Written by: Marissa Msefya
In 2017, we celebrated 3 years of marriage and I felt led to share some of the lessons, insights and experiences on Facebook. Below is a compilation of the reflections shared.
Days skipped: 5, 11, 14, 16, 18
Day 3: As a Christian wife, one of my (many) jobs is to look after the affairs of my household (based on proverbs 31) and to provide a peaceful and loving environment for Joseph as my husband. This is both physical and spiritual but I realized that I cannot discern this on my own. This can look different household to household… keeping things tidy, managing bills, quietness, positive reinforcement, screening visitors, less arguing, etc.
Day 4: A strong, visible and active marriage ministry in our church is desirable and important. It wouldn’t be wise to seek guidance from the world, especially since it can be discouraging and misaligned with the word… right? Who are we looking up to when our peers are getting divorced? I realized that my expectations for our church were higher than I thought.
Day 6: God is faithfull!!
Day 7: I honestly do not believe in arguing/fighting in marriage. Disagreements are natural. Ultimately my fight or “battle” should always be in prayer not with man. This also eliminates the spouse gossip and the “girl let me tell you what just happened” syndrome. MYOB.
Day 8: The lack of positive marital examples during childhood is not a good excuse… There are books, conferences, podcasts, and other resources to provide insight to what this thing is all about. Shout out to premarital counseling!
Day 9: It is ok to revisit expectations (and discuss changes). We are human so we may forget. Setting aside a time to revisit the same expectations that were shared in the engagement stage provides clarity of gray areas, increases understanding and is overall a good communication practice that encourages open dialogue.
Day 10: Marriage is not 50/50…it requires 100% from each spouse.
“Fairness” is a myth…it doesnt exist and the word is misleading.There will be times where one spouse may not be physically, emotionally or spirtually able to give their all but that’s the beauty of team work! Where one lacks the other steps in and both husband and wife petition God and encourage one another in their areas of improvement. #BeALLin
Day 12: I thought I was patient…then I married my better half and realized he is the definition of patience and provides a daily example of the fruit we are supposed to bear in life but especially in marriage. Marriage is a journey so patience goes a loooooong way. Isn’t it funny how God uses our spouses to improve us and bring Him glory?!
Day 13: we all hear “keep God first” as newly married couples but no one breaks down what it looks like or discusses the benefits/outcomes: spiritual intimacy–>emotional intimacy–>physical intimacy (this is actually cyclic and not linear).
Day 15: It is possible for two different people from two different countries, different upbringings, different personalities and interests to take their differences and make them assets in marriage. It’s our differences that makes our love strong! Challenging BUT #itispossible.
Day 17: As I reflect on my 3rd year of marriage, I understand how God is stretching us and preparing us in year 3 for year 4! Some major accomplishments, confirmations, and breakthroughs happened this year!
The number three is symbolic in the bible for turning points, revelations, pivotal moments, etc. In the bible, the number often quantifies people (e.g.three sons of Benjamin) and the duration and frequency of events. For example:
– Jonah in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights (Jonah 1:17)
– At 3pm, Jesus cries out to God asking why he had forsaken him just before he died (Matt.27:46)
– Daniel mourned for three weeks (Dan.10:2-3)
– After the end of each event, there was a pivotal moment!
Day 19: Marriage has opened my eyes and broadened my understanding of what God’s order is for family and the reason for the order: 1. husband 2. wife 3. children. I knew what the bible said years ago, but knowledge and application are different without many examples. So, with that being said, it is so important that this order is established early to set an example for the (future) children. Then, they will understand how marriage was designed: The husbands love for his wife, the wife’s submission to him, and their service to one another. Prayerfully, our example will cause them to grow up and be mindful of this order (because of the example in their household), marry and continue this cycle for generations and generations to come!
Day 20: I never imagined being a military wife but I became one anyway hmmm…
I got a quick glance of the sacrifice that comes with this role when joseph decided to join the army 11 months before our wedding and he was sent to Missouri. Since “I do”, we have been a part from each other for a total of approx. 208 days…and those times apart has strengthened our agape love and clarified the importance of family. He often thanks me for my sacrifice because he understands its not easy.
Sacrifice looks different in every marriage. When the words “I do” are exchanged you don’t know what the next day, week or month may bring (ex.new business venture, new interest, new job, etc.), but we support our spouses through it all…even when we don’t want to!
Day 21: We are on mission at ALL times! We often get comments such as “I love y’all love for each other”, “you are glowing” and “Marriage looks good on you” …thank you for the compliments but I know that all of what you see is a result of God’s GRACE. He gives us the glow and the joy. So I thank God for the fruit and using us as his vessels to promote his kingdom through our marriage and I pray the way we love each other restores marital hope and provides a positive example of marriage to the world.
Day 22: It’s easy to get caught up in all the things that need to be done, what didn’t get done and should be done, the bills, the job, and other activities but the spouse takes precedence (right after God). The date nights are important and are def a priority. The one on one time is a must. But even further, the QUIET time is invaluable because this is when you are in your most vulnerable state…no music, no TV, no phone…nothing to distract your inner most feelings. Thoughts are revealed and discussed, goals are created, pains are healed and friendship is strengthened.
Day 23: Age, experience or the number of years married has nothing to do with when or how you will be used to testify to others about marriage. God will place you in uncomfortable situations (such as a dinner table with super religious and inquisitive married folk that you have never met and look nothing like you)…yes He is funny.
I almost missed my opportunity after being asked a question by a young newlywed couple (only 1 day to be exact) about marital advice. I paused.
I knew what I wanted to say but I knew that the other six people at the table would be staring down my throat. I took the chance. I almost missed my opportunity to share the purpose of marriage revealed to me during my journey, but I obeyed the probing of the spirit. I was thanked and praised by couples of 15 and 20 years in the game for what I stated, but my praise belongs to God!
Day 24: A year prior to our wedding, a family friend gave me the best piece of advice: choose your battles
We hear this all the time because it’s a common principle in life. This is also a important principle in marriage because it can save the headache, frustration, high blood pressure and whatever else. I learned the following:
- Poise questions that will lead to more understanding.
2. Silence is ok and does not equate to avoidance.
3. No conflict/issue should become greater than the love for one another.