A long time ago, in the Garden of Eden, marriage was created and established by God. As Genesis 2:24, explains, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
However since then, God’s beautifully designed union between a man and a woman has been affected by the sinfulness of humankind, making it challenging for a wife to know how to caringly navigate its daily ups-and-downs to make it work.
And with the world offering a multitude of opinions about what makes a good marriage, a bride-to-be is hearing a throng of voices giving her advice on when to marry, what kind of man to marry, how to treat her husband, and much, much more.
So how does a wife-to-be weed through all the differing beliefs to start her married life on the right path? How does she distinguish between worldly thoughts, practices, and attitudes to discover God’s plan for wedded bliss?
Here are 5 truths about marriage every bride needs to know before marrying.
1. Marriage Allows Imperfection
Present day society likes to hold-up “It Couples,” as examples of what marriages should be like. These “Power Couples” are usually unions between popular, powerful, rich, and beautiful celebrity-type people who are seen as the world’s idea of a perfect match.
But biblical marriage is about an imperfect woman and an imperfect man uniting in marriage. It involves a couple in their imperfections leaning and relying on a holy God’s ability to refine and work through each of their strengths and weaknesses to create a perfect union.
Still it doesn’t take long after the honeymoon for a new husband’s pre-marriage illusion of perfection starts to fade in the eyes of his wife, causing many a woman to wonder what she’s gotten herself into by entering marriage.
A new bride, who may have entered confidently into marriage, may start to feel insecure, thinking she isn’t perfect enough for her spouse. When the intimacy marriage brings between two people starts to kick into full gear, hidden fears of inadequacy often begin surfacing.
Sadly as daily life exposes each other’s imperfections, many wives question if they made the right decision in marrying, often looking for a way out of holy matrimony.
But God wants us to trust the marriage process He has designed for us. The process where He works through a wife and husband to reveal and renew places of brokenness that need healing; a union where God is at work, daily refining, restoring, and transforming them into His image (Colossians 3:10), the One who truly is Perfect (Matthew 5:48).
Although the world tries to make us think we need to reach perfection before we can be loved, God chose to love us in our imperfection (1 Thessalonians 1:4). Because He loves us, we can live secure in His love and also reach out in love to our husband in his imperfection.
2. Marriage Thrives with Forgiveness
Progressive thinking tells wives if a husband fails or disappoints them to lose him. Get rid of him. Dump him because a woman deserves better.
But expecting a husband to never disappoint, hurt, or let a wife down, quickly leads to disillusionment in marriage. The truth is husbands unintentionally, and sometimes on purpose, hurt their wives out of their own wounds and hurts.
To start marriage right, every bride needs to be willing to forgive her husband on a continual basis, to be open to consoling, comforting, and forgiving him when he messes up. As Ephesians 4:32 encourages, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Even more so, God has designed marriage so that a wife’s compassionate responses provide a way for Him to bring godly sorrow and healing to broken areas in her husband’s life. Like 1 Peter 3:1-2 explains, God is able to reach a husband through his wife’s pure and reverent responses.
3. Marriage Is All about Giving In
Although the Baby Boomers “Me” generation encouraged women to have a self-involved attitude towards marriage, this one-sided view only leads wives to feel dissatisfied and always wanting more. Marriage isn’t about getting—it’s about giving.
Biblical marriage calls couples to yield to one another, which is a concept not warmly received in today’s relationship climate, especially when it comes to wives giving in to husbands. As Ephesians 5:21 urges, both men and women are called to “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
The truth is, in submitting to each another, we are really surrendering to the Lord, which makes our giving in not based on whether the other person deserves or has earned it, but out of love for the One we serve.
Although many a wife has gotten hung up on Ephesians 5:22, an unpopular verse encouraging wives to submit to their husbands, if women read further into Ephesians 5:25, they’ll see how God calls men to sacrificially love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.
4. Marriage Keeps Guard
Numerous cultural influencers like to present marriage as a less than fulfilling role for females by highlighting the way they see marriage robbing women from living their lives to the fullest, reaching their full potential, and attaining all that they deserve in life.
If not careful, this message of discontentment can seep into women’s hearts and minds without them even realizing it’s influencing their thinking and attitudes towards their husbands.
Through films, television shows, books, articles and more, storylines are leading viewers and readers away from God’s biblical guidelines for relationships and marriage. Without even knowing, little by little, women can be lead astray and away from God’s truth.
Because this message is so prevalent in our world today, Proverbs 4:23 urges us to “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Letting our guard down concerning the importance of marriage starts by thinking we can consume worldly ideas and not be affected by them. But if we believe we’re strong enough to partake and resist ungodly influences as we do, then we’ve swung the door wide open to being led away from God’s guidelines and safeguards for marriage.
Guarding our hearts from what the world is telling us about marriage involves continually keeping God’s design for marriage at the forefront of our thoughts, trusting His way is perfect and will bring life to us.
5. Marriage Takes Time
Popular culture tells us if a marriage isn’t easy then it must not be right, because good marital relationships don’t require a lot of work—they’re just “right.”
Additionally, many experts see conflict—or when a wife and husband seem out-of-sync in a relationship—as a sign the couple isn’t meant to be together.
On the reality television series “Married At First Sight,” relationship experts match singles together, who meet for the first time at the wedding altar. Usually before the ceremonies, all the brides-to-be state how much they want to be married, so much so they are willing to risk marrying a stranger.
But after the wedding and newlywed life starts to unfold, most of the first sight unions begin to unravel. The brides who were so confident about marrying start feeling differently, realizing marriage is harder than they thought, more effort than they imagined, and just not fun and easy like they thought it would be.
Too easily the wives become disenchanted with their new husbands, complaining he isn’t meeting their preconceived ideas about marriage. Many also express feelings of disappointment about married life not living up to their expectations. Too soon their disillusionments bring them to the conclusion they are two very different people and just aren’t a good marriage match.
Sadly at the end of the series, only couples truly committed to staying married achieve success, the ones who understand their differences help them to grow and mature in new and beneficial ways.
As Jesus explains in Mark 10:6-8, “But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh.”
God knows how to transform two very different individuals into a unified couple. Still, cultivating and nurturing oneness in their lives takes time. As Jesus reminds us in Mark 10:9, “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Photo Credit: © Unsplash/Chein Pham
Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, StartMarriageRight.com, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.
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