Tiffani (my wife) is not perfect. There are nuances about her that frustrate me. But I realize these frustrations are really a result of my imperfections. I love her so much. And I love her more every day. I am committed to her.
I meet too many young people waiting for something that is not real. “I just couldn’t marry her because she smacked her food.” “He just wasn’t the one … he had this weird twitch when he smiled. But I know my soul mate is still out there. I just have to keep looking.”
Or you might have just missed him or her.
What if God does not want you to find a perfect person, but an imperfect person that will draw you closer to Him? What if God desires you to marry a person with flaws to expose yours? What if God wants to teach you the value found in committing to one person forever, not the exhausting pursuit of searching your entire life to find the perfect person?
Soul mates are made … not born.
3) The first year of marriage is hard … really hard.
What have we done? Are we going to make it? Why is this so hard? All questions I asked myself many times during my first year of marriage. We were arguing. We were fighting. It was really hard. And every day I thought something was wrong. I thought we had a bad marriage. Nobody warned me about the first year. But take this as a warning … the first year of marriage is difficult.
If you are in the first year of marriage and thinking about giving up … congratulations. You are now … married!
But let me encourage you … things get better. Every marriage has struggles. Yours is not unique. Don’t give up. There are better days coming. Your marriage will get better. Do not walk out. Nothing worth having comes easy. If you walk out now you disqualify yourself (and your spouse) from years of joy.
4) A spouse does not complete you.
I hate you, Jerry Maguire. You brainwashed a generation to believe a lie. Spouses do not complete people. I bought this lie, and it wasn’t until I let go of any notion my wife could fill some void that I was able to truly love her. Until then, I was always frustrated. I expected Tiffani to do something she was incapable of doing.
If you are empty, broken or insecure, and you believe a spouse is the silver bullet to your problems … buckle up. Marriage will be a bumpy ride. Only God can fill those voids. You will never be able to enjoy the beauty of marriage if your spouse’s job is to complete you.
You can’t experience joy in your marriage if your spouse’s job is to complete you.
5) Marry somebody with similar goals, dreams and passions.
Marry a Christian, yes. But I would go even further. Marry somebody with similar passions and dreams. Now, I understand this breaks down at some point. People are not machines. No two people want exactly the same thing in life. However, if you love foreign missions and your potential spouse hates going overseas, some tension will arise.
Synergy is extremely important in a marriage. If your spouse has the same vision as you, they will understand your struggles and support your pursuits. They will encourage your walk. They will be empathetic. There is much power in two people doing life with the same goals, dreams and passions for life.