When thinking of the process of becoming one, there are few strong voices that share the tough realities of merging two lives. Along the journey of becoming one, marriage is only our starting point … not the finish line.
You and your spouse will not all of sudden begin to agree on everything, complete each other’s sentences, or color coordinate outfits the second you say “I do.”
The plain truth is … the process of two becoming one takes time and a lot of GRACE.
There will be times in marriage that we are tempted to say, “I told you so, or things like, “if you would of listened to me then we wouldn’t be in this mess.” There will be instances where giving our spouse room to make mistakes, and setting expectations for our marriages will be hard, but crucial.
Grace is continuing to love our spouses through all of the growing pains that will occur in marriage as the two become one. We must allow ourselves and our spouse the ability to grow into this new role as husband or wife.
Perhaps you took pre-marital classes, read a million books on marriage, or even attended marriage conferences …
But the truest test of this foreknowledge and application is in the thick of living it out in marriage. Embrace the learning curve. It takes time to learn how to be the spouse your husband or wife needs and, more importantly, the one God designed you to be.
Scripture says in Philippians 1:6: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
This promise tells us that God is going to be perfecting you and your spouse up until the return of Christ. This is a comfort as we can lean into Christ knowing that He will continue to work in and through us. You and your spouse come from two different backgrounds, so naturally, you are going to handle lots of things differently at the beginning of the marriage. Maybe your spouse was taught to avoid conflict at all cost but you know it’s is unhealthy for a marriage to ignore conflict.
Instead of forcing your spouse to deal with conflict your preferred way, give them time to understand the importance of properly addressing conflict. Find a place of agreement on how to handle conflict in your marriage.
We should never look to force our spouses to grow in any area but rather we should extend to them grace to grow.
Growing up, you might have been taught to prepare financially for the future and your spouse operates from a YOLO mentality (you only live once). It may take a while for them to see how much interest they are paying the credit card companies due to impulse spending. Give them grace to learn.
Perhaps you see all the risks for starting a business while all your spouse can see is opportunity. Often times, we may have to let them fail without saying “I told you so” in order for them to learn. It’s wise to share the risks that we see, but it’s not wise to completely shoot our spouses down. Sometimes we have to give them grace to fail while ensuring that we are there to help them back up.
Remember that the same grace that you extend to your spouse you will need extended to you by your spouse and by God.
We are all a work in progress and meshing in marriage can be a long and frustrating journey where we often wonder when we will get on the same page. It’s in these moments of frustration that we encourage the extension of grace.
It is key to understand that our spouse may need to learn what grace looks like in human form, and we may need to learn how to extend it to our loved one. Understand that it takes longer for some to grasp what seems easy to others. Both you and your spouse are going to have to grow, learn and fail during the journey of becoming one.
However, don’t rush the process. Enjoy the process and see it as opportunity to help each other reach your God-given potential.
As always, remember to pray hard and love harder.
Laura Gethers is a woman of God who desires to bring Him glory through her many roles as a wife, homeschooling mother of two, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and author. Gethers has a heart for marriage and families, specifically strengthening the family unit by providing support to married couples. Gethers is the visionary and coach behind Love Harder Marriage Coaching, LLC. Gethers' main goal is to encourage married couples to have fun with the process of improving their marriage interactively, so she created a marriage obstacle course. Gethers wrote and self published her very first book titled “Your Marriage Is Worth Fighting For.” Gethers' book is a 30-day devotional, encouraging couples to use love and prayer as their weaponry when fighting for their marriage. You can find more information by visiting www.lauragethers.com or following her on Instagram @lovehardermarriagecoaching