Guarding my marriage, by a newlywed

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When I said, “I do,” I knew those two small words carried a very heavy load along with them. I have always known marriage is a commitment, and that commitment is what sustains love, and that marriage is work, and that nothing is perfect. I didn’t enter into my marriage with the naive notion that it was going to be easy, and love required nothing from me to sustain itself.

However, it was not until after I was married that I realized just how hard it is going to be. Now, let me just say that I am a newlywed. I have been married for almost 3 months. For pete’s sake, I haven’t even sent my thank you cards out yet so by no means am I calling myself an expert. I am actually the very opposite of that. That is why I am taking this so seriously. Marriages of supposed veterans and relationship gurus and spiritual leaders have crumbled under their own weight. I am constantly hearing and reading about failed marriages. Just yesterday we heard that Tullian Tchividjian stepped down from his pastorship because he and his wife were both involved in affairs. I mean, he is Billy Graham’s grandson- Billy Graham!- a man took so many well-known precautions and procedures to protect the sanctity and purity of his marriage. {Seriously, look it up!} Tchividjian wrote eight books about Christianity and current issues, and was married for almost fifteen years, and it would be the height of stupidity to think that marital failure could not happen to me. If he can fail at this, so can I.

The only thing you have to do to fail at your marriage is nothing. Satan hates marriage. Get this down. Marriage is a picture of Christ and His bride, the church, and Satan would love to destroy every last lovely shred of it. It is Satan who is behind the sexual revolution- destroying what is sacred about the marriage bed. It is Satan who is behind homosexuality- twisting and perverting natural affections. It is Satan who is behind the push for gay marriage, and transgenderism, and all types of sexual perversions and attacks on marriage. And, if we are naive enough to think he will not try to destroy your marriage and mine, it will lead to destruction.

So what is there for me to do as a newlywed? How can I guard my love and my life? I don’t have all the answers but here is where I will start.

I will desperately seek out men and women who have happy marriages that I can emulate. Hey, if you are happily married, shout it from the roof tops! People need to see that when it is done by God’s rules, marriage works. If you are unhappily married, seek counseling…. now. This is too important, not only to you and your spouse, but for the entire world and the sake of the gospel.

I will learn all that I can in regards to guarding and sustaining my marriage. I will take a proactive approach in defending against problems by foreseeing possibilities and cutting them out immediately. I will read books, and listen to sermons, and learn from older, wiser, married people about what works and what doesn’t. I will learn from people whose marriages have failed about what not to do, and take their examples and tuck them away in my heart as reminders that Satan wants to destroy my marriage.

I will communicate and set up policies and procedures with my spouse before situations arise. Billy Graham had a rule that he would never, ever eat alone in a restaurant or be alone in a room or car with a woman other than his wife. I want my marriage to have rules as well in order to keep us safe from the world. It is not only wise, but necessary to have these plans laid out before situations arise that could compromise your love. There are many things I will say, “No.” to. No man will ever have a private conversation {including emails and texting} with me that my husband will not be privy to, and same goes for my husband. I will never take another man anywhere that is the exclusive domain of my husband. I will never allow another man emotionally into my life, either by me expressing my emotions to him or him expressing his emotions to me. My physical, emotional, and spiritual, thoughtful self is saved exclusively for my husband. I am not only my own, but I also belong to him, and him to me. This by no means is an all-inclusive list, but just some of the ways we have chosen as a couple to guard ourselves and each other.

I will seek God’s face and his wisdom in living my life and building my home and marriage. If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that I constantly quote Psalm 18:30, “As for God, His way is perfect.” As a single person, that meant I would live accordingly God’s plans for me as a single person. I would trust in Him to bring me a husband in His time, and I would serve him with all my heart where I was while I was waiting. Now that I am married, that verse still applies. His ways are perfect in my marriage. I will obey his rules in continuing to serve and love and build my home His way- the only perfect way. If we are truly committed to doing life His way, we will not fail. Period.

