My precious sister,
I am praying for you.
Your special day is just 8 days away!
If I close my eyes really tight I can imagine how radiant you will look in your wedding gown and how proud Dad will be walking you down the aisle. The flowers are going to be beautiful, the sun is going to shine and your guests will be beaming with excitement for you both. It’s going to be a day like no other. Your day!
Oh, and I am sure Mom will cry.
But, that’s not why I am praying. Those details are important but the wedding does NOT make the marriage.
I am praying because you will never be the same.
As I have reflected on my own wedding day my heart overflowed with all the things that I wished I would have known. I am eleven years into my own marriage and I have learned that it’s a battle. One I want to be sure that you are armed for.
This is my gift to you.
So grab a cup of coffee, a box of Kleenex and let’s be real for a few moments.
Marriage is hard business.
You are about to marry an imperfect man. And once the newness of this life event has worn off you will see him for what he is. A man that will make mistakes, break your heart, frustrate you and even do or say things that will make you angry. And while I am being truthful let me just add that you will do the same to him for the same reason. Imperfection.
I mentioned a battle earlier and just like all siblings who often are clothed in their older sisters hand me downs; I want to clothe you in some of my armor. This is my gift of love for your wedding. It’s going to feel a little big for you right now but just tuck it away in a drawer because one day just when you need it, it will fit just right. Oh, and just like the days when we girls shared clothes with our close friends I reached out to mine and they shared some of their own armor as a gift as well. Receive them well, I trust them.
- I was only a bride 10 months ago but my advice would be to put God in the center of all decisions. ~ Krystal Pierce Make Christ the center of your marriage. If you do not know him you will not know the true meaning of marriage. ~ Veronica Juarez Willard “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
- Have a sense of humor and don’t always insist on your own way! Also, forgive, forgive, forgive. And forgive again. ~ Natalie Chambers Snapp ” Put up with one another. Forgive one another if you are holding something against someone. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13
- There is a difference in the words love and cherish. It’s not enough to just love, you have to cherish your spouse. ~ Kimberly Stansbury Graybeal. Remember the love you feel for your husband on your wedding day. Absorb that God loves you even more than that. ~ Sara Armstrong Patton “I give you a new command. Love one another. You must love one another, just as I have loved you.” John 13:34
- Be able to compromise. Appreciate each other. Don’t take each other for granted. ~Jane Butler It is by self forgetting that one finds. ~ Toni Spillane “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
- Love deeper and sweeter. ~Michelle Rine. Take time to nurture your marriage. Make time to date, write love notes, light candles, dance for no reason. Want the best for the other person and the love the hardest when it’s hardest to love. ~ Jodie Barrett. The Lord appeared to us in the past. He said,“I have loved you with a love that lasts forever. I have kept on loving you with a kindness that never fails. ” Jeremiah 31:3
- Give 100% no matter what, and always treat each other with respect. ~ Donna Evans Fender “Give honor to marriage.” Hebrews 13:4 a ( paraphrased)
- Early in our marriage I had someone say to me, ” Humble yourself, put him above yourself”. Sometimes that is the hardest thing to do, but in prayer, God gives me the strength, peace and grace to go against my flesh and honor my husband. ~ Michelle Adams ” For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
- It should come as no surprise that the best matrimonial advice comes straight from Jesus himself in the book of Matthew. God always has to be first and if you have conflict with your husband remember he IS your closest neighbor and your commanded to love him as you love yourself. ~ Maggie Goodman Russell ” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37-39
Little sister, just like when we were kids I would have fought the biggest bully on the playground for you, I will stand in the gap even now as an adult for you. The playground looks different but make no mistake; there is still a bully and he seeks to destroy marriages every day. The good news is Jesus defeated that bully on the cross. Call me if you need help remembering that.
I love you ~ Lena