Is There Happiness After The Honeymoon?
Guest Writer : Brittainy Demetrius
I became a “Mrs.” in June of last year and this first year of being a new wife has awarded me quite a few meaningful encounters and noteworthy experiences. The growth process that I have endured has been one with many challenges, both significant and trivial, and my reactions to these challenges have spanned between dramatic and ordinary. In all of this, however, I have seen the Father’s hand move me ever so gently toward His will for my marriage and my life, patiently guiding me away from my own conjectures about being a spouse and a Believer. There are three major lessons that I have learned in my first year, all of which I believe have become staples for the rest of my life as a wife.
- Happiness can’t be found only in your spouse.
There is something about becoming married that causes one to dig into God more than they have ever had to do in their single days. Maybe it’s the fact that you are being placed in a new position and a powerful commitment or maybe it’s the fact that seeing that sock your husband left in the living room can bring out even the deepest of your anger, though it is just a misplaced article of clothing. Whatever the reason, you can rest assured that God is the only One Who can settle your fears or annoyances with your loved one. I had to understand that happiness is something that God gives us control over. He has given us the authority to exhibit self-control over our thoughts and our actions and in order to maintain our happiness we must be able to see people (including our sometimes messy spouses) as He does. As a matter of fact, self-control is even considered a fruit of the spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” –Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
God showed me how to regulate my emotions and reactions through the Holy Spirit, which does wonders for one’s happiness and joy. God wants us to rely on HIM for satisfaction and not our equally human husbands, otherwise you risk placing immense and unnecessary pressure on your spouse to be who only God can be for you. There is nothing wrong with your husband trying to make you happy, and such efforts should be appreciated, but he is not and will never be perfect. Therefore, we have to dig into the Father to soothe us keep us filled with joy.
- Love requires giving up your right to be “right”.
This one was a challenge for me, having had a very independent and confident woman for a mother. I was always raised to think for myself, provide for myself, and to take responsibility for my own thoughts and actions. While on the surface, this may appear to be a great quality, it can be borderline damaging when such confidence bleeds over into a marriage. God gave us husbands so that they may serve as a protective head in our marriages and families. Men are expected by God to lead and guide their wives and children, as explained in Ephesians 5:22-23, which states:
“22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” (NIV)
When you cross that requirement with a (sometimes) sassy-mouthed and self-assured wife, things can get a little rocky. I had to learn how to step aside and allow him to lead the way that he felt God was asking him to. This requires a great deal of trust, trust in God but also in the man that He sent me. God showed me that my husband is to lead with my best interest in mind, always taking into consideration what my needs were, without making me feel inadequate. Having learned this, the two of us were able to strike a balance between me voicing my opinions and him using those opinions along with his own judgment to make choices that were best for us.
- You sort of “grow” into being a spouse
Now, this particular lesson may or may not come as a surprise to you, depending on your experiences in the past. This was a major part of my personal spiritual progression because it challenged what I thought I knew about the role as a wife. I grew up thinking that I had to develop tools to be a wife well before I was married, and while that premise does carry with it some truth, it doesn’t take into consideration that if you’ve never been married, you can’t possibly prepare for it or know (fully) what it is like! There is nothing wrong with preparing one’s self to be a woman who wishes to be a man’s life partner, in covenant with him under the eyes of God, but at one point or another, reality has to set in. We are built to grow. That’s how God designed us. When a man and woman become married, they are one flesh and thus grow together.
“’…and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.” –Mark 8:10 (NIV)
This is why the assumption that a wife is “created” before she walks down the aisle, is a bit faulty, at best. The same goes for men. We have to be willing to give ourselves the room to expand our understanding about the roles that God places us in, because the truth is, you don’t quite know it all while you’re single or dating, and even after you’re married, you still won’t. And that’s okay.
Brittainy Demetrius is a 20-something year old blogger and recent graduate from South Carolina. She is a lover of God, her husband, and great music. You can check out her blog Purity Love Beauty and her Facebook page.