[tweetthis remove_hidden_hashtags=”true”]The only thing you have to do to fail at your marriage is nothing.[/tweetthis]

People, marriage is huge. It is important. It is hard work. It is such a daunting task that it is overwhelming at times. We need men and women, husbands and wives, who will commit to doing all they can to fight for their marriages. That means learning from others, emulating happy marriages, and being proactive in setting up boundaries to keep you marriage safe, happy, and healthy, and seeking to do all things God’s way. If you have been getting lazy in your marriage, this is your wake up call. Satan wants it. Sit down with your husband or wife and communicate these principles and your desire to guard and build a strong, healthy relationship with them.

I’m a newlywed, and I’m committed to doing marriage right, who is with me?

 

 

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13 comments

  1. Lauren,
    This is so wonderful! My husband, Dylan, and I got married on the 13th of this month. We are loving it! So many people keep congratulating me and then turning around and almost laughing at me because I keep saying that I enjoy it so much. They say things like, “Well, it’s only been a week,” and seem to expect me to be miserable very soon. This all has made me determined to break the stereotype that a marriage is always unhappy and weights you down. Marriage for me, and you too, will be happy because we are doing it God’s way, and God’s way is beautiful and joyful! Praying, reading, and worshipping together and alone is going to be the key to a joyful marriage. I plan on showing this article to Dylan, and we will pray for you as I know you pray for all of your readers!
    We love you, Lauren! Keep up the good work, and may God bless you!
    Love, Breanna Tarpley

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  2. Lauren, I absolutely love this! As of last Thursday, we have been married for 6 months and from day 1, I have been adamant about guarding my marriage. With so many people distorting marriage, it’s refreshing to see healthy, godly marriages! Another tip I learned recently is to take time to get away from the world and spend serious time with each other and be intentional. You’re amazing girl!

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  3. Love, love, love this!!! My hubby and I are going on two years of being married and it’s definitely not easy! But a God honoring marraige is always worth it. I pray that we always have that. Thank you for sharing this! 🙂

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  4. I’m a newlywed myself and I must say it is beautiful to be married with Christ at the centre of the union. Great advice Lauren may God continue to bless you lady.

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  5. Lauren,
    Wonderful article. As of July 1, I will be a newlywed 38 years. My husband and I have lived our lives applying those principles in our marriage. Job situations can make them difficult to apply – my husband has always worked in office situations were there were few or no other men. He has always been careful not to go anywhere alone with any of his female coworkers. If he must attend a business lunch, he takes his car and travels alone to the lunch. He calls to let me know his plans. I have never required it but he has always been very circumspect about his relationships. I appreciate his faithfulness and godly lifestyle. And I practice the same with him – he is aware of what I am doing and who is with me. To some people it may sound strange or oppresive, but we are committed to guarding the precious gift that God gave us – each other. We have weathered many things in our marriage, the death of a child, the destruction of our house by a storm, a wayward child, jobs and stresses, church ministries and responsibilities – the things of life. God has been faithful in His love and care. A good marriage is hard work but has infinite value – it’s worth it.

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  6. Married 4 months here! It was a breath of fresh air, reading this article! I couldn’t agree more about every point you mentioned. Those boundaries are so important as we are all building the foundation to a successful marriage. Best wishes to you and your hubby as you all journey this life together!

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  7. Hey Lauren,
    What a great woman of God you have become, all grown up since PCC. 🙂 You speak the truth, girl, and very well. You are truly beautiful, inside and out. Great article!!!

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  8. Love this blog post! I love all of the boundaries you set up to protect your marriage! My husband and I are celebrating our 3rd year of marriage this month and have held very similar boundaries as the ones you have listed. We are learning with one toddler and twins on the way that we are having to set up boundaries to protect our time together. We both got extremely busy in ministry at our church that began to heavily interfere with our marriage. So we have recently begun dropping those ministries for a reason to strengthen our marriage and individual walks with the Lord. Keep cheering on the body of Christ, sister!

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  9. Lauren,
    Thank you SO much for writing this! I have been married for a little over a year now, and it just keeps getting sweeter because my husband and I have been choosing to guard our marriage. It doesn’t mean it is always easy, but it does mean it is always a beautiful picture of the Gospel.
    I was always encouraged by your posts as a single lady, and now I love that you are writing about marriage too.
    Thank you, and God bless.

    Like

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