Wow, it seems like yesterday when I first wrote: 30 things I’ve learned in my three minths of marriage. Like play, like play, my Bobo and I have been married three years already. God is really good. Forgive me if this post is short, I am in a race against time. I need to finish up, so I can exercise, have a bath, pick my daughter up from crèche and make dinner. Phew! So straight to the point on this:
In this past year, I quit my job, wrote Selfies With Bible Girls, hosted the Dauntless Conference in three different cities, and I’ve been busier than ever. Imagine if I married someone who didn’t believe in me. Imagine if my husband was a man who didn’t believe that a woman should be in ministry. Imagine if I married someone who was not secure in himself. My husband is not perfect, but he is one of the most important decisions I ever made. Dearie, I know you don’t like reading non-bible stuff, but if you read this, know that I’m very glad I chose you. If you’re single and you’re reading this, please choose intelligently. Don’t be in a rush to go with just anyone that will marry you. Don’t judge a man simply by his looks or the size of his bank account. Go for character. Go for a man who loves God, loves and support you. If you’re a man reading this, the best way you can love your wife is to support her dreams.
DON’T GET TOO BUSY FOR EACH OTHER
I told you I’m in a race against time. What I didn’t tell you is that I need to finish this today and post it tomorrow because we are going on a short holiday the day after tomorrow. It’s our first vacation since our honeymoon. Can you see my thirty-two teeth shining from here? Lol. Couples that drift apart don’t plan to do so. No one wakes up one day and says: ‘I’m not going to have time for my spouse today. I’m going to intentionally get so busy that we become like strangers living in the same house.’ Look at weeds, you don’t have to try to make them grow. But by ignoring them daily, you’ll just wake up one day to find that they have grown considerably. Be intentional about spending time with each other.
STAY IN SHAPE
I just took a break to look at my wedding pictures. The nostalgia is there of course, but there is something else that only I can say about myself. I was fat. Kai. Beautiful, confident, whole and complete, but quite fat. After I had my baby, I added even more weight. And you know my husband isn’t very huge. Lol. He has this boyish figure that I’m hopelessly attracted to. He didn’t threaten me but I know he wanted me to lose weight. I’m so glad I did. Please stay in shape. Regardless of your genes, if you eat right and exercise, you will not be overweight. Please read my weight loss story here.
PULL YOUR WEIGHT
Still on the weight matter. But this is in a different sense of the word. I think it’s important that women contribute financially to the best of their ability. Take your responsibilities as a wife or husband, or a mother or father very seriously
DISCIPLINE YOUR KIDS
Edima is not even two yet, but she already has a will of her own. To a large extent, she knows the difference between right and wrong. But she still needs to be told, many times sternly by mum and dad not to do the wrong thing. Friends, there is nothing cute about a spoilt child. It’s easy to remember this when the child isn’t yours. But we tend to be a little partial when it comes to our kids. I’m not asking you to be too hard on them, but please learn to correct them from a young age.
FORGIVE AND FORGET
Ah! You will forgive in marriage o! You will have to forgive and forget. That’s why I always tell single people to love intelligently in courtship. If someone is already doing what you consider unforgiveable in courtship, perhaps you shouldn’t marry them. Marriage doesn’t change people, it only amplifies who they really are. So learn to walk in forgiveness. As a Christian, the ties that bind you are stronger than marriage. You aren’t just to forgive your spouse because of your marriage vows. You have a stronger bond in Christ; an instruction to love that person as Christ loved you and to forgive as Christ forgave you.
Adam and his wife were naked and not ashamed. You need to tell each other everything. If there is a member of the opposite sex that is flirting with you at the office, tell your spouse. If you made a bad business deal, tell your spouse. Before you make that business deal, tell your spouse. Being open with each other protects you from external forces that may try to hurt your marriage.
YOU CAN CHANGE
I still have a lot of growing to do, but I can tell you that I’m a very different person from the girl that God married three years ago. I think I’m a lot more patient, and I don’t respond to stuff as emotionally as I used to. Notice I said ‘not as emotionally.’ I’m still the emotional type, but I’ve grown a lot in the area of being led by the spirit of God instead of my emotions. Stop behaving funny and saying that’s how you are. Who you really are can accept correction. Who you really are is a new man in Christ who doesn’t yield to the lust of the flesh. If your spouse has been complaining about the same thing since you got married, perhaps now is the best time to intentionally work on it. You can change for the better.
I know, it’s been three years, but there are still some Asoebis I cannot afford and I’m not ashamed to say it. By God’s grace, we are in a more stable place financially then we were years ago and I’m grateful for that. But I’ve always been blessed because I’ve always been content. I think contentment is an important lesson that will help you in marriage and beyond. You don’t have to give birth abroad because that is what your friends are doing. If as a couple, you can’t afford it, be content and make the best financial decision possible. You don’t have to keep comparing your spouse to someone else’s spouse. If the grass looks greener on the other side, it’s because someone is tending it. So you tend yours properly.
SOMETHINGS ARE BETTER KEPT PRIVATE
There are things that have happened between my husband and I that we will most likely take to our graves. Let me clarify what I’m saying here. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t get counsel when there is a crisis in your marriage. Although I don’t care much for third party interference, I have seen the right counsel from the right people save many marriages and I would advise that. But I feel there are private jokes, private discussions and even private arguments that should stay between you two. Your spouse should be able to trust you to control certain kinds of information.
BUILD THE FRIENDSHIP
If you’re marrying someone, you’ll most likely see them at their angriest, dirtiest, and probably at their poorest. That’s why I always advise people to marry their friends. If you’re already married and you weren’t good friends before then, seek to build the friendship. That is one thing that will stand the test of time.
I used to think that the popular prayer, ‘grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change’ was a weak one…I mean, I’m a leader, and influencer, I can change anything. You cannot change people. I repeat you cannot change anyone. That’s one thing I tell ladies who go on missionary dating because they want to change the guy. If the love of God cannot change someone, what is so special about your love? Christ died on the cross for him, but it makes no difference, how much more you who did not shed your blood? If you’re single, this must be your mindset: If this person does not change, can we have a happy home? No one is perfect, but this is something you must come to terms with within the limits of reason. By that I don’t mean someone is physically abusing you, and you say you understand him. Better understand him from far away and protect yourself. That said, marriage has taught me to be understanding towards my husband. I still have a long way to go, but I can tell what state he is in at nearly every point in time and how best to approach issues with him.
There will be loads of big changes in your life. Just when you’re recovering from Baby 1, baby 2 can show up. You may move house, lose a loved one, start living in a different city, change jobs, have to end some friendships. As long as your foundation is Christ, the unshakable rock that never changes, you’ll be just fine.
EVERY MARRIAGE IS DIFFERENT…
As in eh…no two marriages are the same. You can learn from others, but don’t compare, be content with yours.
…BUT THE PRINCIPLES ARE THE SAME
Everyone has an idea about marriage, follow the one whose idea it was in the first place. Man, love, woman, submit. Both of you, submit to one another in love and submit to God. If you grow in your personal walk with God, you will be a better spouse.
Thanks for reading. It’s not unlikely that I missed out some lessons I learned in my first and second years of marriage because of the rush to write this post. But have no fear. You can read them here:
Please share your thoughts in the comments section. Looking forward to reading from you.