in this very position he knew he would have as the head of our home – how secure this made feel.

It wasn’t until we were married that I witnessed the fruit of his position in the home. Seeing everything he promised while we were courting and engaged come to pass with so much strength and love, it amazed me. When things did not always look the best he always continued to speak life and the word of God over it all. Knowing that I could trust the God in him was a big deal and so worth it.

4. Prayer is Pivotal

This is something I learned to not live without. Early on in our marriage there would be day’s maybe even weeks that would go by without me truly spending intimate time alone with the Lord, and you could tell; my husband could tell.

“16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”– 1 Thes 5:16-18 (NKJV)

I realized that I was so caught up in being a new wife, spending time with my new husband, taking care of our new home, and working at my new position, that I found myself being too “busy” to spend time with God. This created a wide open door for me to become easily irritated, upset, and at times even offended by the little things – it was terrible!

The closer we are with God the closer we are with each other.

It all changed once I took action on the 1 Thessalonians verse above, it literally was a pivotal moment in our very young marriage. We realized that spending time together was something we loved, but spending time with Jesus is even better and had to be made a priority. I then became more aware of the significance of praying about even the small things, the daily things, and how much of a difference praying for those small things really makes.

We know from experience and from the word of God that being filled with the presence and joy of the Lord not only strengthens your inner being (your spirit) but it takes your marriage to a whole new level, because you are no longer loving, serving, and caring out of your own strength but through Christ who strengthens you. It may sound cliché but it’s true – We can do nothing to the fullest without God!

Prayer is ultimately the starting point to a deeper relationship with God (outside of reading His word), which in turn will create a deeper relationship with your spouse!

“The LORD is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth.” – Psalm 145:18 (NLT)

Some other Bible verses concerning teamwork: 1 John 5:14-15 NKJV, 2 Chronicles 7:14 (AMP), Eph 6: 17-18 (NKJV), Mark 11:24 (AMP), Luke 6:12 (NLT), Phil 4:6 (NKJV), 1John 5:14-15 (AMP)

5. “Listen to me”

“It is always better to listen than to speak.”
I’m sure you’ve heard this many times, I know I have and I know it to be true.
Whether speaking to a big time business owner or a professor in a classroom they both have something you need or want to hear; the same goes for our spouses.
I know as a woman it is easy to talk, and talk, and talk some more not even realizing that we have yet to listen to what he wants to say, or when he does speak we don’t always “hear” what he is saying; at least that was how it was for me. It becomes a matter of serving the other person by letting them know that you care about what they have to say – no matter the context.

“19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” – James 1:19 (NLT)

…So there you have it! Thanks so much for reading the first half of my 10 lessons learned in our 1st 365 Days of Marriage!

Part 2 coming soon!

Love & Blessings,

Tanika Marie


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